And what will the image randomizer select for us today? A strange traffic sign from Cartagena! Surely this speaks to…something in my life. Probably an image of decay that serves as a metaphor for the state of my soul. Or something like that. Sigh. I was hoping for puppies.
If it is Christmas, I’d hardly know, but we did, at least, leave the house and purchase presents for everyone. Or just about everyone. I have a few maneuvers left to put together so that I am not a horrible Christmas welcher. We all have entered into the pact by accepting presents as children, though I suppose you could argue that there should be some sort of written contract given to you once you’re a part of the workforce and bringing in your own funds. We have all agreed, tacitly, that on Christmas, family and possibly friends and possibly a huge circle of other people we come across on a semi-regular basis must, MUST receive presents. If you try and opt out of all of it, well, you’re a welcher. You’re a weasel. And you should probably return the last few decades worth of candles and sweaters if you’re so indignant on the concept of mutual gift-giving. So we pony up and hope to find some amazing gift year after year and year after year, it’s becoming harder and harder to find something that doesn’t just say “I give up” in a box.
Like my parents. They don’t need the things that I could give them. Any idea you pounce upon, they already have it or they had it at one time and got rid of it because they never used it and possibly don’t believe in it, or the gift is something I would like to imagine them being the sort of people who would like…say a DVD of any movie from the last one hundred years…and I ask around and the consensus is that giving that particular gift to them would be a waste. You might as well put a twenty dollar bill in the sink and set it on fire for all the spark of enjoyment they would have to fake when they open it. This isn’t to say they’re not grateful…well, maybe it is, a bit, but they ardently seem to want something. Probably the same things we all want. Intangibles…someone to get married, someone to have a kid, someone to announce some sort of gratifying life success. In the absence of these things, our material offerings do feel a bit lightweight. My mother, in particular, doesn’t effuse. She nods and smiles and sets it next to her and instructs you to open another gift for yourself. You try and explain the features of the Ipad lap pillow and she nods again and points out a box for you. We’ve never really gotten a bigger response than that.
And I love her so I’d like to figure out what the thing would be that would make her go nuts with happiness and I’m disappointed that this is one more year where I’m following the letter and not the spirit of the thing.