Monday, December 29, 2008

Here There Be Kitty

I guess Cloudy is ours now.

She looks pretty comfortable in our world.

The person who was interested in adopting her never called. We're slowly and very carefully trying to see if Doggie Extraordinaire will be open to a cat sharing the home, and it looks like she's practicing her defensive jabs just in case.

These are pictures taken by my bro, who I think has found the soul mate in her that he always wanted. She doesn't look at me this way.

This is how she looks at me. Like she owns the place and she merely tolerates my presence until she needs some ear rubs. Well, she is a cat after all. Aren't all cats like that?

Doggie Extraordinaire is behaving very strangely. He seems very needy and insecure, never wanting to leave my side, even though he and the cat have only been in the same room for about two minutes. I'm giving him all the attention he seeks because he's behaving so well, but I distrust his fear more than his aggression. We shall see.

We're teaching her to look ferocious just in case.

But mostly she just looks cute. And we kinda dig it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


She's in my bed
Stealin' my heart.

At -5ยบ outside, it was just too cold to leave her in the garage, so she is now in the house. We're taking turns keeping her in our rooms. We cannot go on like this. Doesn't anyone want to have this beauty as their own?!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Grinchy No More

Months ago, I declared war on my neighbor’s cat, which I documented a few times here. The little bitch kept killing the neighborhood birds, and my yard began to smell like a litter box, so she was lucky I merely hosed her to get her to go away. I called the village. I called police department. Many neighbors tried to speak with the cat’s owner, only to have the door slammed in their faces. This cat was such a nuisance that I had finally decided I’d had enough and was going to work with the local police to set traps and haul her off to kitty jail.

Well, I wussed out. She continued being a huge nuisance all summer and fall, but I noticed a few weeks ago that her owner’s house was for sale, so I’ve been holding my breath until the family leaves, taking their stupid cat with them.

Then we got snow. No one in that house shoveled the driveway and no cars drove over the perfect blanket of white. They were gone. FINALLY, they were gone! And that damn cat was gone, too!

Today I got up early to start my Christmas baking, and while I was cleaning off the kitchen table, I saw a tiny, little, gray lump, half-buried under the lip of the sliding glass door that leads out to the back yard. It looked like a wad of duct tape. I pressed my face against the glass to see better and the little lump of duct tape looked up at me. It was the kitty I declared war on. She was huddled into a tiny ball, pressed hard against the foundation, trying to stay out of the foot of snow that covers everything.

Remember that moment from the cartoon “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” when the Grinch’s heart grew 10 sizes that day? That was me.

I called the police and an officer came out to speak with me. She said that since we know that this cat can catch birds, she’s probably perfectly suited to stay outside, so I shouldn’t worry. Feral cats have been surviving in this area forever, and this one looks healthy and well fed. I suggested she speak with the owners, because this seemed a bit cruel to me, but she was already well acquainted with the owners. The owners left in the middle of the night one night, leaving he house completely trashed. The real estate agent and this officer had come to the conclusion that there were many animals living in that house, though I only knew of the one gray cat. Finally, it came down to the nitty-gritty, and the officer told me she could not take the cat with her, but a CSO might be able to do it later this evening, when he came on duty. If he called in sick, there wouldn’t be anyone to come out until Tuesday. She told me not to worry, that the kitty would be okay outside until then. And she left.

This is not how it happens on “Animal Cops”!

The little duct-tape-colored kitty is now living in my garage, belly full of tuna, sleeping soundly on a nest of furry blankets.

My brother and I have fallen in love.

She is the softest, sweetest kitty I’ve ever met. She’s all gray with a hint of tabby markings on her, a soft white chest and belly, and white socks on all her paws. My favorite thing is the black paw pads in the white paw fur. Too cute!

This little cat purrs and meows almost nonstop. She’s so starved for love that she can’t even sit still in your lap, and rolls around until she falls away from you, then runs back to be close to you again. She is an absolute delight and has melted my heart.

