Friday, November 17, 2006

Bah humbug,!

Several days ago, Observer Style Editor Crystal Dempsey walked briskly over to my desk, announced "I wash my hands of it!" as she dumped a shirt-sized gift box in front of me, then just as briskly walked away, leaving me to examine the "present" she'd left.

It was from online dating service In the box: a Santa hat with the words " The #1 site for love" emblazoned on the brim; a woman's snug-fitting T-shirt with the words "I'm the gift that keeps on giving!" spread across the bust; and a little jewelry box with a card inside. The whole package was to promote that card: It lets you give your single friends a three-month membership to

I left the gift box open and perched on the corner of my desk for a few days, because the reactions of passing co-workers were so interesting.

Many people were drawn by the fuzzy Santa hat. Men would finger the hat and murmur something about here comes the Christmas season earlier and earlier, blah blah blah, and snort once they saw the Match promo. Women would pick up the hat and exclaim, "Oh, how cute!" until they saw the promo, whereupon they would drop it, disappointed. I would then hold up the baby blue T so that folks could read the come-hither message. Men would read it aloud with a gleam in their eyes and smirk; women announced the message in disgust, rolled their eyes and muttered a variety of nasty comments that pretty much equaled one big "Ew."

All in all, though, no one thought this was a good idea for a gift, unless someone specifically asked for it. And if you didn't toss Nerf softball-sized hints that this was what you wanted in your Christmas stocking, what would you think upon opening it?

"What? Are you trying to tell me you think I can't get someone on my own?"

"What? You're so convinced I'm a horrible dater you feel you have to intervene?"

"What? You're so desperate for grandchildren that you're taking matters into your own hands ... MOM?!"

I'm thinking there's a good chance this gift would not go over well. Use the jewelry box for a tasteful, yet affordable, piece of jewelry instead.


Anonymous said...

I agree the Santa hat and T-shirt are truly tasteless. But a free 3-month membership to would be a great gift to someone who wants to check out online dating without the financial investment (it's about $50-60 for three months on The marketing folks at Match should have left out the hat and T-shirt...most people with any kind of taste would not wear them. The gift card is good enough on its own.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first poster, a three month membership to is a great gift - if you know the person is interested in checking it out. But the hat and the t-shirt are cheesy.

(I responded to your earlier blog entry about online dating... Match was great for me. I met my husband on there and we've been very happily married for four years. He was/is wonderful and not at all a desperate loser, and neither was I. Stop hatin' on Match!)