You know what I hate? Okay, okay, don’t overload. I know the list is long so I’ll just tell you.
People who ask other people things the other person has no shot at helping with. Things such as asking a waitron what’s good. How does the waitron know what you like? What if the waitron only eats the foot shavings of yaks?
Sure, they may know what they’ve been told is good or is being pushed because it’s the last day before it spoils or what other patrons have ordered but that’s so little assistance to you it’s nothing more than a waste of time.
I was with someone who asked, the waitron answered and the asker said,
“Eww. I hate that.”
Then don’t ask strangers for their opinion, you simp.
Okay, I’ll start getting to the point.
I also hate when people ask what I’m getting my girlfriend for Xmas. I know they’re only looking for ideas because, most people who ask, truly have no friggin’ interest as to what I’m getting or why. Then, if I decide to play along with this chip off the old brain damage and answer, they never believe me. They ask, I answer,
“Same thing as every year. Money.”
The looks I get! It’s as if I said,
“Same thing as every year. Testicle shavings of a lemur.”
From experience I know she doesn’t like that. Nor, truth be told, did the lemur.
For some reason saying money makes me seem like some lemur ball shaving psychopath. She likes money. She accepts it. In all my years with her she’s never exchanged it (asked for a larger amount? Sure, who wouldn’t?).
If she asks for something, a Cuisenart or Stratocaster or Kitchenaid or the assortment power tools she craves, I’m more than happy to accommodate. But, most of her gift will be green, foldable, and easily hidden from the government.
But sometimes people don’t take my word for it. They should, as we’ve come to learn, but it seems some people have a little too much jingle and not enough bells. They’ll pish-posh me letting me know that it’s not romantic, thoughtful or just plain lazy.
Okay, there I can’t really argue but what’s wrong with giving someone something they want? It’s not as if I wouldn’t call Fred (my designated elf) and go shopping because we have. The last time we split up and all the shopping was done in an hour. Which left two hours for drinking. You get your holiday spirit your way, we’ll get ours ours.
Why is that more romantic than going to a bank? Sure, she used to complain about never being surprised but that’s gone through a dramatic decrease. Since the lemur shavings incident.
And, truly, I’m not good at surprising people. I don’t think it adds to the festivities because, again, in my experience, whenever I’ve tried to surprise people it usually ends up in a much longer trip to the store to exchange than it did to purchase. Let’s stick surprise to your time of death and just tell me what you want. The holidays are stressful enough without wondering why my surprise gift keeps bouncing across the floor.
But (I told you I’d get to the point), this person just could not believe this was my idea of a gift. Boy, let me tell you, if someone could make me feel bad about this, this guy wouldn’t be him but he did give it a Cringley try.
“What will she have under the tree?”
“Same as every year. Cats.”
“You must put something there she can open?”
I wanted to explain to him that I’m not very good at wrapping gifts. As much as I try, and I do, they never come out like an advertising photo. They usually resemble a mummy. More colorful? Sure, but just as raggedy. One year I ran out of tape fairly early in the proceedings so taped everything with what I had: white athletic tape.
But I knew if I said that he’d think I was using it as an excuse. Why? I don’t know. I’ve wrapped money! But it seems that, during this time of love filled expression, you have to extend yourself to make the holiday bright and memorable to others. So I figured I’d lie.
“It’s not much but I do have something in mind.” The man brightens up and gives me a hearty chuck on the shoulder.
“I knew you had it in you. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.”
“Yeah, that’s what they say.” That’s why I thought ‘money’. I didn’t say that but it was my thought. “I decided to combine two of Terry’s loves, baking and crime, so I got her notorious murders chalk outline cookie cutters and serial killer Jell-O molds.”
Why are people so often disappointed when they leave me?