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.



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