We gave a few bucks to a favorite nonprofit a while back; I filed the receipt with every intention to forget about it until tax time. But a couple of days ago, among the usual welter of unsolicited catalogs, the mail brought an envelope with the donee logo. I figured it was another solicitation but no; it turned out to be a thank you note for our princely munificence in the recent past--and just to show their sincerity, a small gift. And sure enough, a shake and a tumble and out came--
Hey wait, what is this, a coaster? A coaster a sphere of cork with the donee logo? This is a thank-you?
I mean don't misunderstand: I certainly wasn't expecting a Porsch 911, Really, I wasn't expecting any gift at all but--well, put it this way. I'm not particularly good at the ordinary cues and clues of social intercourse but isn't there a point at which the "gift" is so trifling that it moves the index over to "insult?" Am I to be grateful for a token that probably cost about one fortieth of the price of a first-class stamp? Would't a greater show of gratitude have been no gift at all?
Small memory, in 1946, my dad sold some advertising linked to the second Louis-Conn fight. I've just about totally forgotten the fight itself. But somebody in my dad's operation must have been giving gifts also because I have vivid memories from my childhood of Louis-Conn coasters. Same size and shape, even the same material. Except not just one. We had dozens of them, and they hung around for years--I assume he got to carry home the leftovers, I hope not in lieu of a commission. Come to think of it, if I scratched around in the storage shed, I might find a Louis-Conn coaster out there still. Good: I could match it with the new acquisition and the Missus and I could share the enjoyment of a delicious beverage, basking in self-congratulation at our well-rewarded generosity.