Last week I had to make a run to Target, as I was out of many several essentials for the household.* My list looked like this:
- paper towels
- toilet paper
- laundry detergent
I love Target for the exact reason that I can indeed get paper towels, laundry detergent, and a skateboard all in one place.
Daaa de deee dah dum….[whistling] la la la….
What? You’re wondering why I needed a skateboard anyway? No, no, I’m not planning on switching careers in the new year. I have not become an adrenaline junkie who wants the bruises and scrapes and cuts as badges of honor from missing the board on a kick-flip and tumbling off the edge of a half-pipe. Or whatever.**
A couple weeks ago, my friend HO, knowing that I hadn’t gotten a star off the giving tree (to give gifts to needy kids) from church, had asked if I wanted to go in for the kid she got, a 10-year-old boy.
Of course, I replied. What can I get?
Well, she said, on his list are sweaters and a skateboard.
HO, being HO – and by that I mean she is a shopper extraordinaire, particularly in the realm of internet buying – had already taken care of the sweaters.
I’ll pick up the skateboard, I said.
And so I did.
And hopefully it will make a anonymous little boy in need very happy this Christmas. And I apologize in advance to his mom/dad/caretaker for any bad assness that may ensue with such a gift. Nothin’s gonna stop the flow, so maybe just close your eyes and think of England when you see him scoot off down the street, wobbling to and fro, trying to hop any cracks and curbs.
The stars on the giving tree go so quickly from the church that I haven’t actually gotten one of my own in two years. The stars are usually snatched up by the noon mass, which means that This Girl, who usually rolls on in at the 5:30 Sunday night mass, is SOL and thereby thwarted in her plans to be generous and whatnot. Because if you are not generous and whatnot in the Christmas season you will give the baby Jesus colic and he will cry.
But two years ago, I did get a star. My star was a little boy, 12 years old. He didn’t have anything listed on his wish list, and I therefore spent the next two weeks fretting over what to get him? WHAT DO I GET HIM? And generally trying not to freak out over the fact that this may be his only Christmas present this year and HFS, don’t fuck it up and Ruin. Christmas. A 12 year old boy? What was I thinking? Why didn’t I pick a 6-year-old girl? A) I’ve never been a boy, and 2) I’ve never been a 12-year-old boy, which I suspect is very different than being a 12-year-old girl.
At the time I was still hostessing at a restaurant in Glover Park, and I went in one night, panicking as the deadline for gift drop off drew nearer and my brain became foggier over the prospect of what to get the kid.
“Tim,” I asked my bartender. “You were a 12-year-old boy once. What would you want for Christmas?”
Tim started to open his mouth, right as a thought hit me and I cut him off.
“This is a church thing. I CAN’T GET HIM PORN.”
Tim closed his mouth and shrugged, useless with other ideas.
The kid got a gift card to Target instead.
Merry Christmas, anonymous one. May you enjoy the magic that is Target.
*No, I’m good on butter and dry pasta, thanks. Stocked up on those awhile back at the Safeway, thanks.
** What? I watched the janky movie.