Thursday, December 21, 2006

“Hey, Mikey, whattaya want for a present?”
“I dunno, Jules. What do you want?”
“I dunno…”

Every year it’s the same thing with me and my sister.

I feel like I’m the easiest person to get gifts for. I have lots of different interests, and yet rarely buy myself anything. But then again, while the thought counts and all, I really don’t need any more Yankees gear or coffeemakers or a spider farm…

My sister knows that there are bigger, important things on my list. Julie usually buys me the more expensive items, but the tradeoff is: she insists that I do the research on exactly what I want. Like this year, she’s getting me a new printer/scanner for my home computer, but I had to look up which model suited my needs and where to find the best deal. Oh, man…

Half the reason I don’t get these things for myself is the price, but the other half is… well, I’m lazy. Why is it every birthday and holiday season I gotta start scouring the internet or going in and out of stores for my own gift? I don’t wanna have to figure these things out. I hate shopping. Just gimme gimme gimme!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful and all. Over the years, thanks to Julie (and in part, my own efforts), I got a nice briefcase, a new leather jacket, a good stainless steel watch... Even my digital camera was obtained partially due my sister’s monetary contribution (and later used by her during her scenic trip to Iceland).

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She, on the other hand, is a strange one to shop for. Julie loves little things to keep herself tidy and uncluttered. Organize This! is one of her favorite stores. One holiday season, she told me she about these large plastic bins to store all her gift-wrapping paraphernalia. I thought she was kidding. Most people keep scraps of ribbon and tubes of gift-wrap tossed somewhere in a closet and though they think about one day straightening up this mess, no one would waste a good Chanukkah present on such a project, would they? To me, storage bins are the grown-up equivalent of getting sox for Xmas.

Instead, that year I got her lotsa fun gifts, including a reproduction of the Atari video game console -- Breakout, Space Invaders, Missile Command, etc. The gift combined three of Julie's favorite things: the old Atari games, the ‘80s and reminiscing to our childhood days growing up on Long Island. She seemed delighted. But to this day that toy has remained unused, stashed away in her closet, adding to clutter that she so despises.

So for her birthday a month later, I got my sister the stupid wrapping paper storage bin, and she was ecstatic! She immediately opened it up and put it to use, only taking a break from her fun-filled finickiness to thank me again.

And now that she got a new car, she’s Felix Unger on the road, too. Constantly working on clever ways to store her phone charger, her CDs, whatever needs organization… I worry about her getting into an accident due to DWI -- driving while inventorying.

This year, I’m getting her a buncha cool stuff, but I think her favorite items will be the new Thomas Guide and a portable car vacuum. It seems mundane, but she’ll be thrilled. I tells ya, that girl is weird.


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