What Not to Buy
Since last year Cindy and I did a Girl Talk holiday gift guide, I thought this year I’d do a Naked Page Anti-Gift Guide: what not to buy for your editor or agent for the holidays. Don’t ever say I never gave you any valuable advice.
Avoid sending Pepperidge Farms Assorted Big-Ass Sausages, unless you know for sure that your colleague is not a vegetarian and also does happen to feel passionately about processed tube-shaped meats. I’m all for absurdity, but gift sausages just aren’t quite absurd enough to be clearly a joke. Also, although I know lots of people send and enjoy receiving smoked fish as a gift, I just think it’s an all-around bad idea. I would avoid the entire meat section of the gift catalog, frankly.
Another thing—avoid sending lingerie (this goes double for sex toys). It just involves too much margin for error. You can’t really guess accurately whether your editor is a 34C or a 36D unless you have a highly discerning eye, and you don’t know either if she’s into trashy or elegant or girl next door. You can guess, but you can’t know for sure. Would she want the naughty Catholic school girl get-up, or the black lace-up bustier? There’s no way of knowing. And while those What Would Jesus Do? thong panties might sound great to you (yes, I’m going to keep bringing these panties up for the rest of my life), if you don’t know your colleague’s position on the whole Christ thing, you’re going to risk offending. Really.
Speaking of Christ, religious gifts in general--not a good idea. That pink ruffled bible cozy with the crucifix on the front might seem really sweet, but not if your editor is Jewish, or Hindu, or has an upside-down pentagram tattooed over her left breast. Seriously people, this is why you need me…to clue you in on this stuff.
Last but not least (and this is only loosely related to the sex toy thing and the meat thing), no appliances. Your Aunt Sally might love a George Foreman turbo double burger grill, but I’m not sure my agent even has a kitchen, and if she does I doubt she’s ever cooked anything in it. Remember, the publishing industry is in New York City. Electric can openers, blenders (unless accompanied by tequila and margarita mix), toaster ovens and the like just don’t go over well with that crowd.
Okay, and last, last thing…speaking of alcohol, unless you’re absolutely sure your editor is out in the open about being a hard liquor girl, that Maker’s Mark gift assortment is a tricky choice. If you hit her with it at the right time (like, say, on the day you’re a week late with your most recent book and she’s going to have to stay up all night editing it), it might be welcome. The rest of the time, you risk offending her with the suggestion that you know all about her little drinking habit.
And there you have it, the gift guide that keeps on giving.