December 12, 2008


Remember in high school when you had ten zillion friends (read: people you hoped would like you) that you insisted to your mother that you had to give Christmas presents to? Every person in your choir section (second soprano for life!), your group for English projects, your entire lunch table, every teacher (even Mrs. Dyal who made your life a living bad word), that cute guy who waves to you in the hall in between 2nd and 3rd period every day, etc. etc. etc. The list would grow exponentially as December 25th approached. I remember the bargaining that went on with my mom about how many items from All-A-Dollar I could possibly stuff into one mug and add a ribbon to. "Please can I put some army men in there too? Everybody loves army men!!"

Ah those were the days. Things certainly have changed since then. What catastrophic thing in my lifetime has turned me from the generous girl to the miserly woman? Oh yes, that's right, The Mighty Dollar. Capital T-M-D. Let's just refer to it as TMD from now on (sounds like TMJ, a very painful jaw condition caused by teeth grinding. Fitting). TMD has changed me. Its importance increases as its power decreases. Is there any other condundrum quite like TMD? We all know that as much as crazy 'ol Sarah Palin thinks she knows how to run America, she is mistaken. It is really TMD that dictates to us all. Deep-down, even Palin knows that, as evidenced by her wardrobe scandal (zing! Ok enough with the Palin jokes). When TMD says jump, we say how high. And various other boot camp-esque cliches.

Back to Christmas gifts. Somehow, even in the midst of my Scrooge-like personality change, I still find myself with maybe a zillion friends instead of ten zillion. A zillion is still too many! Don't shake your head and tell me to count my blessings! You try getting laid off, paying for a wedding, and rear-ending a poor old lady on her way to the dentist to get some dentures replaced and then tell me to get in the spirit of giving. Bah humbug I say to you. The unfortunate part is that even as I pretend I hate friends, I really actually like them and really actually want to give them a present. I want to give everyone I know a present. I didn't go through a personality change so much as a personality cover-up. But now I pay for my own spirit of Christmas instead of making my mom do it and I just don't have as much of TMD as my mom does. Sigh.

If I had any sort of marketable skill like knitting or paper-mache, I'd make presents. Like scarves or pinatas, or maybe I'd give out coupons for massages or scrapbook pages. Or free poems. Who doesn't love a free poem? But... not so much. I'm not very marketably-skilled. I guess I'm stuck buying things for people. Do you think it would be terribly tacky to give my zillion adult friends each a mug filled with army men?


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