Register Sunday | October 1 | 2023

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore

Why Aren’t People Giving Gifts These Days?

A few years ago, a boyfriend of mine was working as a co-ordinator for a hundred or so twenty-one-year-old Japanese girls who were in Canada as part of a language-exchange program. Because some of them had camp-counsellor crushes on my boyfriend, I became an object of intense interest. When I first met the girls, there was a chorus of happy screams and a circle closed in around me. I had no idea what to do with this attention, but the girls had very specific questions they wanted to ask. “Is he kind to you?” Yes. Very. But more importantly, “What does he buy you?” I looked over at the boyfriend in question. “Um, sometimes lunch, I guess.” The girls didn’t look too impressed. I think they wanted to hear Swatch watches and Seven jeans. I didn’t come from the same gift-giving culture, though, so I didn’t expect ...

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