It began as a child. Mom and Dad would ask the age old, "what do you want for Christmas?". I would give my list and get my hopes up. Come Christmas my hopes were always dashed but it wasn't my parents fault.
My brother was smart. He turned in a list with exact specifications. He researched for weeks. He even let mom know where to buy it and for how much. He always got exactly what he had hoped and dreamed and planned for.
I was dumb. My list sounded something like this: jean jacket, books, cute socks, and music. I never wrote the list down, I just blurted it out to mom whether she was armed with a pencil or not (don't moms have the super power to remember everything we say?). I got the jean jacket but it didn't have a shearling interior and it wasn't acid washed--oh, was I supposed to actually say that? Nothing was ever quite what I had hoped and dreamed and (not) planned for.
I have never learned how to ask for exactly what I want and I prefer to buy the things I want for myself (can you say control freak? Dave can :)) There are several reasons for this:
- I don't spend a lot of time thinking about things I wish I had. I prefer to use and make-do with what I've got.
- I worry that you may pay more for a gift for me than you had to because you didn't shop around and are therefore wasting your money on me unnecessarily.
- I might change my mind and want a different color or style or model or, who knows, in a week I may not even want that item anymore!
Please, don't get me wrong, I do think of others and like to get things for people. I just don't like to do it on a deadline and a budget when there are expectations to be lived up to. Therefore, if you don't get a present from me this year it is because:
- I did not find anything worthy of you. You are my friend and I don't want to insult you with bath soaps that will sit in a basket for the next year or chocolates you're trying not to eat or candles that make you sneeze. I will only get you something if I think it is perfect for you.
- I am on a budget and though I found the perfect thing it was more than I could spend and since I can't risk my family's financial stability and won't buy a gift that is not perfect please refer to #1.
- I don't shop a lot, I don't have time to. And when I do go shopping it is at the grocery store. So unless you get really excited about gift wrapped cereal or a decked out bunch of bananas don't expect something from me anytime soon. When I get around to setting foot in Target or Walmart or perhaps even the mall (I haven't been there in years!) I'll see what I can find, but don't wait up.