Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: Here’s a really personal gift

A REALLY PERSONAL gift may not come in a box.

Dear Marilyn,

One of my good friends suffered a life threatening brain aneurism last June. She is finally getting her old life back together again. As you can well imagine, it was a very scary time for her, and her family, and her close friends. I can’t begin to express how much it means to me that she is fine again.

Her birthday is coming up this month. I was wondering what kind of a gift that I could give to her. I want it to be something special. I want it to show her how much that she means to me. I want it to be something personal. I just don’t have any ideas. Somehow a gift certificate to the mall, or the coffee house doesn’t cut it this year. Can you please give me some advice? Thank you very much.

Signed, Grateful Friend

Dear Grateful Friend,

   I think that the best gift that you could give to her is something that is special to the two of you, and something that she could keep for a long time.

   I agree, a gift certificate is not the way to go here. Here’s a suggestion. Why don’t you ask her out before her birthday comes, and take her to a favorite restaurant. Or, you could take her to a special place, such as Disneyland.

   Then, you could have a picture taken of the two of you. I’d suggest that you take several of them.

Pick out the one that you like the best, and put it in a really nice frame. Or, if you have a picture that was taken of the two of you together when you were younger, you could get a double frame, and put the two pictures side by side.

   Finally, buy or create a special birthday card. If you feel comfortable putting your thoughts in writing, then write on the card, and tell her how much you love her, and appreciate her.

   This is a gift that she may cherish for many years to come.

Dear Marilyn,

I have a sister who is 6 years old. I am 19 years old. We are not at all close. I mean, let’s face it, what do the two of us have in common? I want to bond with her more. I really don’t know how, though. I can’t think of anything to say to her. I mean, really, what do you say to a 6-year-old?

What should I do? I feel guilty, but I’m not exactly sure why. I haven’t done anything. I mean, it is not my fault that my parents accidentally had another child. Why do you think that I feel bad?

Signed, Guilty at 19

Dear Guilty at 19,

   I think that you feel bad because deep down you know that you have not been treating your sister the way that you should be.

   You don’t sound as though you even like her. You had nothing good to say about her in your letter. You called her an “accident.”

   You ask what you have in common. Well, for one thing, you have the same parents. For another, I assume that you live in the same house.

   You ask what you say to a 6 -ear old. You talk about things that all people are interested in, regardless of their age.

   You can ask about her teacher, and her friends. You can ask her what her favorite thing to do is. You can ask her what she is afraid of, and what makes her sad. You can ask her what her very favorite outfit is, and why. You can ask her what her favorite color is.

   You can take her to the movies, or to the ice cream parlor. You can watch age appropriate shows and videos with her at home.

   Basically, you want to consider what you think that she would be interested in, rather than what you are interested in.

   You have been given a gift in your life. If you can not see that, or understand it, than you may want to see a professional counselor to talk about what is really bothering you here.

Dear Readers, please send your questions to . Make sure to put “Dear Marilyn” in the subject line.




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