Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Most Disappointing Gift, Ever

   You're a 17 year old photography fanatic. You think you could be the next best thing when you play around with filters and composition with your gorgeous little Canon, which you saved for months for and nicknamed "Baby".
   But your family just doesn't seem to understand your passion. They look at your photographs with a clearly untrained eye, with a nod, a smile, and a "that's good!" - but never any word on the photograph's formation. They're just looking at a picture.

   But on Christmas morning, your parents, whom you are adamant "don't understand" you or your passion, give you a small but slightly weighted box.

   You've been brought up properly, so you smile, you thank them, and you unwrap the gift expecting, from the weight of it, another figurine of some sort of marine mammal. Still, a gift is a gift, and whether you like it or not, you must be thankful, at the least.
   You remove the paper, and open the lid of the box, expecting polystyrene snow to burst out and cascade down to the floor to be vaccuumed up later, as is often the case with these things.

   You frown. That's not a figurine. In fact, something about the pouch you've removed from its cardboard prison gets your heart racing, but you bury that insane hope deep down, knowing full well it could never be - they would never get. But still, you can't help but wonder just what is inside this familiar little bag.
   Your heart beats faster, and genuine excitement has washed away your teenage, melancholy disinterest. What could it be?

   Oh sweet Jesus. How? How?! Your parents have never shown any interest in your photography at all! Because, afterall, saying "it's wonderful!" to every photograph you've ever taken isn't true support, is it? You silly little teenager! How wrong can you be?! Perhaps it was just an act! Perhaps they truly did see your wonderful work with light, negative space and one or two pretty bokeh pieces you took when the Christmas decorations had just gone up - perhaps they know more than you think!
   You can barely keep your heart from jumping out of your throat in excitement, but the profuse thank-you's and how-did-you-know's don't give it a chance to get free anyway, as a sort of last-minute failsafe to keep your heart in your body.
   You shake your head to yourself in delight. But there's one last thing, aside from attaching it to your camera, that can truly make you happy: laying your eyes upon the sweet, clean, greenish glass that is the lens.

   You look down at the piece of steel and plastic in your hand for a moment, wondering just where the glass had gone. Had your parents been ripped off? Did they know there was no glass in the lens, and that they'd been sold a fake, for most likely hundreds of pounds?
   You look up from your gift to see your parents faces, both grinning at you in sheer delight. You smile back - or try to. You really can't tell. It isn't until your mother utters the words: "It's a cup!" to help you along, as if you were two years old again, that you realise the true error of your judgement.
   No, they hadn't bought you a lens. It's a cup. What do you do? They tricked you - but had they meant it as a joke, or had they genuinely believed it would be a wonderful present? You've shown such excitement up until now, that if it were a totally serious present, they would surely be just as disappointed as you.
   You smile at them as warmly as you can. "Thank you," you say, with a tone that conveys final satisfaction, hinting that it was time to move onto the next gift while trying to push aside the humiliation and disappointment that are creeping across your peripherals.

   In all seriousness, though, it is fabulous. Seeg and I got it for my dad for Christmas, to throw him off of the trail of the Xbox. He knows we don't have lots of money, so a gift like this is usually all he expects, and we had to get him something, or he would suspect something all day long.
   I found it on Amazon. I'd seen a camera lens cup before, and it was like £15, but I read time and time again that for like the first 5 cups of anything in it, it tastes like plastic, so I was put off by that, and it also looked a bit cheap. But when I was searching it up on Amazon for one final look, to make my final decision, since it was just a gift to throw him off anyway, I noticed another sat beneath it (of course, at that point, it was only £9.98 - I've just seen that the price has increased to £18.99 - ouch!). It was supposedly Canon, and the best part was that, aside from the low price, it seemed to have a metal interior, not a plastic one.
   I searched for Canon lens cups outside of Amazon and found that most of them had plastic interiors too, but some didn't. Still, I did see someone's suggestion on - soak it with warm water and baking soda and the plastic taste and smell would come away, so at least it was fixable if that was the case.
   I decided to take the risk and bought it from Amazon, and when it arrived, it was the same as the one in the picture - stainless steel interior, "Canon" emblazened onto the lens cap, and all the lovelyness along the edges that make it look authentic:

   In truth, the only thing wrong with the exterior are the two horizontal lines on the switches, pictured in the second image. They look like they were painted on by hand with silver paint, badly. But at the same time, I really do think I could look past it. Honestly, it's definitely worth the new price of £18.99, and only now I've received it can I appreciate what a bargain I found. There's also a Nikon one. But I'll tell you, what surprised me most (other than the fact that, hand on heart, it really does look like this was once an actual lens that has been repurposed) was the fact that it was supplied with that there lens pouch. That is what got me wondering just how many Christmasses and birthdays have been ruined by how real it looks and the disappointment that probably ensued afterwards.

   Honestly, as well, I do believe my dad will love this. He has a Canon camera! But I also know that he'll be relieved that it's not real, because I know that I wouldn't want anyone to just buy me a random lens. There are sizes, distances, and focus types to keep in mind, and some people can be very picky about brands. And my dad also doesn't like us to spend so much money on him. Nevermind, he's still getting that Xbox!

   Have you got anyone anything snazzy? I really want to hear about it!


  1. I got Izzy this really gorgeous watch that I had engraved on the back to say, "Always A Forever." He's been wanting a really nice watch for awhile but I also wanted to make it be not just any watch.

    I think your dad will love that cup, it's really neat! Plus it'll throw him off the scent, hehe. You better update us with his reaction!

    1. That sounds like a wonderful gift! If you can make something mundane more specialy then that's always worth doing. I hope he likes it! Are you having a hard time keeping the presents until Christmas? I keep wanting to give them to Seeg all the time. Still, it's only 4 and a half days until Christmas now, so I think I can last. OR the excitement will build up too much and I'll demand we have Christmas day on the 23rd.


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