Funny...He Didn't Smell Like a Douchebag...
At JoAnn's shortly before the pandemic, a young man in front of me is buying a Singer Simple machine (don't do it). I ask him if it's for a gift. He says yes. I ask if the recipient asked for THAT machine, specifically. He said no. I tell him if he buys it, the person who gets I will hate it, probably cry, and never enjoy sewing (it's a sewing machine intended for "occasional craft use" - it literally says in the instructions 'do not use more than four hours a day,' it's a crappy sewing machine that is not intended for sewing. It's like buying a car you can only drive for twenty minutes at a time and then have to let cool off for two hours!) I tell him that for $125 he can get a Singer Heavy Duty sewing machine at our local discount store that the recipient can use until she's old and gray and give to her grandkids.
He tells me, smugly, it's ok, because he doesn't think she'll use it at all.
I tell him she won't if he buys her that one. He assures me she won't even open it more than twice a year. Then, I realize, from his cocky attitude when talking about it, it is a grudge gift and he is a douchebag. He's begrudgingly buying this machine for his wife, he thinks she's silly for asking for it, he thinks she'll never use it and he's going to be sure she's right by buying a cheap machine she'll hate to sew on. It doesn’t matter to him that the machine I am recommending actually costs less than the crappy non-sewing machine he has in his arms.
The woman in front of him in line looks at me and rolls her eyes, I wink at her. We both know what's going on. It was on sale for $129. For four dollars less, he could have been wrong about the machine, but given his wife something she'd love and opened up a whole new univer
se of creativity and utility for her. He'd rather be right about how “silly” she is for wanting a sewing machine than wrong in even that one moment.
Funny, he didn't smell like a douchebag. And I know he didn't ask me for my opinion. But man oh man, when I bought my daughter her first machine, it was that same Singer Simple, I thought it was a good deal. She cried and decided she was too stupid to sew. I tried a few things and even I wanted to throw it down some stairs. I took it back, bought a better machine (one intended for actual use) and now she's teaching her friends to sew. I almost lost her. I wish someone had said something to me when I was standing in line to buy it.