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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, April 17

Gapers Block

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Andrew Huff / December 14, 2009 1:09 AM

Sort of a re-run, yes.

Worst for me? Besides the three-pack of red underwear from my dad mentioned in that last thread, I think the worst was in the height of Pottermania. My mother-in-law found out I was interested in the series, although I hadn't yet read any of them. So she got me the first three novels -- as well as a rather large Hogwarts snow globe, an owl bookmark and a light-up Harry Potter pen. Well intentioned, but a bit overboard for someone who hadn't read a single HP book yet.

Ben N. / December 14, 2009 9:48 AM

crabs :-(

Guy Smiley / December 14, 2009 10:29 AM

A purple velour v-neck sweater with a multi-color collar from my sister. She has NEVER seen me wear ANYTHING close to something like that and to this day I wonder what the hell she was thinking. I didn't tell her that but I never wore it once, even to just see how it looks.

annie / December 14, 2009 10:33 AM

My ex gave me a scale. And my aunt in California sent us all electric ice scrapers for our cars, I've never owned a car.

kate / December 14, 2009 10:50 AM

Toss up between a knee-length teal "sweatshirt dress" and an embroidered Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt when I was 17. Both from an aunt and uncle who never had children and, I'm presuming, had no idea what age appropriate kind of things to buy.

bill / December 14, 2009 11:43 AM

1 chick at the same time.

roderick / December 14, 2009 12:18 PM

Not a Christmas present, but bad nonetheless: A magazine on large format photography of horses.

A. Lewellen / December 14, 2009 12:29 PM

Precious Moments night light, and not intended ironically. Did I mention I was 25. Still, I'm pretty sure I didn't look like a girl or an infant at the time.

CVAL / December 14, 2009 2:22 PM

A Belly Belt from my now ex-wife

Cheryl / December 15, 2009 1:39 PM

I get earrings every year from someone who must think that if they get me earrings then I'll go out and get my ears pierced.

Spook / December 15, 2009 2:25 PM

a stuffed turtle

mary / December 15, 2009 3:59 PM

the last two years in a row my grandma has given me jewelry i think she would like for herself. the first was a "jackie-o" style cross and the second was a very thick gold chain-style necklace (mr. t style).

pretty horrid.

David / December 15, 2009 4:44 PM

My mother routinely buys me scarves. I am a 30 year old man who has not worn a scarf since grade school. These scarves usually end up in a pile on the floor of my closet, but last year my new wife decided she wanted to wear one. I told her that was fine--as long as she didn't let my mom see her wearing it.

Baldeesh / December 15, 2009 8:04 PM

Mine requires a bit of backstory.

When I was 14, I was dating a 20-year-old man (yeah. Ew).

So, during our family gift exchange, in which my WHOLE FAMILY WAS PRESENT, she handed me a gift.

I unwrapped it, and inside was a trashy black negligee. And she was all like, "HOLD IT UP AND LET EVERYBODY SEE!"

I was 8 shades of mortified, and my mother was 9 shades of pissed. I don't remember how the guy reacted, but if I had to guess, I'd say "embarrassed like never before or since."

Then my cousin proceeded to pitch a hissy fit because nobody saw the humor in giving a 14-year-old girl lingerie in front of her whole family and 20-year-old boyfriend.

Irene / December 15, 2009 9:01 PM

I received a used box of dominoes from the 80's. from a white elephant gift exchange that was in 2008. I can enjoy a stupid gift once in a while, but what pissed me off more was that

1. the guy who brought this gift, is this one freeloader guy that is notorious for hoping from gift exchange to gift exchange mooching on potluck food, and exchange crap he has at home for nicer stuff at white elephant

2. i bought a $20 milkshake maker for this gift exchange. Lesson. learned.

Check out for more people who got screwed. I got in a few laughs. HAHAHAA

LittleJill / December 16, 2009 8:58 AM

I haven't spoken to one of my sisters for about 3 years. Last year at Christmas my other two sisters surprised me with the fact that the four of us were exchanging gifts at Estranged Sister's house. Because I was staying with one of the other two sisters for the holidays, I felt that I should go along with it, and gamely went to buy nice gifts for Estranged Sister and her three daughters. After all gifts are exchanged, what did I end up with? An IOU for a coffee mug printed with a picture of the three daughters, which was apparently on back order, because I didn't get it in the mail until April.

Nuke LaLoosh / December 16, 2009 5:38 PM

A 32-inch high "desk-size" statue of Chief Illiniwek -- full headress, etc., and so finely detailed you could see the tiny folds in the buckskin clothing.

It was made all the more inappropriate given my ardent anti-Chief speech that I had given at the previous family gathering.

I love my Mom, but sheesh. I actually told her that I loved her and the the thought that she was honoring my alma mater (I'm an Illinois grad) but that I could not and would not accept it.

Please, no pro-Chief trolls.

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