A few months ago, one of my neighbors invited me to a birthday party for her husband. They are both in their 60's. He has had both legs amputated near the knees due to complications from diabetes, and he is bed-ridden. In addition, his hands are also a bit contorted. I had only met him once before, and I didn't know him that well, so I was having a hard time thinking of a good gift.
I decided on a gift card to Barnes and Noble. I figured that between reading material, music, DVD's, etc, there would be something that he would like. In addition, you can buy from them on-line, and they have a store less than 10 miles away. When his wife asked where the local store was, I gave her directions, but also offered to pick something up for them. It's right across from the gym where I go, so it's not a big problem for me to stop there.
Well, his wife stopped me last week, and asked if I could pick up some magazines "with pictures of sexy ladies" for her husband. Ummm, okay; I had pretty much already committed myself in advance. I tried to clarify exactly which magazines she meant - something like Maxim, or something packaged in a plastic wrapper? Her answer was equally vague.
Don't get me wrong. I'm definitely not passing judgment on the guy. But I'm going to feel a bit deviant going in to purchase multiple magazines of that style with a gift card. Double entendre aside, it's kind of like the proverbial old woman* and cats: she gets one, no problem. Start collecting four or five at a time, and it looks a little weird. I'll probably keep the card for myself, and buy an equivalent amount with cash. At least that way it won't look like I received the gift card myself, and out of all the awesome products in the building, that was the only thing I wanted.
Then the other question is what exactly to get. I don't want to get him something other than what he wants, but I don't want to "over do" it and give him a heart attack or look like a perv.
* to avoid any confusion from my analogy, I am a dude.