Double-edged dilemma

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Would it be in incredibly poor taste to give a large, shiny, sharp knife as a wedding shower gift?

After Bag Lady picked up a sweet set of cutting boards at Emilys Cards last week &tstr; paper-thin, flexible, durable and artsy &tstr; the next question was what to pair with it. A knife seemed obvious.

Until she flashed on Lorena Bobbitt. (You know, that was 14 years ago, and still the mental association: Knives. Wives. Men. Tossed bits.)

Shower gifts can be so … well … dicey. Unintended messages. Hidden agendas. And if the mimosas are flowing, watch out. Snide exchanges could rival the brides wedding night lingerie for raising eyebrows.

Case in point: Good-Buy Girls best friend suffered the trauma of opening her shower gifts from her prospective mother-in-law before dozens of guests. At first, the beautifully detailed lingerie drew plenty of ooohs and ahhhs from the audience. A slender, petite woman, Best Friend Barb was pleased. But as she dug deeper into the box, she realized every single one of the high-end bras was padded &tstr; a lot.

The mosquito-bite jokes endured the length of the shower. Best Friend Barb was still steaming about it six years later when she dumped her husband and his insensitive &tstr; yet amply endowed &tstr; mother.

Good-Buy Girl had her own unnerving shower scenario. At the behest of her soon-to-be mother-in-law, she registered at various stores to give the other side ideas of what the newlyweds would need. (Good-Buy Girls own family is much more practical; you cant go wrong with towels, sheets and a wad of cash.)

So it was odd that she received not one, but two bathroom scales, despite its absence from her registry.

Ouch. Could it be that her three prospective sisters-in-law ranged in size from 6 to 4, petite? These are sizes Good-Buy Girl could only wave at. Waves that &tstr; with a little velocity &tstr; could become slaps. Upside the head. And wholly deserved.

OK, so nothing is going to top that on the awfulness scale. But Bag Lady still had this dilemma: to knife or not to knife?

A field trip to Kohls ensued. She hefted, priced, plotted and decided. No way.

You know what goes fabulously with a set of cutting boards? A bundle of kitchen towels. And a pretty leather-look photo album &tstr; on sale right now, buy one get one free &tstr; for honeymoon pictures.

Permanent scars, and nasty anecdote, avoided.

Reader shout-out

Weve been doing this column nearly a year, and its at milestones like this that one buys something lovely made of paper (orange origami earrings) and wonders how they can make the next 12 months better, stronger, more entertaining, more purposeful.

Thats where you come in.

Wed love to hear what youd love to see in this space.

More local store reviews? More themes? (How to find the perfect gift for dad, Aunt Selma and annoying co-worker Bob?)

More guest columns with a manly or some other perspective?

Perhaps youd like to see us search locally for something thats eluded you: a golf ball with no dimples, great black pumps, a hair product that really does volumize? (If taste has eluded you, sorry, we cant help there, but be certain youre not alone. Could some of those American Idol contestants dress any worse? Helloooo. Buy a razor and secure the girls before your national debut.)

If youd rather see a NASCAR column in this space, well, OK, that may hurt our feelings a little, but nothing that a trip to Lindt cant fix, so wed love to know that, too. Please, get in touch via e-mail or visit the blog at sunjournal.com. Help chart 2007. And happy shopping.

Good-Buy Girl and Bag Ladys true identities are protected by a pair of stylish sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are never allowed to play with knives or run with scissors in their mouths) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at goodbuygirl@sunjournal.com and baglady@sunjournal.com

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