Note: I know it's now two posts since the post I promised to follow up but I have been so busy that I have not yet had time to formulate and activate my plan.
PLUS, I could never have predicted this post yesterday, before my friend showed up with my fabulously generous (as well as a little late, as usual) birthday present.
I was truly spoilt, with a perfect patent blue belt and cute little hair tie.
Since these days I am pretty much perpetually pony-tailed (sorry, couldn't resist the allure of alliteration there...) part I of this present was not only generous but thoughtful. You can get your own here.
Similarly, the belt seemed made for me, elevating the slightly yawn-ey work outfit I was planning of grey trousers, white shirt perfectly. Even better: it matches the hair-tie.
The grand finale did not match. But did I care? God no; I don't know if I've still even got round to admiring the necklace itself as I am still marvelling over the adorableness of the packaging it came in. I had complained that last year I hadn't had a single present to open, as none of them were surprises so no-one bothered, and jokingly said that she should wrap my present twice. Lo and behold: a beautiful necklace, wrapped thrice.
In a perfectly serendipitious cycle, this stunner which I had only stopped to admire a couple of months ago - something my friend didn't even know when choosing the necklace yesterday! - is made by the same company that I got her a pair of earrings from on her birthday, 1928, which I posted about back then, here (and then got myself a pair of earrings, and posted about them, here).
So generous. I know people always say how much nicer it is to give gifts than receive, and I agree that giving a present warms the heart. But actually, so does receiving a lovely generous present, not just for the glee of tearing apart the wrapping paper (so much fun!) or for the pleasure derived from the gift itself (even more fun!!) but because it demonstrates the reciprocal kindness and generosity of friendship.
I hope that doesn't come across as 'buying someone's friendship' or 'investing' in someone because the pay-off will be worth it. That's really not what I mean. I mean generosity just because giving someone more than they expect (not necessarily gifts, but anything, as long as it isn't insults...) demonstrates beautifully how much you care for them.
That is why I was just a little bit disappointed by some of the other, or excuses for, or lack of presents which I got before yesterday. I told myself I wouldn't allow this to come into my post, that it would make me sound embittered and materialistic, but I can't help it. But that is also why I decided to get over myself, and instead of being all bitter, I presented one of those friends with generosity in the form of a small job which was mentioned to me but which I couldn't do. You never know, maybe now this friend has more money they'll buy me loads and loads of presents. (Alert: JOKE!)