Saturday, May 08, 2004

Back in the Saddle - Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #4

Weekend Assignment #4: Share the most memorable birthday present you've ever gotten -- or given (extra credit for both). 


Note that the operative word here is "memorable" -- it doesn't have to be the best present you've ever gotten or given, or the worst, just the one you remember the most vibrantly.


When I read or write here in J-Land, it is usually when I first wake up, or right before I crash for the night. As such, the fog in my brain has a strange affect on my interpretation of things sometimes, in addition, to the wacky, mispelled comments I litter throughout the journals that I come upon.

My first reading of Scalzi's assignment left me wondering what was the most memorable birthday I had. Luckily, I didn't make haste and dash off the entry I planned with incriminating photos, because I would have been sorely off-topic. 

However, the true question of most memorable gift, left me feeling like an ingrate. I couldn't really think of anything that stood out as most memorable. Sure, there's the boyfriend when I was 19 who gave me not one, but two necklaces, each special in their own way. One was a gold chain with a pearl pendant. I love pearls and that's why he got that for me. But, he also gave me one of those cheesy half-heart necklace pendants with a chain, with him taking the other half of the pendant. Cheesy? Yes! But, still, how sweet is that?

But, that was so long ago. Surely, there were other things! But, I was stumped. Then it finally dawned on me. It's the gifts that you get that you don't even realize you need that are truly the most memorable.

Kind of like the card up above. I came home from work yesterday glad that such a stressful week was over, but bummed that the best I could look forward to this weekend was lots of cleaning and studying. No running off to the beach or getting lost in the woods for me. Work, work, work, is all my life seems to be. (Don't get me wrong, I love to work, but I'm just feeling a bit tired and cranky, PMS does that to me.) I open my mailbox and pull out a pile of junkmail and lo-and-behold the above card floats out of the mess. I didn't ask for it when Mary mentioned she would mail some out, but there it was. And, how perfectly it fit me and my situation. It's obvious she took the time to select one that was just right for me. Thanks Mary! You're the best!

But now back in the saddle.....My answer for the most memorable gift received and given:

My mother and stepfather #5 gave me a toolbox with tools one year for my birthday. I know the perception is that women want perfume, jewelry, and the ilk, and like most so do I.  But, every now and then something like this, comes along that just puts all of those things to shame.  I never thought to ask for something so practical or "manly." Heck, I didn't even realize that I needed it. But, it was the most handiest thing to have ever received. Unfortunately, I leant it to an "ex" several years back and didn't get it returned before the inevitable break-up. So...I am in need of it again. Hint! Hint! ;-)

The most memorable gift that I have given would have to be what I gave to stepfather #6. (For those that are counting, that would be the current one) I'll call him Duck, since that's his nickname anyhow, collects bottles. Not just any kind though. They are the collector's editions of various whiskeys and what-not. I had never heard of such a thing until I saw his collection. One day, I was in my favorite resale shop and looked up as I was checking out. Behind the counter on the shelves was a display of about twenty or more of these very bottles. Most, were priced at five to ten dollars each, which according to my mom is a steal since many go for eighty or more on Ebay. I dashed home and called my mom to find out what bottles Duck had. Then I went back to the store and bought about ten that he didn't have yet. I actually gave them to him for Christmas instead of his birthday though because I wanted to wrap them in my luggage. I was afraid if I shipped them they might get broken in transit. He loved them and still talks about how I gave them to him whenever someone admires his collection.

The gift of the bottles was tied with the wackiest gift that I have ever given. My mother is the hardest person in the world to shop for. I hate buying anything for her. I stress about it for months preceeding whatever special event is approaching. No matter how much I spend it never seems to be right or appreciated. As such, it figures that the wackiest gift that I have given her is the one she still talks about to this day.I was surfing a friend's site on Ebay when I came upon an entry for Decoy Ducks.  My mom was living in Arizona at the time and they had a pond on their property. I thought it would be cool to float them out in the pond. They cost me all of twenty dollars! I have spent several hundred dollars on gifts for my mother that she has thrown by the wayside, but not these things. Before moving back to Texas, they made sure to wrangle every single one of those decoys off the swamp they called a pond to take back to Texas with them! They are happily floating in the watertanks on their property and she is still talking about them. Go figure!


screaminremo303 said...

