Is this a Weird Gift?

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Gourd Dolls. Miami, Florida in the 1990’s

I recently came across this photograph. My mother used to give these to people as gifts, it was a little uncomfortable. I asked my brothers to chime in, recalling this potentially traumatizing childhood memory. It sparked a little back and forth, here are the highlights.

Andrew: Mom suggested I give these gifts to girlfriends when I was in high school and I was naive enough to listen. It really sends an odd message. Shari still keeps one next to her nightstand.

Mara: She would ship these things in the mail- the entire experience was humiliating – can you imagine going to the post office trying to fit that thing in a standard box? 

Andrew: Also, it was always packed with the stem of the gourd face up so it was really awkward for the recipient when opening the box.

Andrew: I find the gourd on the far right to be the most disturbing

Andrew:  Any girl I dated in the 1990’s, even for a short period of time, was rolling in gourd dolls.  A few girlfriends, years later, admitted to me that they would take the doll out when I was coming over and hide it from the rest of the world when I left.