Sunday, December 5, 2010

Santa Baby: Angelic Pretty Only, Please!

 The Etiquette of Asking your Significant Other for Brand

The holidays are always such a heartwarming time. Goodwill is in the air as people try to figure out what their loved ones want most this year and, more practically, how to give it to them. This is a particular challenge for those of us in relationship, though it's probably even harder for our lovers. What do you buy the lolita who has everything? More.

Now, before any rallies up with a, "Well, in MY opinion..." I'm not saying that every lolita only wants lolita thing. I was ecstatic when, for my birthday this past May, my boyfriend presented me with a DSi, and of course the perfect gift for someone you love is something that comes from the heart. Since I'm in slightly dire straights this year as far as money goes (due to saving up for Japan on mostly what I can make through my business, since my job is giving me barely enough to life on), everyone in my life is going to be mostly receiving tokens of my love more than anything I think they'll actually... like. Or use. (Sorry, guys.) And I'm sure that any girlfriend, lolita or not, would love to receive a meal from their favorite restaurant, or a freshly-baked batch of her favorite cookies, or a framed photo of herself and her sweetie, as their holiday present this year. That's obvious.

But, of course, these are the holidays, and like I said before, everyone is trying to give each other whatever they want most- so is it wrong to ask for brand? In my opinion, no, it is not. However, it's a sticky situation for a few reasons.

First of all, and this is either going to be common sense to you or totally offensive, but not every relationship is brand-worthy. If you've been dating for two weeks, you probably shouldn't ask for brand; by which I mean, no matter the amount of time you've been dating, if you haven't established the deep, emotional connection that is expected for expensive presents, it's a bad idea. If your lover is not financially independent (has no job), IS financially independent (has to pay all of his/her own bills), or is financially independent but not financially sound (is scarping buy to pay bills/lives off ramen) you might not want to ask for brand - I wouldn't, at least. If he hates lolita (are warning bells going off?), you should really, really not ask for brand.

There, now that you know that you're not going to sabotage your relationship with this question, let's discuss phrasing it. Remember that, no matter how much you've actually told your SO about lolita and brand, there are probably only two things they remember about it: one, that it's expensive, and two, that it's from Japan and therefore even more expensive. Therefore, simply saying "You know what you can buy me for Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice? BRAND!" will probably do nothing more than put them on edge and guarantee you a refusal.This step calls for tact, timing, and an understanding lover who will wait for you to finish before jumping to conclusions.

I've found that the best solution is to find something you like that's within a sane price point, and present it to them in the following fashion: "Oh, wow, I really love this _______! It's on sale, too, I can't believe it. Were you still looking for a Christmas present for me? If so I'd really like something like this!" The ideas at work in this statement are that you're considering his or her budget, understandingly calling them out for not having bought you anything yet, and being straightforward and respectful about something they probably wouldn't have picked out or been able to find themselves. Sure, you could beat around the bush with something like, "Oh, I wonder if I could ask my parents for it...." or "Oh, I wish I had the money for this right now...." but to be honest, if you're in a mature relationship with another adult, it's much more respectful to just be straightforward. Hopefully, if they don't want to buy it for you (whether it's too much trouble to deal with shipping from Japan, or because they planned to take you out for a night on the town), they'll appreciate your maturity and repay you by being just as straightforward with their answer (tactfully, one hopes). In this instance, it's important to remain this maturity and not throw a temper tantrum, burst into tears, and ask when they stopped loving you.

A little aside: speaking of politeness, it's important to note that, since there are so many second-hand sources available for brand these days, if you can possibly chose something from one of those websites, that would be the most considerate option. Of course, it's your decision, but unless you've been with your sweetie for upwards of a year, brand new pieces as holiday gifts are really a lot to ask of them, in my opinion. I've received brand gifts from lovers before, but I have never asked them for brand new, full-priced items, no matter how long we've been dating (When Stefan and I go to Japan, I might allow him to buy me something brand new if we're both there making the decision together and we both really love it, but even then, only if he offered first... I just feel bad even thinking about asking someone who loves me to spend that much on me). Of course, everyone has different ideas on the topic- I obviously don't know your relationship or any other factors that are at work here, so go with your gut. That's solely my own feelings on the matter.

If you're anything like me, it's always awkward to ask for holiday presents, and even more so if you're asking for something expensive from someone you're in a relationship with. However, remember that you're romantically involved with this individual for a reason; s/he makes you so happy, you couldn't imagine life without them. Make sure you let them know this, no matter what you ask for this year. The beauty and magic of the holidays is being able to give the ones you love things that will enrich their lives, and remember that that is all your partner wants to do for you. As long as you respond in kind and give them a gift that you believe will truly speak to them and enrich them, they will be more than happy to do anything within their means to make you feel the same. Call me a romantic, but I do truly believe that that's the spirit of the holiday season.

(PS- I'm sorry this post is so late! Usually I try to get each week's second post up on Thursday or Friday, but I was just so buys this week!)


  1. "if you haven't established the deep, physical connection that is expected for expensive presents"

    I think you might mean "deep, emotional connection" here? The implications of how it reads now are.... awkward.

  2. Interesting approach, even though I wouldn't ask my significant other for something specific for christmas or any other occasion. We are 2 years together, In a very deep and loving relationship but i find that all the magic of a christmas present would be lost if I just told that I wanted a specific something. For me the best element of any gift is the surprise and I really like letting the other person choose something, big or small, on their own. it makes it much more unique for me.
    But I guess that there are many different types of couples and these are good advices for those lolis that are trying for brand present this chrismas XD

  3. @Charming Monsters, I was about to comment on the same thing!
    I know it was probably not meant that way, but the first time I read that sentence I was like LOLWUT?

  4. This post made me giggle a bit. I'm assuming a lot of this was meant as tongue-in-cheek?

  5. Me and my fiancée were 6 years together, in the best relationship ever, and I know if I tell him "dear I want this dress" he would buy it inmediatelly. But I can't, I don't know, I would feel just so selfish asking him for brand... If he buys it by himself I would be incredibly happy, but if he does it only because I asked him for it... I would feel bad, I think...
    I don't want to receive gifts only because I want them, but because he wants to buy them to me!

    Omigosh, sorry about my English lol

  6. @Charming Monsters and Jacqueline: Oops! Haha, you're right. Fixed! :P



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