So Black Friday has come and gone, and maybe you got all your shopping done, or maybe you procrastinated but still feel that you need a bunch of psychotically, insistently “tasteful” items for the people that are on your list! Luckily here we stand at Cyber Monday, and I am once again ready to help.
No one will judge you. Sure, sometimes you forsake your fancier, more useful blankets for the scratchy pleasures of mere cashmere. Especially with trends pointing toward paysan nouveau, a big stack of cashmere blankets would shock the sensibilities of your traditionalist visitors, or perhaps communicate to your more sympatico visitors that you’re “cool enough to set them at ease.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: That freewheeling bohemian whose house is drafty.
On the other hand, there’s something downright classic about immobilizing one of your hands with several ounces of precious metal. This is a nicely modernist take on it, written in “common” English so that even the random passers-by can read it.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: This is a nice curio for anyone that can pull off large hand jewelry
Generally less aggressive, and more traditionally acceptable, than the cashmere throw above, these blankets are handy for people that get cold, for people that have guests that get cold, or for tricking birds into thinking that it’s night and they should be asleep.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Frequent overnight entertainers. Bird owners.
Make your entire house smell like fragrant, piquant London! On a personal note, I prefer to put one of these in every room, to increase the general smoke, and therefore authenticity, of the experience. It’s like my drawing room is Kensington Place!
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Anyone with a nose and a heart can appreciate these candles.
So who is chance, you may be asking? Well Chance is a notebook printer. For over a hundred years1 Chance has painted the covers of notebooks, which has made each one a hotly-desired item among the people that know of him. At long last his work is being made publicly available (there are rumors of a stockpile). Who knows how long these exist, so better pick up a couple today!
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Unlike other notebooks, which would require debasement for their very usage, these notebooks are such an item of importance that you could justify purchasing them for just about anyone.
Obviously the somewhat-troublesome of what to do with Pilgrim David White is still a going concern. GOOP is taking the innovative notion of simply offering his imposition for sale, as though it was an item of commerce.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Well, if you have any masochists in your field of acquaintance, this is probably the gift for them. Otherwise it would probably be perfect for someone too young to know what kind of imposition you’re offering them.
While it’s true that this is offered on its own, it is clearly pictured with the representative image2 of Pilgrim David White and is meant to be something simple (and appealing to the oft-unknowable sensibilities of the Terrible Pilgrim himself), but disposable so you can easily burn it upon his transfer to a new steward.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: While it is undoubtedly an attractive and desirable item in and of itself, it would be best to save the purchase of these specially-designed throwbeds for use among those who need to provide for Pilgrim Zero.Give them to anyone you know that may be in that position, and give them your blessing. They’ll need it.
I feel it’s my duty as your explainer here to point out that the thing that is meant to draw your attention – the pajamas themselves are fine, if nothing special. The important aspect of the pajamas here is that while the means of their production (weaving) has been declared in the name of the item, the source of their production (i.e. the material they are made of) has not. The people at Mark & Graham will weave pajamas out of anything. Pictured here appear to be silk, certainly. Classic and boring. Call them about lead (for that Dante-esque gift for the hypocrites in your life3, “long” leather, or even bonito4. There are even whispered tails of men who have had their pajamas partially woven out of carnivorous leather to try to toughen their skin against such assailments!
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Oh, everyone needs pajamas. Unfortunately these are men’s pajamas, so obviously the recipient can only be a man.
It’s a block! With a pencil in it! Like writer’s use! Get it?
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Anyone who appreciates hilarity.
These are grouped together in the gift guide, and they’re grouped together here because these are more of the communication in code established earlier. There is no reason to ever by a book of poems, as anyone knows. I just would hate to see anyone confused by its presence on the inestimable GOOP list.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: The message’s intended recipients.
