02 September 2008

The Presence of Presents...
I must say that at 56 years of age, I was taking stock of some (make that most) of things I managed to accumulate over the decades, and I'm sure many of you have done or are doing something similar.
You can't help but wonder HOW you got all this crap in the first place.
And you're wondering WHERE you can possibly stash all this ill-gotten gain.
If you're a collector, not a problem, as you've most likely set aside a portion of your abode to showcase such items. Either that, or you wound up buying a SECOND house (so you have a place to actually LIVE)...LOL!
As you get older, you DO wish that you had all those marvelous toys you tossed.
They would pay for your retirement, that's for sure.
And you wish you had those old comics and trading cards...for the same reason.
But you don't, so no crying over spilled milk there.
Now it's a game of trying to get something you don't have...but might want.
I know that every gift-giving holiday, birthday, or anniversary becomes a study in angst.
I also know that I'm easily pleased when it comes to getting a gift, and for one VERY important reason:
I DIDN'T have to PAY for it. It was FREE (after a fashion).
In some instances, the present is practical, like when the kids chip together and get dad that hunting vest he wanted, or those lures he had his eye on the last time they went to that fishing store. It might be a set of "club covers" that the missus got hubby because he loves golfing.
And if there is one thing I come away with when getting a gift or present, it's that someone spent a few bucks and a few minutes to get something for me. It might not be exactly what I had in mind, but the giver's intentions mean well. And I do my best to take care of that item.
It's like the rechargeable shaver my wife got me a few Christmases ago. I clean it after EVERY shave, and make sure to keep it charged for optimum performance. When it comes to all those SOCKS you get, things tend to change. You can't keep socks forever, as they are MEANT to be worn...and worn out. And in many cases, who the hell wants to keep age-old socks, aside from some weird-ass "foot fetisher" anyway?
Cripes, I recall having a pair of GYM SOCKS in high school in that tiny locker which would (by semester's end) literally stand up on their own, and come running when I whistled...they were THAT bad. Those you DID NOT want to keep, trust me. They were essentially disposable.
Other things...not so much.
Still, I do wish I had a lot of those things that I have gotten rid of all those years ago.
As it is, I've got enough space in our house (and garage) taken up with "stuff" from the past. Whether it's collectibles, comics, or whatever toys have come along for the ride, I've kept careful watch to preserve them.
And yes, I realize they might NEVER wind up in some lost corner of the Smithsonian on display, but as all of you know, what we have accumulated over the years helps to DEFINE us. We are the sum of our parts, as it were.
This is just another one OF those "parts".
We are what we accumulate, apparently.
That explains the phrase "white trash" to a tee in some cases, right? Take one look at them, and then take a look at their immediate surroundings and the manner in which they live. There IS a correlation.
One aspect I find amusing is when the family is trying to decide on what to get "Old Uncle Ralph". You always here someone say: "He's so hard to buy for....he has damn near everything".
Well, if he had (damn near) EVERYTHING, Uncle Ralph would be one rich-ass SOB, wouldn't he? He;d be buying US crap, instead of the other way around now, wouldn't he?
No one has everything...not even the heads of state in DUBAI (but they do have a lot more stuff than we could ever imagine). Just get Uncle Ralph those slippers...he'll like those, trust me.
I'm pretty easy to buy for, like I say. I'll accept damn near anything that's given with an ounce of sincerity. That's just the way I was brought up. Thankfully, those that have graced me with their "presents" (pun intended) have "chosen wisely" (just thought of that old Templar knight from the 3rd Indiana Jones movie), and have been tactful with their selections. Never been disappointed yet...even after 56 years.
This year, back in January, I found a (new) RAM P99 1:1 scale .43 caliber paintball pistol online for a HELLUVA LOT LESS than the retail price, and my wife graciously allowed me to get it, saying it was my present up to and including my birthday. Well, it was $170 (and change) total. Plus, I got an extra clip, the ammo and the CO2 cylinders for it.
Kind of pricey, and yet a ton of fun.
And I had no problem with not getting much else during that time.
If I thought otherwise, I took the pistol out of it's case, loaded it up, and took down some green army men in my basement shooting "range".
Yesterday, I got that B&D electric hedge trimmer, and while it's "for the house", I take it as another "man-toy". Hey, when you snag something like that at about a 50% cost reduction...what else can you say?
(I tend to get a tad "possessive" when it comes to power tools....it's the Tim Taylor in me)
But now, all bets are off. We're back to square one...and Christmas is but a few brief months away. And I will have to start wondering what I want for Christmas. My wife will be asking for "my list".
Practicality will most likely hold court, as my holiday "wish list" can EASILY be filled with such impossibilities as:
*Better neighbors
*Respectful neighbors
*Respectful children
*No more rentals on my street
*No more drug deals on my street
*World Peace
*Global Climate Stabilization
*Fusion power for my car
*Lower taxes
*Better City Services
...Yeah, THOSE things.
Don't bother to wonder what I've been smoking....you've wanted a lot of these things too (and more)...admit it.
I'm gathering my thoughts, and (realistic) wishes.
So take some time when next you hear someone asking you what you want for your birthday...or anniversary...or Christmas...or whenever.
Make your PRESENTS known...LOL!
And be a bit more grateful that someone took some time to give a damn about you. That doesn't come along every day, and will eventually fade with time. Enjoy it while it lasts.
For the ladies out there...remember that a man will always have some difficulty when it comes to getting you something, unless you're into SPORTS, or partake in HIS outdoor activities.
For the guys out there...always remember...REAL MEN can NEVER have too many sweat socks!
Gonna be hot today...keep cool!
It's an "Air quality-action" day.
Makes me wonder why they never say we have an air quality-INACTION day?
Actually, it's more like a "Lot of bad ozone (as opposed to the GOOD ozone) that's hanging around ground level and can irritate the lungs of those who suffer from respiratory problems day". I guess that's TOO LONG to spout out on the news. But riding CITILINK buses is free today.


Phil Marx said...

Hey, there's a house for sale that sounds real close to you - 4722 Monroe St. If I didn't already have one, we really could be neighbors.

Susan said...

I strongly suggest registering your wish list on several internet sites including Amazon.com, etc. That way people can log on and find out what you really, really want.

Hope your birthday was awesome. Say drop by my blog sometime on myspace

Say hi to the missus!


Bobby G. said...

Then it IS true...the mooks FINALLY moved from there.
Score one for the GOOD GUYS!
I gues Eleanor LeBrecht (realtor) finally read those emails I sent her.
It's a bungalow, but has a nice yard.
You "could" always use the house as an "investment" property...lol!

Thanks, it was cool, and I do have my wish list on Amazon.
I opromise to drop by your site, btw.
Roger on the "hi"...!



Jana said...

The hubs is always trying to get me something that I don't need or wouldn't wear (usually jewelry), and I always tell him, "Just take me out to dinner and we'll catch a movie! Spending time with you is ALWAYS a gift to me!"

But other than that, I'm easy to buy for too. I like socks, PJs, and plushies (frogs and sea turtles are my favorite).

But, for other people, I usually go the lazy route: gift cards for Wal-Mart or the mall.