If you’ve ever read a story by yours truly, you know that the holidays give me all the life I’ll ever need. Even now, as a 26-year-old jaded New Yorker who is impressed by nothing, I tear open a perfectly-wrapped gift with the same energy that most people save for fighting strangers at Target on Black Friday. However, sometimes I’ll rip off the wrapping paper, lift the cardboard lid, and find a disappointing gift. Honestly, the last time I got excited over a gift that came in a box was in 2004, and guess what was in the box? A puppy.
Unless you’re gifting someone the eternal happiness that comes with a dog, wrapped gifts just aren’t as exciting as they used to be. Maybe it’s just a downside of being an adult, but my favorite kind of gift is a monetary one. Like, want to give me a gift I’ll truly cherish? Pay for my gym membership for a month! Just kidding, but like, not really. If all you and your loved ones want for Christmas is some cheddar, listen up, because etiquette expert Elaine Swann will clue you in how to give money as a gift seeming like you put zero thought into your present, and on the flip side, how to ask for money without looking like an entitled douchecanoe.
The only time I’ve ever witnessed people asking for money instead of presents was at my brother and his wife’s wedding. Yes, you read that right. These two asked their guests to donate to a honeymoon fund instead of losing their sanity on a wedding registry. At first, I thought it was the tackiest thing I’d ever heard, but then I saw the photos of them gallivanting around the Ritz in Paris and realized they didn’t drop a damn cent on this. And that’s when I realized that asking for money in lieu of gifts is, honestly, the move.
So if you’re just looking to give cash this holiday season, Swann suggests, “Make sure you personalize this gift. Give some thought to how this person may use the money. Then, in the note, you can add in a line about something that is a hobby of theirs or something they may enjoy doing with the money.” So, for example, if you’re giving me money, tell me a little tale about a thirsty girl who’s strapped for cash and loves white wine. Cute, right?
If you’ve been raised to exhibit classiness in your day-to-day life and don’t want to stop now by asking for money, worry not because there are ways to do it without looking like Mona Lisa Saperstein.
Swann says, “Be honest! Let them know that you have your heart set on a ski trip, a spa treatment, paying off your student loans, or any other kind of experience you’re interested in. By stating this, you can encourage them to give the gift of money that can go toward this experience.” For an added bonus, she advises, “Keep it towards an experience that people can see and feel a part of when you share stories or photos through social media.” Because the only thing better than seeing the look on someone’s face when they open a gift is being publicly thanked (and tagged) on Instagram stories once they actually use your gift.
Look, if anyone is actually giving you a holiday gift, chances are they know you pretty well, so they’re not going to judge you for asking for money (they probably know you well enough to judge you for your choice in exes/Seamless orders/generally destructive life choices instead).
If you do want money, don’t wring out your generous friends by asking for a fortune. That’s actually why putting this money towards something specific, like a trip or a facial, is the way to go, and it will actually give them an idea of how much they should give you without you having to awkwardly name a number. At the end of the day, everyone loves getting money as a present! I’ve never heard any of my rich friends who work in finance or advertising open an envelope of cash and be like, “Ugh, I wish it was bath salts!” So, if you love your friends and family, get them something they really want, like a crisp Benjamin.
Images: NBC; Giphy (2)
With the news getting shittier and shittier by the day, it is time to focus on something positive: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend got a new puppy. Yep, that’s right, the Teigen-Legend household has welcomed a new member the family, and she is an English bulldog named Pepper. As if this family could not get any cuter.
Pepper will be joined by the family’s other dogs, Penny, Pippa, and Puddy, further proving that this is the cutest family in America. Chrissy spent the weekend healing America sharing adorable Pepper videos with her Insta audience and we gotta say: We’re in love. Just look at her:
She has the perfect amount of little French bulldog rolls! Not to mention the fact that any photo containing baby Luna in her diaper is a literal ovary melter.
Omg stoooopppp. Listen to her trying to bark! This is why I’ve always said I need the Legends to adopt me ASAP. Look at all the sweet little puppers! Seriously, are they looking for a dog sitter or anything? I will literally leave my job. They don’t have to pay me. I’ll live in the basement. IDGAF.