But, I can’t let her in the house and she can’t stay in the garage. I’m trying desperately to find her a home before my dog discovers she’s in an attached part of our house and tries to eat through the wall to get to her. And before the next really bad cold spell hits.

Does anyone want the sweetest, softest, duct-tapiest kitty ever?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Good Deeds

Bro: Did you see that the kid across the street--

“The kid across the street” is actually in his thirties, just got his Ph.D. and is anything but a kid; however, we refer to him as “the kid” because he’s only about 4’8” tall.

Bro: --plowed our driveway?

Me: Just at the end again, where we always get plowed in?

The kid has used his new snowblower to clear the end of the driveways for everyone on our street the last two times it’s snowed.

Bro: No, he did the whole thing, all the way around your car and up the front step.

Me: He did WHAT?!

Bro: Yeah, he did OUR driveway, his next-door-neighbor’s, The Smiths’, and Mrs. Williams’ driveways too.

Me: With his new snowblower?

Bro: Yep.

Me: Wow. He sure likes to play with his new toy. That was nice of him. Did we get a lot of snow?

Bro: Oh, about a foot.

Me: He snowblew--

Yeah, that’s a word.

Me: --a foot of snow for us? For no reason? For no money? Just to be…NICE?!

Bro: I guess. You should’ve seen him, too. He was all bundled up and he had these goggles on. *laughs* Safety goggles!

Me: *hysterical* What a geek!

Bro: He looked like a scientist or something.

Me: OHMYGOD what a nerd!

Bro: *laughs*

Me: Clearing other people’s driveways? What’s WRONG with him? He’s not from here. LOSER!

We were both cracking up. And while we made fun of him and called him names behind his back, when I ran into him later in the morning as he was doing the second round on the neighborhood driveways, I bowed and thanked him profusely. He was so modest, too, saying it was nothing with his snowblower, but he knew that the rest of us had to shovel, and the snow was over his knees in many areas. He felt compelled to help.

Definitely not from around here.

And yes, we did get a foot of snow, and I had more because of the damn drifts. If I had been responsible for shoveling all that snow, I likely would’ve just torched it.

Since it wasn’t the nightmare it could have been, we took the dog outside to play in the snow. He’s such a riot, so I took pics and updated Doggie Extraordinaire’s blog too.

Happy Snow Day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Just when you thought there was no one making decisions who you could trust..

Piece by piece, that damn Patriot Act is going down!

And you thought the ACLU spent all their time fighting for the porn industry. Shame on you. Who else could have taken this on and won?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hairy Situation

On Friday I received some of the worst news I could ever have imagined. My devastation was so profound that I couldn’t even process my emotions properly.

It began like this.

Me: Hi, I’d like to make an appointment with Megan on Sunday, if she has anything available.

Guy (sympathetically): Oh, Megan doesn’t work here anymore. She left, hmmm, about a month and a half ago. No, actually it was more like two months ago. Wow, has it been that long already? I guess it has.

Me: She’s…gone?

Guy: Yeah.

Me: Oh. Okay. Thanks. Bye.

Megan is gone? Megan doesn’t work there anymore?

*deep breaths*

*lip quiver*

*raucous scream of agony*

OHMYSPAGHETTIMONSTER! WHO is going to cut my hair now?!

I’ll have to go back to the overpriced salon in town, where everyone there is old enough to be my mom, and they can only cut hair to mirror their own. They actually fill requests for mullets and kinky perms, and use words like “feathered” frequently. A request to redye my hair blue would leave them laughing and then horrorstruck as they realized I wasn’t kidding. None of them would have a clue how to do it. They have teenage girls around just to wash hair and sweep, because these hair stylists don’t shampoo or use brooms. C’mon! Think of their backs! You have never seen so many pairs of Crocs outside of a shoe store. And the leggings! Don’t even get me started on the leggings. These are ladies who shut down the salon once a year so they can all go see Celine in concert! DO NOT! MAKE ME! GO BACK THERE!

