Outsides Alignment Chart for Gift-Giving

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In the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons andDragons, players use alignment charts to inform their characters backstories and personas. A Lawful, Good character acts benevolently and predictably, playing by the rules and helping other participants. In contrast, a Chaotic, Evil character acts erratically and cruelly, looking for ways to spontaneously harm other players. There are nine variations in total, each differently dictating a characters intentions.

The alignment chart has grown beyond its Dungeons andDragons origin, though,mutatinginto full-blown memes.U.S. presidents are fodder for alignment charts. Reddit is littered with TVcharacters from every show under the sun divviedup in the alignment-chart format.In this same vein, the chartcan be used to gauge what your gift-giving tendencies say about you as a person.

Lawful, Good

A hand-knit sweater

If you have enough time to make a gift by hand, its most likely because you did so many good deeds that you ascended to the level of saint and retired from your day job. Thats both Lawful and Good. How did you even learn to knit? Did you audit a knitting class in heaven?Making a sweater is just another good deed to throw in your already bursting pile of good deeds. Nice work, angel! Just make sure to use fair-trade yarn.

Lawful, Neutral

A gym membership

When it comes to the gym membership, theres a very fineline between Lawful, Neutral and Lawful, Evil. On one hand, gifting a gym membership promotes health and could introduce someone to a new hobby. On the other, it opens up the possibility that the person becomes too ripped for their own good, forcing them to cut the sleeves off all their T-shirts. In short: you could be giving someone a jump-start on a New Years resolution or subjecting them to a lifetime of cold arms.

Lawful, Evil

A bar of soap or any hygiene product

Nothing sends a message like a bar of soap. Its an organic, cruel, and relatively inexpensive way to say, I want to change the way you smell.(If thats your prerogative, we recommend Dr. Bronners Pure-Castile Liquid Soap($16). The soap recipient cant protest, though, because doesnt everyone need soap?

Neutral, Good

A gift card to a gear store

A gift card to a gear store is Neutral, Goodin our book. It doesnt show the initiative of picking out a gift yourselfbut instead demonstrates acute self-awareness. Seasoned gift-givers know how easy it is to select the wrong size, color, or shape when buying a gift. These errors ultimately cost someone a trip back to the store to exchange the item. Upon arriving to the store, however, they discover that the store went out of business and that they are now stuck with a pair of hot-pink snow pants they have no use for.

True Neutral

A scarfpreferably infinity

No garment is less offensive than the scarf. Its the perfect gift for that distant relative whose layering preferences are a mystery. It also helps that there isnt a fixed number of scarves one person should haveand that the garment can serve a variety of purposes. For example, a scarf can becomea makeshift arm sling or zip tie in a pinch. And we know that there are some naysayers out there who believe that wearing a scarf indoors is a punishable crime. To them we say:But it matches my outfit.

Neutral, Evil

Regifting the wool socks that your aunt gave you last year

Picture this: Youre in the living room with your entire family, opening up gifts. Cousin Amanda goes to unwrap the present you got her, as your aunt Judy looks on intently. Amanda notices that its eerily familiar. In fact, its the exact pair of wool socks that Judy gifted you last year. A single tear slips out of Judys eye and onto the price tag that still dangles off the socks. No one says anything, but the damage is done. Good luck sewing this broken family back together, monster.

Chaotic, Good

A $1,500 snowboard and lessons

Gifting something over $1,000 or lessons of any type is asking that someone dedicate hours to a product or pastimebecause you thought theyd like it. Thats extraordinarily Chaotic. The burden of that $1,500 snowboard gathering dust in the garage might become too much to bearand drive a weaker recipientto shred pow in unreasonable conditions. Thats how this writer ended up skiing the Black Hole in March slush. Dont get us wrong, its still a great gift, which is whyyoure also Good. But its a gift that requires someone to drastically reorganize their life to make time for your Chaotic energy. Its not witness-protection-level reorganization, but its pretty close.

Chaotic, Neutral

A flannel thong

As we discussed this fall, flannel is a fraught fabric. A thongwhen giftedradiates Chaos. Despite flannels complicated nature, its also neutral enough that it restores equilibrium to the gift. The gift of the flannel thong is sure to make the recipient smile, scratch their head, and write you a really, really nice thank-you card.

Chaotic, Evil

A gallon of lighter fluid and nothing else

Nothing says big Chaotic, Evil energy like a gallon of lighter fluid and nothing else. What should the recipient think upon receiving thisgift? Is the giver suggesting that the recipient host a bonfire? Or that the recipient burn their old life to the ground and create a new one from the ashes? We think its pretty obvious its the latter.

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