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Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Hate Shopping, I Love Giving

I hate shopping. 

Stop looking so shocked. It's TRUE! And you know what?  I recently learned one of my friends hates shopping, too....we might form a support group for women who hate shopping. After all, say you hate this or that store and no one cares. But say you hate shopping in general, if people are eating they drop their forks and stare, all conversation tapers off, and every man, woman, and child in the room cease even BREATHING at the revelation, not knowing how to respond. Or perhaps, if you are a guest in their home, they consider ejecting you and your anti-shopping attitudes for fear they may infect someone else.

As soon as the shock wears off, which might take a good 15 minutes, the questions begin, the demands to know WHY, and HOW it's POSSIBLE to HATE SHOPPING! At around this point, some will actually be rending their clothing (so that they can go shopping in reparation for the blasphemy in their presence which clearly taints anything being worn at that time), and tearing their hair from their head.

We've learned, you see, that sometimes it's best to just say nothing at all, although even that is dangerous because by saying nothing, these normal women who enjoy shopping think you're hiding something, like maybe some massive deal. If you don't fess up and just admit the truth about yourself, that you hate shopping, it's entirely possible, especially during this overly-materialistic "Christmas Shopping Season" that you'll be tackled a-la Super Bowl, the contents of your purse dumped on the floor, and perhaps all of your pockets ripped out surgically with a seam-ripper in case you're hiding a secret shopping list and destination in said pocket.

And after all that, then you HAVE to go shopping because your favorite outfit has been destroyed, the one you bought 3 years ago, a classic that you could mix-n-match and thus avoid shopping.  *sigh*

So, yes, I hate shopping.  There!  I said it.

Now, I have to clear up a huge misunderstanding that always occurrs when I make such a shocking statement, so I want you to listen very, very carefully:

While I despise shopping with every fibre of my being, I LOVE giving gifts. 

I LOVE it when my family and friends open the gifts I've chosen for them!  I love it when somehow I've managed to choose exactly the right thing for them! Thus I will go so far as to admit all the aggravation is worth it just to see their happy expressions.  I far more enjoy watching someone open a gift I've given them more than actually receiving one myself.

At Christmas, my brother and I for some reason are often on the same gift-wavelength, and have a few times swapped pretty much the same gifts, and this is a source of great entertainment.

On Christmas Eve, we have a little wine-and-cheese party after dinner, while watching movies and chatting. So one year, although we had decided to open all of our gifts on Christmas Day, that year I found a gift for my brother that DEMANDED it be opened that very night.  It was a really fancy corkscrew that came in its own wooden box.

Now, given this new tradition we'd developed, and given the type of gift, I also picked up some wine for my brother.  I had to work that Christmas Eve, so as soon as I got out of work to head home, I stopped off at a local wine shop to ensure I had what was needed for everyone.  I happened to pass a bottle of red wine with three "x"'s on it, the label of which read, "CHEAP RED WINE".  I strongly considered purchasing it for my brother...imagine! That wine to go with the fanciest corkscrew any of us had ever seen! Hilarious!

But no, I decided I really did have enough and if the wine was bad, then it would just be a total waste of money.

So I left it and drove home. As soon as I arrived I insisted that after Mass and our traditional oyster soup supper, we open certain gifts. My brother had one he wanted me to open, too, so we each chose another for Mom.

And do you know what?

That Christmas Eve, my brother gave me - get this - a corkscrew kit!  Nothing nearly so fancy as the one I gave him (he actually offered to take it back in favor of getting something better. I refused!), and...this gets better....

The wine my brother chose for me....can you guess???


He DID get the gag wine, in addition to the "real" one for me!  And we opened it that night, shared it out and in fact, it was GOOD!

Well, this particular Christmas Eve tradition continues, and we are usually joined by his girlfriend who brings her own and helps us sample our own wines.  It's a very festive occasion of course!

This year, though, I very carefully chose the wine gift for my brother.  You see, he fell away from the Church, only goes to Mass when Mom is at his house, and doesn't see why he needs to go to Confession. He basically has rejected every tenant of the Catholic Faith...and probably every other.  No, he's not an atheist, but certainly he is in need of prayers for his conversion.

So this year, I'm giving him a gift he might not "get" but I'm quite certain our mother will!   The name of this wine?  It's from "Big House" (a vineyard I recommend), a red called "Prodigal Son".