So now what do I do? I need to find Megan!

She’d given me her cell number and her MySpaceOut page, but where did I put that?

Eventually, I found her MySpaceOut page, so I had to make a new one for myself and send her a message, with hopes that she’d check it sometime soon.

Sweet Pastafarians, she did!

So, tonight I went to see her at her new salon. On the bitter-fucking-coldest night in a long, long time, with wipers that wouldn’t clean my windshield because they were so ravaged by ice and vigorous chiseling. But I had to go! I even made her a pair of earrings for Christmas, mostly because I can’t afford to give her any kind of holiday bonus, but I couldn’t exactly go empty-handed to see the woman who changed my head. Forget that I always over-tip her. Forget that I’m broke. Forget that I hardly know the girl. She changed my head!

I went. Once again, she has gifted me with yet another haircut that I am unworthy of, and told me hilarious stories of single life when you’re a smart, funny, 26-year-old robo-babe, straddling two states and leaving many broken-hearted men in her wake. It’s always a trip to hear about her life, particularly when mine pales in comparison.

One problem for me in this encounter was that I had a severe case of foot-in-mouth syndrome.

Megan got a new bunny, and she chose the one at the store that had bald spots and was least likely to be adopted by anyone else. The store clerk even commented that no one else was going to take the bald bunny home.

It would’ve been fine to just keep my mouth shut and chuckle along with the story, but I had to say something really stupid because I couldn’t stop myself.

“Well, the bald bunny is in good hands since you’re a hair stylist. Or is that a H-A-R-E stylist?”

Aw jeeze, did I really say that? WHAT is WRONG with me?!

As I was leaving, I must have just been overcome with emotion. Seriously, the thought of losing her as a hair stylist was so traumatic to me, knowing she was still around made me want to chain her down and claim her as my own. As we hugged and said our goodbyes, she said she was so happy to have received my message because she had no way of getting in touch with me.

I said, “Yes, I’m so happy I found you!”

I realized quickly how eyebrow-raisingly creepy that sounded, so I tried to correct myself.

“I mean! I’m just really happy we found each other again!”

She looked at me in that quizzical way. That way that says she’s reevaluating her assessment of me. That way that says she is either going to back away slowly and change her cell number tonight, or that she totally thinks I’m a lesbo with a crush, and now she has to make sure she doesn’t touch any part of me ever again, lest I get the wrong idea.

What a moron! Did I just make her think I am in love with her?

Shit! What the hell is wrong with me?! Aside from my doctors, she’s the most important person I pay to see. I don’t pay to see many people! She has to know I’m straight. I’ve mentioned Boyfriend Extraordinaire before, haven’t I? I mean, how could I not? Maybe she thinks I’m bi. Oh man! Oh man, oh man, oh man! And I’m not saying that being a lesbian would be a bad thing, even though I’m not, but I do NOT want her creeped out. I NEED HER SKILLS TO BE USED ON MY HEAD! If she’s creeped out, she could easily give me my old hair back. I can think of no worse fate!

UGH! I do this all the time! It is so much better for all involved if Happy Villain just does not talk. Ever.

If I screwed this up, I’m going to be angry with myself forever.

Will someone please tell Megan I’m straight?! And I don’t have a crush on her?! And I was just having a stupid night?!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Am I Too Young For Depends?

Doesn't it always go this way?

I had to pee. I always have to pee because I'm on 50 mg of hydrochlorothiazide, which is a diuretic to help get rid of the tremendous water retention caused by 20 mg of prednisone, which is a steroid used to treat my joint pain and the sarcoid nodules all over my legs and arms. (They're all gone, by the way, just scarring left behind, which is not so bad.) So, I need to use the washroom roughly every 90 minutes. And often it hits me so fast, so urgently, that as soon as I stand up for something, I find myself not doing whatever it was that I was going to do, and instead running to the washroom. I try not to stand too often.