Isn't it funny how the best gifts (given and received) are the one's that don't cost hundreds of dollars, but carry special meaning. Pearl necklace? You didn't strike me as the type...

freeepeace said...

Great picture on the card!  Tools are a great gift.  I'd never think to ask for them either.  So I don't have many.  That would've been the first thing I got back from the ex! Grrr.  Well, now we know what to get you for your next birthday [and we have a couple of seasons to save up for it too] :D

lisbnjvi said...

I didn't even try to answer this assignment because I have no memorable birthdays, I dread them actually, so I tend to hide out on that day!  That is hysterical about your mom and the ducks though!  I remember every year I would be the one assigned to buy mom a present for Christmas, Mother's Day and her birthday.  So, of course, I would get something very special and expensive:  jewelry, one of those stand up jewelry boxes, etc.  And, wouldn't you know, the only thing she talked about each year was the crappy flowers my brother would give her from the local 7-Eleven!?  So, I understand where you are coming from wholeheartedly!
Hugs and love, Lisa

quroboros said...

Awwh, I don't think your 'Memorable Gift' is cheesy- it's sweet, sentimental & sincere.. says a lot about what kind of person you are, eh?
I like your note about the wacky gift too, and that made me think of the weirdest thing I ever gave anyone.  When I used to work as a nurse, my brothers & sister were always hitting me up for medical advice, free pills & over-the-phone diagnoses.  So one Xmas I packed up a big box of antibiotics, cough medicine, anti-imflams, Betadine swabs, nausea meds & everything else I could think of for a giant first-aid/illness kit.  It worked!- they each went about 6 months without bothering me!  ¤Holly

txsguinan said...

Do you know that I actually thought that that WAS you on the card?  I thought someone had done some clever photoshopping.  Mary chose your card beautifully.  If I were you I'd frame it!

It's clear that your gift-giving abilities are superior to most.  Both the collectible bottles and the decoy ducks convey a real affinity for the recipients; a knowledge of their interests, for your mother a sense of the absurd, and a willingness to go the extra yard. birthday is coming up soon... :)

ckays1967 said...

what a wonderful entry Robbie!!!!

goldenchildnc said...

Putting my anger at not getting my alerts now for the moment, let me say that this entry tells em more about you than any other 10 entries combined! Well, except for the Truth or Fiction one. LOL! This is a good thing. :-)

ggal3133 said...

Wonderful gifts you have recieved. I love opening up my mailbox and finding an unexpected hidden treasure, glad you had one this week :)

merelyp said...

Duck decoys rule in Texas, apparently.  How fun an entry!

slowmotionlife said...

My dad once gave me a car washing kit.  I thought it was so bizarre at the time.  A Car Washing Kit??? For a teenage girl??? WTH?  LoL  But it turned out to be really nice.  I used that car washing kit!!  And my car always looked fly, baby.  :P

Now I want the pictures from that wild birthday party!!!  LOL

krobbie67 said...

SCREMO: Pearl necklace. Har-har. That brought back memories. I had a boyfriend in high school who used to sing that song. At the time, I didn’t know what it meant or why he liked it so much.

FREEE: Oh goodie! Now you do know I’m talking about things like hammers and wrenches when I talk about tools right. ;-p

LISBNJVI – LISA: It seems you understand me only too well. I too don’t have a lot of memorable birthdays. I had the misfortune of being born on my mom’s birthday. As such, mine was often celebrated on a different day. :-(

HOLLY: Hey, I think your wacky gift would be one of those practical gifts that I would just love to receive.

TXSGUINAN: I love getting just the right gift for someone. People who collect things are perfect too, because it makes the selection process so much easier. I love the card. The background makes me think of what it probably looked like in SoCal years ago.


GREGG: You’ve been mentioning that Truth or Fiction entry a lot lately. It must have really burned on your memory. How funny! I never went to the alerts for entries except on private journals. I’m still using Bloglines to stay on top of my J’s. It’s got its downfalls, like wiping out all my new entries, that I did know who I had been to or not, but it’s so nice.

GGAL: Mary is great for sending the little surprises too! Now with the internet, there are so few surprises in the mailbox, unless you want to count my fricken phone bill for being online too much.

MERYLP: Duck Decoys?! Go figure!

SLO: I actually put one of those pics on here a while back. But, you’d have to go dig for it. Car washing kit? Hmmm I’d rather have coupons to a car wash. I don’t mind washing my car. I just hate cleaning the inside.