I’ve seen a disturbing trend on my timeline recently, and it’s not just because I only became Facebook friends with my dad a few months ago: people posting Facebook eulogies about their dead dogs. I know it’s 2017 and there are a lot more offensive things going on, especially on Facebook, than people posting about their dead dogs. But you know what? I don’t care. Call the Special Victims Unit, because this social media crime is especially heinous.
Yeah, I’m that monster who doesn’t care about your dead dog, and I don’t care who knows it. I mean, I sort of care because I’m writing from a semi-anonymous pseudonym as opposed to my real name. But that’s neither here nor there. I’m here to tell you why I don’t give a shit about your dead dog, and I’m willing to bet nobody else does either.
First I would like to say that I am not a cat person, nor am I a soulless robot who has never felt joy. On the contrary—I have had three dogs in my lifetime thus far, two of whom are now dead. So yes, I understand your pain and I know what you’re going through. But there are acceptable ways to express your grief and unacceptable ways. Uploading a photo of your deceased dog is fine. So is changing your profile picture to one of you and your late pup. Posting one—ONE—short status is also acceptable, with the key word being short. The world is certainly a darker place with one less dog in it, so it’s fine to let us know. You know what’s not fine? Posting a 1,000 word eulogy to your dog that sounds like it was actually written for a close family member, only for me to find out at the end after reading your entire essay that it was eulogizing your 17-year-old dog who’s had cancer for the last 4 years of its life. Stop it. You’re not a eugoogolizer. That shit is melodramatic. Dogs die. You knew going into it that your dog would age seven times faster than you. You can’t really be surprised.
“Today I lost my companion, my best friend, someone who’s been there for me through thick and thin for the past 11 years” — No I’m not copying and pasting from my timeline (I’m not that savage); I’ve just read so many of these and they all start the same fucking way. Like, first of all, your dog has not actually been “there for you.” Your dog wasn’t like, giving you advice and taking you out to the bars when your ex dumped you—they were just physically present. Also, and I’m not afraid to say it, if your parents took care of the dog while you were away at college and for most of your adult life and you hardly ever even walked this dog or picked up its shit, that hardly fucking counts. Like, you didn’t even do any of the heavy lifting and now you want to reap the sympathy points? Nah. I see you.
As if it weren’t bad enough to put more thought into your dog’s memorial than your grandma’s, where this shit really gets extra is when you have the people who just won’t fucking get over it. The people who are posting daily updates on their grief and flashback photos every chance they get. Your dog died two years ago AND you got a new puppy a week later, give it a rest, Catherine! You are allowed one sympathy post. ONE. After that, you’re just fishing for attention and it’s sad and annoying. Not to mention, where’s your new dog in all of this? Why is Fluffers being neglected because Mr. Peanutbutter (may he rest in peace) passed away two years ago? We’d all much rather see photos of your new, alive dog.
And you can tell everyone else is sick of it too because the flood of “Thinking of you!” “Sorry for your loss!” comments and likes dwindle from a solid 100 to like, just your aunt Judy and the girl in your international relations class who’s afraid you’ll botch your half of the group project without constant reassurance. Dogs are like babies: I can guarantee you that nobody else thinks your dog was as cute or friendly or lovable as you did.
To be clear, I’m not telling you that you can’t be sad when your dog dies—just stop fucking posting about it. Honestly, just stop posting about most things. Is the common denominator me? Am I the problem? …Probably. On that note, I’ll see myself out.
It’s Wednesday, so you’re probably starting to sober up from the combo of anti-anxiety meds and booze that got you through inauguration weekend. But while the Xanax may be wearing off, you now have to face the fact that a man whose idea of TBT is paraphrasing Hitler is now president. I mean, you should probably call your representatives and shit, unless you want to spend the next four years celibate because some old dude took away your birth control.
But once you’ve done that, you can go back to pretending we aren’t all fucked. Here’s a bunch of hot dudes to help with that.