Since coming down from the trees as lowly apes, the history of mankind has been the story of mastering nature. Occasionally it requires a statement piece to do so. Communicate directly to nature the low opinion you hold her workings with this terrarium, because nothing says “I completely own every aspect of your very being” like a tiny glass box in which you keep the smallest of her children.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Both people who prefer to lord their power over nature, and also people that need a periodic reminder that all things, even moss, can be conquered. It’s quite an inspirational piece!
These serve the same function as the above blankets, but these are cheaper and more eye catching, which makes them more useful if one of your guests should be of a mind to destroy your symbols of peasant-sympathy. Keep a stack of them handy, for that ultimate demoralizing touch of seeing the guest set one on fire, then pulling a fresh one out and adding it to wherever the old one was taken from.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Those that entertain staunch loyalists, or people who often find themselves the focus of violent tempers.
A surprisingly functional piece, for its whimsy. In our day-to-day goings-on, it is, as you undoubtedly know, necessary to identify oneself obviously but clandestinely, just as it is necessary to be able to speak in code and send messages in utter secrecy. What isn’t often thought of is the benefit of having something that appears to be a marker of a code or an identity, but is actually just a bauble. That’s where this highly significant-looking bauble comes into play. Confuse onlookers and strangers alike with this hideous5 piece of jewelry.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: There are some people who just seem forever burdened with secrecy and being followed. This item is for those people.
Nature dominance is a minor theme of this guide. Perhaps GOOP is having a battle with the green spaces, or perhaps it’s just coincidence6. In any event, show more mastery over nature by severing these plants from the life-giving Earth that they have evolved into, communicating once and for all to nature that none of her rules apply, thanks to these ballasts.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: People that simply will not have any Earth in their home (sensible), but still feel they need plant life to intimidate the natural world.
It’s true that the pencil holders they make these days are simply inferior products – they’ve had all of the life and flavor bred out of them to make them hardier and easier to transport. The survival of heirloom varieties is an important link to the past, when pencil holders were less available, but also higher-quality, and therefore better.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Praise the heirloom pencil holder providers by buying this for anyone you know who decorates with pencils. Perhaps the philistines that didn’t laugh at the writer’s block, above?
Keeping angels around for the purpose of eventually juicing them is difficult. Dedicated angel farmers have complicated apparati to ensure that they are not traumatized to death by the experience of captivity. To the enthusiastic angel consumer wtih only abackyard plot, this book contains the amateur tricks to provide basic therapy for your flock of angels, so that their juices are not rendered bitter and undrinkable by the force of their emotional trauma.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Any hobbyist angel farmer, or anyone that is curious about the process.
The problem with even the very dankest of nugs is that they unmistakably smell like a dead, sweaty skunk when you’re done with them. Obviously, this has been the only purpose of incense for hundreds of years, and will remain the only purpose for a long time.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Anyone who has a smell to cover, provided that smell originates from marijuana.
GOOP’s being a little nitpicky here: while it’s true that this is not exactly a robe that’s going to summon all available suitors simply by existing, it is true that dreams are a pretty difficult material to work with, and that a robe is one of the only shapes that can easily be made out of the raw cloth of dreams. It’s lovely, but, of course, if you need to cause sexual arousal everywhere you go, you should probably stick to materials that aren’t quite so bulky and shapeless.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: People who have lost or forgotten their own dreams, and need to shroud themselves in the dreams of others.
No, but seriously. What’s with the notebooks?
SO WHO NEEDS IT: I guess one of the apparently thousands on your list that has an insatiable appetite for notebooks? Perhaps a dog? I really couldn’t tell you.
Read about the city that people think is the nation’s most populous7 before it becomes the world’s largest demilitarized zone! When the world is a blasted crater, books like this will be the only reference of the way the world was. These are also in an exclusive custom wrapping!
SO WHO NEEDS IT: People who have been charged with keeping memories alive, or people that still feel the need to own books (perhaps they have sentimentally-important bookshelves?)