So, I was at the desk and had to show someone how to turn the volume down on their computer, which required me to stand up, and thus, required me to have to pee. As I instructed the user on volume control, I shifted my weight from leg to leg, squeezing my thighs together, hoping I wouldn't sneeze, laugh or cough for at least another 2 minutes. As I finished and began walking with my eyes focused on the 3-mile distance to the washroom door, someone else approached the desk with a 2-page fax to send.

I put the pages through, with the intention of conducting my business in the washroom while the communicating fax machines conducted their business. Not so. The fax-sender was chatty. She had comments to make about the weather (which I don't even want to talk about because I'm convinced it's going to kill me this year), about the holidays, and about other things I didn't even hear because my bladder was seizing up and shooting shards of crystallized urine all over my abdomen, out of some automatic weapon it must have quickly bought in anticipation of Obama taking office.

KA-POW! Ooof, I think that one hit my remaining ovary. KER-BLAM! Guuuhg, now I have holes in my upper intestines. Thankfully it is aiming low and not at my lungs, which would surely make me cough, and then... CHA-CHUNK! [Gurgle, sputter, cough.] At least I wore dark pants today.

Finally the two-page fax went through and I needed only to await the printing of the confirmation page.

Paper jam.

The paper refed correctly, but due to the fact that the first page of the 2-page fax was on red paper with pink hearts, the time required to print the confirmation (which includes a copy of the first page sent) took about 6 hours for it to print out. By then I was doubled over, leaning on the fax, inhaling what will surely be my death in toner fumes, grimacing and trying to will the blasted machine to print faster.

I handed the confirmation to her and as I started to walk away, the phone rang.

Fuck the phone. I let it go to voice mail.

I lack the correct verb to describe the action I used in getting to the washroom. Do you know what people look like when they do speed walking? That was sorta me. I could've started a fire with my thighs rubbing so tight, so fast, clenched fiercely, which was working in direct opposition to the movement necessary to propel me forward. Why isn't our bladder and urethra placed somewhere unaffected by the limbs needed to get you somewhere to relieve them? This is proof enough to me that there is no god and we are not perfect specimens. The bladder should be elsewhere and not effect your ability to walk to a toilet to relieve it.

Okay, when I finally made it to the washroom and attempted to close the stall door, I realized the lock is tight and it takes a small amount of concerted effort between your fingers and arm, pulling the door closed and turning with a little more effort than should be required to close and lock the stall door. (Note to self: WD-40 this fucker later on.) Three tries later and I got the door closed and locked. Time to drop trou.

As I was wigging and wrestling with my fasteners, I gazed down into the toilet (always a mistake, by the way) and noticed small, multi-colored balls in the bottom of the bowl, about the color, size and shape of earth-toned jellybeans. First thought was that a deer pooped her ("her" because it's a women's washroom) pellets in our toilet. Then the rainbow colors of white, beige, brown, and slightly greenish made me think otherwise. These looked very familiar, but my urine was already down the urethra and about to shoot out of me. DISTRACTIONS! EVIL DISTRACTIONS!

My need to pee took priority over the need to identify the colored pellets in the toilet, so I just spun around and went. Afterward, I tried to stand up quickly to identify the little toilet bowl accessories, but the automatic flusher kicked on too quickly. Some were lost, but some stayed behind. Now that my urinary tract was beginning to relax, I found myself bent over, staring into the toilet bowl, gazing upon the toilet bowl gravel. Lovely sight, I assure you.

And that's when it hit me!

This was fish tank gravel sitting in the bottom of our toilet bowl.

Evil, heinous, distracting fish tank gravel, trying to make me pee myself a foot away from the object of my aim.

Were there also fish in there? Perhaps a plant or two? Did I just pee on and then flush our newest pet's home? I felt no creature poking me from below. No wisp of plastic plant life swaying in the current. No bubbly cries for mercy from a fish receiving a golden shower. No indication at all that my actions had consequences other than my own pleasurable relief. So, was it really just fish tank gravel in the toilet?

We may never know.

