Receiving The Crisis by Thomas Paine still sticks out as… well, not the worst, but it was the most devastating at the time. Probably because it was the first, or the first I can recall clearly, at least. I was hoping for a toy bulldozer that year.
I'm sure that I have made some mention of it in prior entries, but my grandparents owned a traveling library when I was a boy. As a librarian, when my birthday came around each year, my grandmother never really understood or fully appreciated how any of the things I asked her and my grandfather for would aid me in any way at all later on in life, and so she generally gave me book in place of what I wanted.
I was given The Crisis for my sixth birthday.
Now, as an adult, I realize she had nothing but the best intentions and my best interests in mind, but at the time, I was furious. So furious, in fact, that I fed the book to a walrus. I overreacted, and there really is no excuse for such a display of ungrateful behavior, but on the other hand, there’s almost no reasoning with a frustrated six-year-old acting on pure emotion. The passing walrus was simply excellent timing.
[locked from Ray Vecchio]
More recently, for my birthday two years ago, Ray took me to… monster trucks. I can’t really say it was a gift I hadn’t been hoping for, because he certainly wasn’t obligated to get me anything at all; I had no right to hope for anything.
At the end of the day, though, I did regret that the… interesting experience hadn’t come with earplugs.