The Gift

50 books to read before you die
I am a cheap, ugly bookmark

 I hate to be tacky. I am not a tit-for-tat kind of person, but this gift, described as a token by its giver did not meet “token” standards by anyone’s definition.

I wasn’t expecting anything from these people, but the prospect of a surprise gift was exciting. Maybe a gift certificate for my Nook, movie tickets would be nice, a Starbuck holiday latte, or at the very least a pocket calendar. I can always use one of those.

I shook the envelope to free the gift card that was probably stuck inside but instead a very thin, ugly, paper bookmark appeared.There was nothing exceptional about this bookmark; and it had the company logo plastered all over it.

The “gift” was from our insurance company that provides our health, dwelling/contents and auto insurance. The holiday greeting was a form letter done by a word processing mail merge software program. The bookmark was a small token of their thanks for being a loyal customer; a customer that spends several hundred dollars a year with them.

They hoped we’d find it useful. Well forget that; its highest and best use as a toy for the cat failed. The material was so flimsy; our cat refused it as a toy. She batted it once, sniffed it and tried to cover it. She walked away, shooting me a look of contempt that captured my sentiments about the insurance company.

I hate to appear ungrateful, and at the risk of dating myself considerably, I remember when each member of our family received a card on our birthdays and most holidays from our insurance broker. You could always count on good old Ralph Stillham to remember your birthday. Ralph made the million-dollar round table sales team because of those cards.

A bookmark – a freaking bookmark, after all the money I send each month, is that the best thank you the insurance company can manage? They could deduct the cost of the paper, bookmark and postage and give me a considerable break on my premium. I can appreciate that token.

I will admit the gift supplied a laugh. The cat’s reaction alone was worth the trip to the mailbox.



Published by

JoAnn Williams

People used to say "why don't you tell me how you really feel." Now they don't.