Gift giving is surprisingly complex and interesting part of human interaction. This very act helps in defining relationships whether it’s meant romantically or not. As poignantly featured in Sakamichi no Apollon, Ritsuko showed how there are more emotions involved in giving than in receiving because it kindles a different kind of satisfaction and apprehension knowing that you would like to take care and do something for somebody.
Ritsuko is depicted as an amiable and emotionally vulnerable girl that’s why it’s really nice to see how she managed to figure out her feelings and how she gained the confidence to do something for Kaoru. But most all, it’s really charming of her to see how anxious she got before and after she left the blue mittens that she personally knitted inside the piano because it surely takes a lot of courage to admit that she fell for someone she just rejected.
For some reason, after watching Apollon and due to some in real life activities, I realised that often it’s the giver, rather than the recipient, benefits the most psychological gains from gift giving, but at the same time, the giver is also the one who experiences the most stress.
In fact, it was my best friend’s birthday not too long ago. Ritsuko reminded me of how energy and mentally consuming it was to look for that perfect gift. “Is he going to like it or not”, I asked myself. However, the joys of overthinking and imagining that the gift is going to be loved and appreciated was very compensating and rewarding.
That said, I’m aware that one might imply that gift giving is just mostly valued for its economic importance. But come to think of it, we can genuinely argue that it mainly entails the importance of the person in one’s life. Gifts are extensions of the giver and gift giving is a ritual wherein the recipient is symbolically accepting the giver—an act of transference a piece of oneself.
Hence in a nutshell, we can say that giving gifts reinforces our feelings and priorities. As nicely shown by Ritsuko and Kaoru, giving is an effective symbol of love when it is spontaneous and unexpected rather than obligatory.
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