Also, when I walk past the fish tank, I am reminded that it is but a gigantic toilet as well, and the next time so many forces in the universe conspire to keep me from peeing in the proper receptacle, well, let's just say that the gravel has given me an alternate plan.

Poor fishies.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Brain, What Are We Doing Tonight?

Next week at one of our committee meetings at work, someone from a nearby library will be paying us a visit. She is a blog reader who has never met me, but happens to know my director-type-guy and he invited her over for a consult.

Now, I’ve actually become friends with a few of my readers, and there are very, very special people out there like Leelu, Sheila, David, Phil and A-V Boy who have truly been more like friends than pen pals, or in the case of Leelu, she is my younger, fraternal twin, borne of other parents. But I have never met any of them in real life. People like Natalie and Allison have come close. Natalie’s been in the library and successfully identified many of the folks I’ve mentioned, though she couldn’t make it to the Kool Kids gathering I invited her to, unfortunately. Allison met a few folks and befriended our director-type-guy (whose name she cannot remember, but calls him Book Club Guy), and she remains the only blog reader I’ve ever spoken with on the phone (partially because I just do NOT talk on the phone socially, and, well, she called me at work so I couldn’t avoid it). Yet, I have somehow managed never to be face-to-face with anyone who started off as a blog reader. That I know of. Because I would hope they’d say something.

Anyway, I have a week to prepare and I’m looking for suggestions about how to handle this.

NO, I’m not nervous or anxious. But I would like to goof on her just a little.

Should everyone on the committee put temporary blue dye in their hair so she can’t spot me so easily?

Should we be as boring as possible and send her away thinking that everything I’ve ever written was a humongous lie?

Should we hire a stripper to entertain during the meeting and pretend like it’s business as usual?

Should we conduct the meeting in one of the infamous dirty washrooms and scream if she touches something like she is somehow forever soiled?

Should we act like morons? (As if this suggestion was any different from the aforementioned ones.)

Should I act like a moron? (If I accidentally act like a moron, have I sufficiently covered my ass?)

What should I do? Any good suggestions out there?

Or is it enough that I mentioned her here and now she’s probably wondering what I’ll write about her afterward?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

For Those In Doubt

And I'll have you know, all of these have been worn a number of times, so I may have bitched about receiving dancing snowmen socks, but I wear them. Because they're crazy. And because I can't wear my doggie socks everyday. Or my cheese socks. But I probably could wear the 15 pairs of Peanuts socks I have, though they'd get worn out, and I don't want to lose them.

So there.

Oh, and the frog blanket was made for me by Marina for my birthday last February. Isn't that the cutest thing?! The colors match my polar bear, penguin and snowflake sheets (which I use all year around), though I'm not so sure the animals belong together. That blanket remains one of my all-time favorite gifts I've ever received, and when I forget to close my bedroom window at night, I can be found under that warm frog blanket, wearing socks with Christmas moose on them. Or singing reindeer. Or a clumsily ice-skating Pooh. Or a teddy bear making a big snowball.

If you took me too seriously in my last post, you missed the point of the entire introductory paragraph.

Which means, if you want to send me crack, go ahead. But as I said to Lummox and Leelu, if it's buttcrack you send, make it a buttcrack belonging to a handsome gent, or if you send a lesbian, send one who knows how to fix a broken toilet. Thanks.

Happy Sock-Giving Holiday.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Season of Giving

While having a very intense discussion about my mother’s disintegrating mental state last night, my brother and I were able to find humor in places where there weren’t obvious signs of any, and that is a family gift we can thank our father for.