Ostentatious and aggressive, what says “I am in command of my own reality” quite like a box that can conatin mirrors? No longer must you stand idly by, watching while mirrors extend forever, even well beyond the visible spectrum. These boxes will contain them, and with their help, you can have visible, obvious mastery over this, one of the oldest of the Earth’s foes.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Anyone who is flashy enough to show off such a vulgar thing should have one, and be praised for it.
Whether you’re speaking in code or regular language, and whether it’s hidden, or meant to be seen, or simply trivial information, there should always be a way to leave a note that is sticky.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Everyone.
Obviously books largely devoid of anything so blase as words are better than books that are full of the clumsy things. This is not only pictures, but it’s pictures made with scissors, so no writing implements were even necessary to make them. Truly, Henri Matisse was far ahead of his time in terms of knowing what was important about things that you look at.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Anyone that appreciates the beauty of paper, or that simply enjoys the idea of living in a world where we’ve all passed beyond words.
The most important part of going out into the world to participate in society8 is to make sure that you are always able to keep yourself unavailable to the natural wonderment and new-ness of the world. What better way to destroy your capacity to accidentally expose yourself to such weakness than by simply leaving your curiosity at home in this attractive and unique vessel!
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Anyone who has trouble remembering to show proper decorum, or anyone who is currently without a vessel for their curiosity
It’s simply impossible to have too many platters.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Buy one for everyone on your list!
Well, obviously a mug made of toilet paper is a shocking item, but sometimes a gift need not be practical9 or beautiful. Some gifts should be selected for their shock value, and this one also is a handy conversation piece, especially if you keep it in the bathroom!
SO WHO NEEDS IT: The provocateur in your life, or the person that most seems to demand provocation.
Sometimes it simply cannot be avoided. You must enjoy the primal, immediate pleasure of showing off. What better way to show to the peasants that you have money to spare than by handing a small amount of it over to have, in physical form, something that already exists for free, and without taking up any space? It’s certainly not an impulse of which to be particularly proud, but it is sometimes very satisfying.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Oh, anyone who likes to feel a little shameless now and again.
.If you must insist on having anything so pedestrian as a book around, I suppose you could do much worse than a book about a pair of designers, given that without design, we simply wouldn’t have anything worth having.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Someone who stubbornly insists upon filling his house with wood pulp, no matter what’s best for everyone.
There are a number of very silly reasons to own very large diamonds. Some people are shameless, after all, or simply misanthropic. The sheer size and scale of this one is more than enough to send whatever message is necessary about wealth.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: The paranoiac on the list who feels he absolutely must convert all currency into diamonds, or else the person who most likes to display his wanton disregard for his fellow humans.
Allow, if you will, a little outside-the-box thinking here: while this is almost certainly a durable and useful vase, for all of your vase needs, may I also point out that its general ordinariness, and specific ugliness, would make a perfect hiding spot for all of those valuables you simply can’t leave out in the open. It also has an aperture perfect for getting into and out of to retrieve secret messages!
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Someone who has enough giant, ungainly vases that it wouldn’t draw undue attention.
An ice bucket made of a plum that renders the ice inaccessible is, of course, the prelude to the quandary “at what point is an ice bucket simply a water bucket.” It’s useful for starting philosophical conversations about the nature of ice, the nature of plums, and the nature of what, precisely, constitutes a “bucket”. Or, of course, you could remove the lid, then remove the ice and wonder what, precisely you’ve got left in this hollowed-out plum.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: The person on your list who’s perhaps a shade more thoughtful.
Mock the plebes and their love of “watches”10 by having a bunch of these ultra-statement-ful imitations laying around, as though you yourself were so concerned with the idea of the regular signifiers of wealth that you would purchase fake status symbols as a “joke.” The best part: the joke is that the “joke” isn’t a joke! It’s the only fake watch with layers!
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Any metatextual comedian, anyone whose only response to the silliness of the proletariat is justified cruelty.
