The Gift Economy Of The Preschool Yard
There’s a group of young girls from Mini’s class who have taken to regaling me with gifts.
Ordinarily these gifts come in the form of drawings or cards for which I suspect I am not the originally intended recipient.
Occasionally, though, I will get a bracelet made from a pipe cleaner.
Or, a more elaborate beaded bracelet that was obviously made with the help of a teacher, and again, probably not originally intended for me.
Whenever one of them comes up to me, bearing her gift, I will make a point of saying, “Is this for me? Are you sure?” I make a show of how beautiful it is, and how grateful I am for the gift.
But I wonder — what’s my obligation here? Do I need to keep these gifts, along with the rest of the daily creations of my own child? If I throw them away, does this make me a bad person? If I keep them, what the fuck am I supposed to do with them? Should I be contacting the girls’ parents and sending the gifts over to them?
But most importantly, what is their angle here? What do these sly little minxes have up their puffy cap sleeves, anyway? And why do I think it has something to do with getting a little closer to this guy?