Christmas is an awful time of year when you’re poor, and when you have a mom who has borderline personality disorder (thanks, David, for guiding us to this), and one of her worst symptoms is the need to spend money frivolously, you can pretty much count on having the utilities turned off so that she can spend the bill money on stockings full of candy and 20 individually wrapped pieces of shit from the Dollar Store for her adult kids who want no such gifts. I have boxes upon boxes in the garage of Dollar Store pieces of shit that she’s given me for the last few Christmases, and somehow I can’t throw them out because they cost me dearly, one way or another. The same goes for my brother. You should see these collections of fuzzy pens, scentless candles, badly painted knickknacks from Hong Kong, hair accessories for a 4-year-old girl, and tiny notepads with rainbows on them. And that’s just my brother’s stash! We cannot stop her from spending money (hers, ours, or someone else’s, if she’s can finagle a way to get it from them) on unnecessary things, and Christmas is doubly awful because we not only have to find a way to buy presents for people we cannot afford to buy for, but we also have to figure out a way to cover the EXTRA expenses incurred when my mother skips bills and throws money out the window.

Because isn’t that what Christmas is all about?


So, my brother and I were discussing why we hate Christmas, and what it boils down to is that it IS about giving, but not in the way you think. It’s all about YOU giving something to someone else that YOU want to give to them, regardless of how they feel or what they want.

This was a bit of an epiphany for me because I’d just come to this conclusion about charity as well, when arguing with Boyfriend Extraordinaire about my dead washing machine.

You see, my washer died about two months ago, and I was attempting to fix it by the cheapest possible means, replacing the agitator dogs (and no, you cannot take that band name, since B.E. already claimed it) or any part that was less than $10. Nothing worked. I’d gotten to the point where I was actually starting to enjoy putting my clothes in the bathtub with water and detergent, and stomping them around like grapes for wine. I made the best of the situation and tried to have fun with it. Humor is vital, after all. However, this method of washing was not enjoyed by all.

After two weeks, my deeply narcissistic mother came to me and said I had to buy a new washer because the family just couldn’t go on like this. (Always with the guilt that I’m not providing enough for the family, no matter how overdrawn and broke I am.) Well, I had precisely $75 in the bank and about $25 in open credit on my credit card, so when I cried to B.E. on the phone about the position I was in, not looking for him to fix it, just for him to LISTEN TO ME, he took it upon himself to secretly search for a used washing machine on craigslist and even arranged for a guy to deliver it to my house. However, in the week it took for him to iron out the arrangements, I’d spent much of the $75 in my bank on silly stuff, you know, like prescriptions and toilet paper. When B.E. let me know that he had given my information to a guy about a washer, who would be delivering it the next day for merely $90, I nearly shit my pants. (Thankfully, I had toilet paper, though.) We had a fight, it was not pretty, I said some insensitive things, and B.E. learned a valuable lesson about interfering. Yet, the situation was not cured because there was this guy coming to my house to deliver a washer, for which B.E. surreptitiously pretended to be me and promised him $90. I did not have $90. I did not have half that. You cannot put craigslist stuff on layaway. The sellers kinda frown on that.

B.E. said he’d give me the money, but his only means of getting it to me was by a mailed check or through PayPal, which takes FOR-fucking-EVER to clear, so there was no way to have the money overnight. Yet, now I had a (surprise) deal with this guy. What the hell was I supposed to do? And, you all know I have no backbone, so backing out of the deal, pissing off the washer guy, and having to face my indignant mother with all her dirty clothes was out of the question.

I actually had to get an advance on my credit card for $100, which put me over my credit limit and cost me an additional $35, plus 3% for the cash advance, not to mention the high interest rate I’m still paying on this card until I become an established member of this new bank. I’m sure this 15-year-old washer cost me no less than $150, roughly a week of sleepless nights about how the hell I would come out of this okay, and one big fight with B.E. about the insult of charity.

He claims that I have an unusual aversion to charity, which might be true. He also claims that when someone who loves you wants to do something nice for you, you should let them, even if it’s humiliating. That’s what love is. It’s selfish for me to deny others the right to treat me like a charity.

