‘I had clearly failed in my wifely duty’: readers on backhanded presents | Opinion

Johan, 50, Sundsvall, Sweden: I was trying to be mean, but she thought it was nice

My girlfriend was a vegan, so when she dumped me I bought her a carnivorous plant just to be mean. She actually thought it was quite nice

Alan, 30, Glasgow: I laughed at both the innocence and wrongfulness

‘As I don’t eat pork, it was a cookery book – titled 50 Ways to Eat Cock’

I was given a gift by a colleague in jest. As I don’t eat pork, it was a cookery book titled 50 Ways to Eat Cock by Adrienne Hew. The book was accompanied by a little note: “I’m sure you’d be able to add 100 more”. I laughed at both the innocence and wrongfulness of the gift. As someone who is gay I was humoured, but admittedly I am used to these types of gifts. Most people in attendance were either laughing or remained open-mouthed and weirdly silent. The person who gave it to me was as proud as a mother attending her child’s graduation. I sadly passed it on, as I do with all good books!

Faye, 50, Bristol: Every trip was perpetual ear-chewing

I gave my partner a T-shirt that said “World’s worst passenger”. All his life he has been the driver, not the passenger. He couldn’t even cope with being so close to the kerb, let alone trusting anyone to spot hazards, drive at a suitable speed, go round corners, or anything really. He wanted to be chauffeured around for a change, but every trip was perpetual ear-chewing. The T-shirt didn’t have much of an effect and was only worn under jumpers. It finally got to the point where I had to say “If you don’t button it, I ain’t driving”, before the problem was resolved.

Katie, 36, England: I felt pretty insulted

I received a face cloth (and matching towel) from my mother-in-law within months of first meeting her. She had previously hinted that I should exfoliate my face every day. I felt pretty insulted as I have problematic skin and naturally am quite sensitive about that and don’t expect anyone to comment on it. I…

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