Saturday, December 5, 2009
A Garlic Press and a Book of Stamps
Who knew that a phone conversation with my daughter regarding Christmas plans would result in a moment of clarity about the importance of the little things in life? It goes like this:
“So, Mom, is there anything special I can get you for Christmas this year?” Her voice has that here we go again edge to it.
“You know, I’d love a garlic press and a book of stamps,” I answer, without a moment’s hesitation.
“Oh, Mother! A garlic press isn’t something you ask for for Christmas. And stamps you buy every week.”
“But, honey, I want a garlic press. I want that more than anything!” I try in vain. “And I’m tired of having to buy stamps every week--that would be a great gift!”
She sighs. “Look,” she says as reasonably as her frustration allows, “suppose, just hypothetically, I could buy you a house. Would you still want a garlic press more than anything?”
“What kind of a house?” I ask. “I wouldn’t want just any old house, just any old where,” I add.
“You’re kidding, right? You could sell it if you didn’t like it.”
“Why would I want it if I was just going to sell it? That’s too much trouble.” I hear a low groan on the other end of the phone.
“Forget the house. What if I could buy you a car? Would you want a garlic press more than a car?” she continues to try and make her point.
“What kind of a car?” I ask.
“Mom! It doesn’t matter what kind of a car—a car is a car is a car.”
“There are some cars I wouldn’t drive—too big, you know?”
The conversation continues with my daughter’s voice becoming more strained by the minute.
“Honey, just send a card. Really, a card would be lovely.”
On Christmas morning, I retrieve a small package from under the tree with a tag on it that reads, ‘To Mom with love. Merry Christmas’. It rattles in its box. There is hope. I unwrap it slowly and savor the possibility.
I find a lovely box of assorted incense, and a beautifully wrapped bar of imported lavender soap, my favorite.
I call my daughter and thank her profusely for the wonderful Christmas gifts. She knows I have a penchant for incense and soap.
Then, I open my Day Planner and make a note on Saturday’s page. Errands: post office/stamps; grocery/garlic press.