I was thrilled to learn that my son, who is graduating from law school Saturday, wants a book that is at least in part about grammar as his gift, Garner on Language and Writing, by Bryan A. Garner. It's cheaper than a BMW, and in the long run, if the results are efficacious, more valuable to his image.
But I'm puzzling over what to give other graduates in my ken; it hurts my pride to give them good old filthy lucre, even if that's what they'd prefer. (Speaking of money, I tease my son that I should have seen this day coming when he was a kid, found a dog tooth in the yard, and put it under his pillow that night. A friend later said I should have put a dog biscuit there. I wish I'd thought of that!)
When I graduated from high school and college, I received as gifts some classy items that remain style icons today: a book of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, a Smith-Corona portable electric typewriter in baby blue, and a set of pink Samsonite luggage. Oh, how I loved that typewriter! The photo below is a model from the fifties, non-electric, and mine was an electric one from the seventies, but you get the idea. The hard-sided train case from the luggage set always made me feel like Barbie on the go, although plumper and not blonde.
I thought about giving one of those cool new suitcases that has four wheels and takes bumps and corners like a skateboarder. Or maybe a fountain pen, but that sort of makes me feel like Miss Havisham, frozen in time. Readers, what are you giving for graduation?