This is totally preposterous to me. I find someone doing something charitable for me to be humiliating, and if I am desperate enough to need help, I’ll ask for it, but it will take a huge gulp of pride to be swallowed. I have friends who insist on paying for my meal if we dine out together, and I hate it so much that I no longer dine out with them. They cannot stop themselves from covering my meal, no matter how mortified I become and how much I protest, and that doesn’t define friendship to me. So, I have removed myself from situations where someone else will pay my way and I will leave feeling like a failure. They don’t get it, but screw them. They clearly don’t care about my feelings on the subject anyway, so why should I care about theirs? I think you have to be broke to understand this dilemma, because no one with money ever seems to get it.

The same applied here, with B.E. He totally overstepped, didn’t think it through, and it ended up costing me a bloody fortune (to me, that’s a fortune). So much for charity.

I pointed out to him that it’s wrong to insist that I should allow another to humiliate me because it makes that other person feel good. How much can someone care about me if they want to humiliate me? How charitable is it to know that you’re making me feel terrible, and I ask you not to do it, but you tell me that if I love you, I’ll let you do it to me anyway? WHAT THE FUCK? Sounds like emotional rape to me. And maybe I get a washing machine out of it or a free meal, but that doesn’t fill the hole inside me left from someone who allegedly cares about me completely disregarding my feelings. It’s wrong! Don’t argue with me. It’s just wrong.

So, while I was telling my brother about this instance, he paralleled it with the whole Christmas farce of giving, and how we always receive the most ridiculous things from people in our family who will not stop giving us gifts. You have no idea how many scarves I have in a variety of colors from an aunt who so loves to give scarves for the holidays, and now I’m looking into sewing my own scarf quilt. My brother gets even more bizarre gifts like model cars to put together, even though he’s never done models in his life, and is actually more interested in taking things apart than anything else. They don’t give these gifts to us because they know this is what we want, or even thinking we might need them. No. It’s all about their own selfish desire to give specific things to specific people, because it makes them feel good. That’s so weird to me! WHY!? Why is Christmas about making the giver feel good about what they give?

My brother said, “Why don’t they just give me a vial of crack for Christmas? How about some heroin, and a rusty spoon and needle? I don’t want it. I don’t need it. It makes me feel bad to receive it. I wouldn’t even know how to get rid of it. It can’t be returned. But as long as it makes the giver happy, that’s what really matters! Here’s your crack! Merry Christmas!”

Amen, brother.

I see the disappointment on the faces of people who ask me what they can give me for Christmas and I suggest nothing, and if that doesn’t work, I suggest a Visa gift card. To them, it’s too impersonal. To them, there is no joy for them when I open it up and it’s not some elaborately wrapped thing-a-ma-jig that I will get a kick out of and laugh at. What fun is a gift card? What a disappointment to the giver! Yet, I think about how nice it would be to have $10 or $20 that I can use for a new pair of shoes, some of my favorite undies, a meal out with my Schwee, or a tank of gas to drive somewhere far away, just to escape for a day. THOSE are gifts! Or I could stow it away in my purse for one of those instances when I’m out with friends and haven’t budgeted for a restaurant meal, but they all suddenly decide to go. Voila! I have a gift card to cover myself without having to chew on a napkin and drink water. THOSE are gifts! Those are gifts that defy the false promises of pretty wrapping paper and big boxes. They don’t fall prey to the disappointment of opening a bag while sitting across from the giver, who’s breath is held and they are turning blue with anticipation, and you find yourself staring at another pair of Christmas socks with dancing snowmen on them, which, even if you wanted to, and you really, really don’t, you couldn’t wear them for another year because Christmas is over in a few hours. For gift cards, there are no batteries required, no humiliation of assessing the right fit, no worrying about hurting the giver’s feelings if you feel the need to return it, no re-gifting it next year, and no selling it in the summer garage sale. Nope. These are gifts that get used! These are gifts that are truly for the receiver.

But, Happy Villain, I so wanted to humiliate you and give you a big, dirty vial of crack! I so would’ve enjoyed that! Just the look on your face would’ve made it all worthwhile!

I know. But don’t. Because my brother and I will not pretend to be grateful anymore. We will make fun. And you will not like it.