Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Are you one of those people who can’t stand seeing a wrapped present?  Who has the need, almost the compulsion, to unwrap something addressed to you?

I’m not. 

I enjoy the pleasant anticipation of the holidays, almost as much as the events themselves.  I love having something to look forward to, and I get so much satisfaction from giving gifts – much moreso than receiving them.  However, those that I do receive, I prefer to open on the day.  It’s part of the magic of the holiday.

However, my mother can’t handle not knowing what a present is.  And she assumes everyone else in the world is wired this way.  This has led to some interesting experiences over the years.

Such as when I was given new bed linens for Christmas, and my mom thought she could hide them in my closet without me noticing.  I mean, I am messy, but I do get dressed with clothes from my closet.  I don’t know why she thought I wouldn’t notice.  And then when I asked “um, what is up with the stuff in my closet?” she sent me off on an errand and POOF it disappeared.  What the heck? 

Then there is the stuff that she hides so well she can’t find it.  Every year as a teenager I would have at least one present that was purchased for the previous year’s Christmas.  Sometimes it didn’t make it until the next year – “Oh hey, I found this.  It’s your Christmas present.”   “Mom, it’s August.”   “Well, it’s just like Christmas in July!”   “Whatever, Mom.  Thanks, I guess.”

My cousin inherited this trait too.  The couple of years I lived with his family, he always knew what he was getting for Christmas.  I make sure that I wrap his presents with paper, rather than in a bag, just to frustrate his attempts to figure out what he’s getting. 

Both of them have birthdays within a month of Christmas.  I think that drives the need to know what they are getting.  As children, they had to wait all year for presents!  I can imagine not being able to take that at some point.

Anyway, I took my parents’ presents to their house at Thanksgiving.  I’d bet money that my mother has opened hers already.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Other people’s secrets

I recently learned that a friend of mine – who shall remain anonymous and does not read this blog – attempted suicide in the past 5 years.

I knew her at that time, and I had no idea.

It was a difficult thing to hear, although she told me in an “I’d like to share this with you” way. 

I feel honored that she trusts me enough to share this with me.  But I can’t help feeling guilty because I didn’t do anything at the time.

It was also hard to react to this information.  What do you say?  “I’m so sorry” doesn’t seem to cover it.

Fortunately, things are better now, and she is in a good place.  But as she told me, “once attempted, suicide always remains a viable option.”

So I’m putting it out there in the universe.  If you think no one cares about you, you’re wrong.  I do.  I don’t want anyone to feel like there’s nothing left to live for.  You’ll always have tomorrow.