wishWe all know about online Wish Lists and how they can magically give Santa our preferences without putting them blatantly in his face.  They regularly save spouses from making disastrous choices on special occasions, whether it be Christmas or birthday or any other gift-giving occasion.  I know my husband, mother, and children all shop from my wish lists routinely.

Sometimes, however, online wish lists can be really funny.  Take mine for example.  Right now I not only have books I’d like to read on one of my wish lists, but also the refrigerator filter canisters and vacuum cleaner supplies we need on it too.  In other words, I also use the wish list as a reminder list.  Now instead of crawling through products when I’m looking for the right make and model, I can just go to my wish list and reorder.  But that’s not very helpful if you’re looking for a gift for me.

I’m also horrible at keeping up my online wish lists.  I may buy something from it or get something I know is on it, but do I go and take it off the wish list?  Nope.  So it stays for years and years.  I noticed on one wish list the title of a book that I wanted to read a few years back.  Yes, I zapped it just now when I saw it, but it became clearer to me why I’d gotten two copies of the book a few years apart.

Yesterday I got a chuckle out of my son-in-law’s wish list as I “shopped” for a birthday gift for him.  Some of top items are Uncle Milton Moon in My Room, Uncle Milton Rainbow in My Room, Batman the Dark Knight Costume – Small, and DC Comics Batgirl Costume – Small.  I was tempted, I was so tempted to get him one of these things for his big day and let him explain to everyone at the party how they were really reminders of what his children wanted for their birthdays.

I know my younger daughter’s wish list is the same kind of reminder list, but I wonder if her friends (or her husband’s parents) know that.  The list is top heavy with Manchester United gear, from t-shirts to backpacks and other paraphernalia.  Her husband is an avid British ManU soccer supporter, but my daughter?  Not so much.  You have to scroll down a bit to get to a book titled Women Writing Resistance to find her feminist lawyer soul.

So I’m beginning to think that what started out to be a perfectly good idea—a wish list to give everyone who wants to know, what you really like or want—has morphed into a reminder list of possibilities for other people.  Or is that just in my family?  Is yours still a wish list?

What’s on your online wish list/s?  Do people buy you presents from the wish list and surprise you?  Or do you still have to give gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) hints?  What’s your experience with online wish lists in general?  Finally, where do you have online wish lists?  (Some of mine are at Amazon, Target, Dick Blick, Rubber Stamp Tapestry, Ellen Hutson, and University Art, just to name a few.)

– Pat Henshaw

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