What’s worth noting here is not the tulips, which are merely a filigree to, as is GOOP custom, make it ugly enough to not be worth stealing, but its total perfection. Far from the normal “perfection” offered by precision-blown glass, this is actually molecularly perfect – so smooth that it’s utterly frictionless, and has to be handled by trained professionals. It’s also so transparent that in order to see it you’ll have to draw a thick black line around where it is so that the contrast reflects some light, since it won’t do so on its own, which would render it utterly invisible. Except, of course, for the tulips. Truly, this is the perfect gift.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Anyone that you care enough about to get a truly wondrous gift such as this one.
Perhaps the most subtle of the weaponized gifts, this is so quietly, unassumedly insulting that your recipient may well have even given it pride of place in his home before he figures out just how thoroughly he’s been had! It is an objet to be seen, and to be privately laughed at.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Well, it can’t be a rival that’s too dumb to ever realize the joke’s on him, so it should be one clever enough to get it eventually. Administer an intelligence test to figure out just which one this should be.
This is obviously another part of the coded message that’s sprinkled throughout the gift guide. I know a little bit about this part of it, but obviously if you don’t there’s absolutely no reason to buy a book about someone else’s scrapbooks.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Don’t worry about it. Nothing to see here.
Even the most exclusively private beach has a problem, and that problem is that we are all left to share the same ocean. As a result, it is best if you pay great attention to that which you use to dry yourself off. The water and sand (that, even on the most pristine of beaches, have been touched by not only countless humans from all over the world, but also by an impossible-to-conceive-of number of cephalopods) must be removed carefully, and with great diligence. Since no one in your employ can be trusted to do a truly thorough job, many people find the task to be a source of considerable stress. Thus it is that this towel is not only the proper material, but it is calmly reassuring about the nature of the task at hand.
SO WHO NEEDS THIS: the easily overwrought beach enthusiast.
The true joy of these baskets isn’t in their construction, but in their nigh-magical ability to “elevate everything”. There are some decorative items that simply need to be lifted by the seeming magic of a wire rack with repulsors in it, and frankly, we all know someone that has some of them.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Well, everyone, but especially the futurists that would like everything to float, or, alternately, these can be used to send a message to the luddite that still insists upon using nails for everything.
More vulgar showing-off, but while House of Cards showed people that you were willing to pay for something in a form different from the one you already paid for, the form you paid to watch True Detective costs yet more money, so this is even more ostentatious.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: The person who needs more.
A vase made of real baccarat eyes, pulled directly out of the heads of their originators, shaped into a vase, then colored a deep purple. Truly an object of absolute horror, and beauty.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Those on your list who are so inured to the vicissitudes of daily life, so immune to the otherwise-shocking that they only can find beauty in the grotesque repurposing of parts of otherwise-decent humans. Truly, Neiman Marcus has cornered the market on absolute depravity here.
What better way to end the important part of the gift guide (i.e. the part that matters) than with this, an ode to the wood-pulp-enclosed pages of that most gauche of tasks. This is metatextual, charmingly freewheeling, and above all gauche. It is, therefore, the perfect Christmas present.
SO WHO NEEDS IT: Oh, I’ve already ordered everyone who looks at the GOOP gift guide their own copy. You can expect it any day now.
1 the vagaries of his diet and exercise regimen are as secret as they are fiercely coveted. He’s so spry!
2 long has the publication of his actual picture been illegal
3 or Malebog cosplayers!
4 if you’ve never slept in fish pajamas, you’ve never known what it is like to be in touch with our ancestors under the sea
5 if GOOP deserves credit for nothing else, it deserves credit for always making sure that the items they’re recommending are as undesirable as possible.
6 it’s never coincidence
7 honestly, it’s almost like people want to be fooled
8 real society, not the “society” they sell on the regular market
9 although it could be said that a mug designed for use on the absolute basest of functions can, in fact, be a practical gift.
10 the “watches” they sell on the regular market, not real watches.