by Marinka on July 12, 2011

I’ve had it with gifts. Seriously, I’ve had it.
Ever since I became an adult a few months ago, I realized that if I want something, I should just buy it and tell people to get me nothing for my birthday. And I suggest that everyone else do the same. Especially my parents and everyone else that I may need to buy a gift for.

Because let’s review my spiritual journey:

Mama and Papa’s anniversary is coming up! This is fantastic news! I will get them a knife! A special knife for cutting watermelon, because unlike Kelcey, they are pros at this! I order the knife and present it to them to celebrate their special day.


Use me to cut watermelon!

Mama and Papa thank me, but with reservation. What the fuck’s up with that, I ask them, but more lovingly.

Well, they explain, giving a knife as a gift is a bad omen. If you give someone a knife as a gift, it means that you will have a fight.

I hate all these Old Country omens. We’re in America now, Praise Jesus, and we have our own omens. Like if you spend more than ten minutes with your family, you will become insane.

But Papa and Mama look at each other and then Papa has his epiphany. And hands me a dollar.

This better not be my inheritance, I warn him. I know my rights.

No, he reassures me, I’m buying this knife from you, so it’s no longer a gift.

He and Mama look pleased at this solution. A Final Solution, if you please.

Look, Happy Anniversary and everything, I tell them, but that’s some kind of bullshit. First of all, this knife was $25, and I’m not even mentioning shipping and handling. And second of all, if you buy it from me, I still owe you a gift.

Not necessarily, Mama says. This is all just a formality so that we don’t have fight. Because giving knife is sign that fight is imminent. I’m surprised you don’t know this.

How could I possibly know this?! I shriek.

Have we ever given you knife as gift? they ask. This is what passes for logic these days, apparently.

I wish you’d drop these Old World ideas, I tell them, restraining myself in case the Casey Anthony jury won’t reconvene for my trial. We’re not going to have a fight just because I gave you a knife. Hey, why are you using a different knife on the watermelon?!

And Papa explains that he’s using a non-gifted/bought-for-a-dollar knife on the watermelon because it is too beautiful to use for cutting and belongs in a museum, which is code for thanks for giving us a useless piece of crap, moron.

It’s a good thing that those Old World omens of what gifts lead to fights are bullshit, isn’t it?


The fun’s not over! Because today one of my favorite people in the world is guest posting at The Mouthy Housewives and telling you what to do when you’re trapped in that monotonous, I mean, monogamous relationship! Don’t miss it.

This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link. And a lot of rage.

One year ago ...

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsten July 12, 2011 at 12:33 am

If you give someone a knife as a gift, you’re supposed to include a penny. Apparently that takes away all the bad vibes.


Alison@Mama Wants This
July 12, 2011 at 12:41 am

The Chinese believe that if you give someone a clock/ watch, you’re basically handing them a deadline to their last day on Earth. I shit you not.

Also? You can gift shoes as that means you’re telling them to please walk away from you and your life.

And a knife? It means you want to cut all ties.

I could go on, you want me to?



Anthony from CharismaticKid
July 12, 2011 at 1:08 am

Lately I’ve just been buying Charity Water donations for people as gifts. Prob solved.


July 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm

One Christmas I bought Project Angel Food donations for everyone in my family. They didn’t speak to me for two years. Prob solved – for two years.


July 13, 2011 at 6:48 am

I’m adding charity donations to my Christmas list for select family members. And hoping for more than a 2 year return on investment.


From Belgium July 12, 2011 at 7:21 am

My mother got me a lovely set of chef’s knives for my birhtday. Can I consider them as payement for the two grandchildren?


July 12, 2011 at 8:08 am

I’ve got some rage abuildin’ inside my heart. Gotta go get a knife and gift it so I can finally let loose on someone. Don’t really care who it is. I just want to feel peaceful again.


July 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

I gave my husband knives as a gift a few years ago and his mother was convinced our relationship was doomed. Seriously?!!! He gave me a nickle and she said all was solved.

My father, on the other hand, gives everyone he knows pocket knives as gifts. Everyone for every occasion. It is ridiculous. So, in case you are in need of a pocket knife… we have several here. 🙂


Leigh July 12, 2011 at 9:54 am

There is a wives tale about the same person opening and closing a pocket knife.


RidgewoodMom July 12, 2011 at 8:47 am

OMG, I didn’t even finish reading the post, and that was the first thing I thought: You can’t give knives as presents!! Then I finished ready and was happy to find out this is what the issue was. I didn’t know this until I bought a knife set for my MIL who promptly told me, no thanks. (She’s very blunt that way.) Now I know, never give a knife to an Eastern Euro.


I'm So Fancy July 12, 2011 at 8:59 am

ack you are killing me. That was hilarious!!!


