It’s Christmas Time and I Am Full of Beer: The Passive Aggressive Gift List

Dec 16th, 2010 | By | Category: Columns, Eileen: This is Your Brain On...

The holiday season should really be a time for you to send a passive aggressive message through the nature of gift giving. As we all know, passive aggressiveness is what truly separates humans from the most intelligent of mammals (gazelles). Therefore, we should embrace this trait as wholeheartedly as we embrace our mothers after they exact their revenge through overwrought voice-mails about how you never call anymore.

A logical person might suggest you stand up for yourself and tell these people how you really feel. Perhaps you are a doormat. But you are a doormat with teeth.

For: The Boss
The Most Evil Dictators in History by Shelley Klein


This gift can be a hint to how much you hate working overtime without pay, or that making a coffee run for your boss and his/her constitutes is considered your lunch break. Maybe it’s a suggestion that you despised your bonus, which came in the form of a free oil change. Regardless, the gift of your boss’s expression when he/she opens this present will make up for all his/her bad treatment and so much more.

For: The Sociopath
The Stranger by Albert Camus


You never noticed it until now, but your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend (who you are still on okay terms with because they have frequent flier miles you hope to one day inherit), appears to have the emotional capabilities of a skull. For instance, they thought The Green Mile was a comedy and have suggested to you on occasion that orphan children would make good organ donors.

Because of their intellect, they won’t immediately question this tome of philosophical and psychological study. That’s why I suggest you draw up a conclusive multiple choice test with options such as “This book really made me want to murder some people” and “This book really made me want to murder a lot of people.” Sure, I might be blatantly disregarding Camus’ deeply complex message, but I’m trying to help you avoid being an uncomfortable alibi when your -ex carries out a botched plan to blow up the nearest cupcake eatery.

For: The Compulsive Liar
A Million Little Pieces
by James Frey



Your friend/cousin/little sister is full of shit. Koko the gorilla never went into space and lemon flavored jello is not an aphrodisiac. You’re sick of being a patsy to his/her illustrative lies, yet you don’t want to play awkward at the next family/friend dinner. This book is a nice hint that you know what’s up and if this liar continues with his/her behavior, then you will be forced to buy them the entirety of James Frey’s collection—on tape.

For: The Slut
The Prayers and Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica
by Raymond Arroyo


A hint for him/her to think about someone else who was well hung (hint: It’s Jesus!).

For: The Expectant Friend
The Small Assassin by Ray Bradbury and Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin


What better way to say “I don’t give a fuck about your diaper genie” than Rosemary’s Baby, a novel about a woman who gives birth to the anti-Christ, or Ray Bradbury’s Small Assassin, a tale about a lady who believes the child inside her is a killer. Think of these pieces of literature as a helpful suggestion to your friend, that there is more to life than just children—such as the possibility of being gruesomely murdered by one.

This is also a great gift for your parents, who are so desperate for grandchildren they resorted to putting a baby rattle under your pillow at night.

For: The Misogynist
The Essential Feminist Reader
by Estelle Freedman


Too obvious?

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All Eileen really wants for Christmas is a gift card. And a ride to McDonalds.

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