July 12, 2011 at 9:04 am



Sophie@Fabrications July 12, 2011 at 9:23 am

I love getting knives as presents. You can always send me knives. Expensive ones.


Karen at French Skinny July 12, 2011 at 9:29 am

It’s the same in my family. Giving anything sharp will cut all ties. Unless you give the person a nickel. At least you got a dollar for your non gift!


July 12, 2011 at 9:40 am

Someone gave us a knife block for our wedding, I should probably track them down and give them a dollar, right?

Also, I love that knife. I’m a sucker for those kinds of things. I want one for myself now!


July 12, 2011 at 9:43 am

My in laws have two knives. A mother-effing GIANT one, and a teensy-weensy one. They are both hopelessly rusted. We’ve been trying to plot how to get them new knives ever since that time I had to cut up their kolbasa for olivie with a knife that even Crocodile Dundee would agree is too big for practical use.

I’m thinking of just placing new knives on the floor in their way so that they discover them in the morning as they walk to start the teapot. This way I didn’t GIFT them, they just FOUND them.


Marinka July 12, 2011 at 10:18 am

Or you could stick some knives into their headboard while they’re sleeping. I’m sure they’ll get the message!


Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up)
July 12, 2011 at 10:03 am

hahaha…thats awesome… first, what’s up with all those omens but how clever to purchase the knife from you.

win, win


Megan July 12, 2011 at 10:11 am

Here’s what I think: Once someone gave someone else a knife as a gift and the reciever said, “WTF is this? Who wants a knife as a gift?” and they got into a fight. They told two friends and so on… fast forward to today and your parents are giving you a dollar for their anniversary present.


eevie July 12, 2011 at 10:12 am

Oh yes, the superstitions. I am personally well aware of the knife issue, but only because I stupidly tried that five years ago. However, this year for father’s day, I was frozen in place at the store because I couldn’t remember whether the gift of shoes is imbued with superstition (speaking of which, why do most superstitions in our culture relate to fighting? Spill salt, family fight. Gift knife, family fight, etc). I even tried to google it on my phone – “gift shoes russian superstition” is not as easy to figure out on a tiny phone, btw.


Allyson July 12, 2011 at 10:16 am

My mom does the same thing. If you give her a knife, expect her to run to her wallet to give you a penny. Which devalues the gift even more than a dollar.


the mama bird diaries
July 12, 2011 at 10:38 am

There are special knives for cutting watermelons?! That is truly awesome.


anna ~ random handprints July 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm

you should *totally* get mama and papa to give you theirs, i hear they don’t use it.

and best of all, it’ll come with a free dollar too!


July 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I am very confused about the knife giving being a bad omen. I’d never heard that before. Then again, I doubt I’ve given anyone a knife before either.


magpie July 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

My father has given me, and my siblings, and my siblings’ spouse, and my husband, so many knives over the years that I can’t count them all. What does that mean???


July 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Oy Old World superstitions deserve a whole separate post!
Not to side with parents on this, but I think everyone knows about the knives thing…how did you miss that memo?


Christene July 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

My mother in law was about to get us some very fancy knives as a wedding present but stopped herself due to the bad omens associated with knife giving… I am not sure what to make of that.


Anna Nonamus
July 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Ha. My parents gave hubby and I a nice knife set for Christmas a few years ago, then demanded I pay them a penny for it, so it wouldn’t be a bad omen. I was like, “….the fuck?”


Phoenix Rising
July 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm

After reading this post and some of the comments I’m left wondering if something is wrong with me because I’ve been ASKING for new knives for YEARS and no one will gift me any. Maybe I should just take this as all my loved ones are afraid to fight with me. Especially since I’d be the one holding the knife.


anna see July 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Oh my goodness. I learned something new here today.

No one likes my gifts, so I just buy them Charity Water or pigs and sheep and the like. At least someone gets something out of it.


July 13, 2011 at 3:32 am

My husbands family freaked out when I gave him a set of knives for Xmas. They made me unwrapped them, place coin in each and only then return them under tree. Tothisday I don’t know why.Maybe it is a NY thing…


deborah l quinn
July 13, 2011 at 10:29 am

Duh. Everyone knows that when you give a knife as a gift you have to tape a penny to the blade. Please do not ask why because I have no idea. I do know that when my mother gave my dad a set of steak knives for a birthday present, we (their kids) all knew the marriage was doomed. Probably because for christmas he’d given her a new vacuum cleaner–and then spent 20 minutes extolling the virtues of all the great cleaning attachments. Amazingly, she was underwhelmed.


dysfunctional mom July 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I knew you were not supposed to give knives as wedding gifts, but I didn’t know it was any gift at all.
Maybe the fight you had about you giving them the knives counts as the fight so all is well already.
I can think of a few people I’d love to gift with a knife….


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