The Present Month

My mother's best friend used to come over to our house around Christmastime and hide all the gifts that she had bought for her two daughters in our closets. She couldn't hide them in her own house because they'd hunt them down and find them. Of course, hiding them in our house only meant that the girls would hunt them down in our house and find them. There was no easy solution.

In our family, we had a different problem. Mother wouldn't hide our gifts, but she'd forget them in various places and then send us looking for something in that place. "Cicada, please go downstairs. There's a pile of bags by the computer. Look for a sticky note pad and bring it back to me." In looking for the sticky note pad, I'd come across a baseball cap with an American flag on it that was pretty much precisely what I had dreamed of receiving for Christmas (my tastes have changed dramatically since then; although it was the perfect gift at the time, I realize now that the hat was hideous and I curse the 80s).

I'd come up the stairs dejectedy, holding the sticky notes. I'd give them to my mother and explain what else I had found in the bags downstairs. Christmas had effectively been ruined.

The other kids had similar experiences and it was time we worked out a new system with Mom. We all decided that from then on, all our Christmas gifts would be found under her bed and we would simply never, ever look under her bed around Christmastime. We all knew the reward of suspense when the gifts were finally opened on Christmas day. And the system worked.

December 15th is my birthday. Since college, I've known what I was getting for my birthday because there has been a need and it has been filled. My freshman year, I needed a shower robe so that I could walk safely to the community showers every day. I received a shower robe that I still use daily and still looks brand new. My junior year, I received bedding since my down comforter at the time had lost too many feathers and was little more than a couple of sheets sewn together. I still have the blanket that she sent; it's on my bed, still comforting me.

The next two birthdays were spent on the mission. The first birthday, the gift was a surprise. She sent me a gold necklace. She explained that next birthday, she'd be sending me a fish charm for the necklace, since I was spending a year and a half as a fisher of men. As you can see from the picture, I wore this necklace at all times during my mission. I didn't take it off to shower, sleep, or play mud soccer. It was a perfect gift for a missionary since it was small and meaningful.

Last year, my first birthday home after the mission, I received a digital camera, which has taken most of the photos you've seen on my blog.

But this year... There are many things that I want, of course. This ends up happening every year. I want something, and my wish is fulfilled. A couple days ago I was talking to my mom on the phone and I facetiously asked her what she was getting me for my birthday. My intention wasn't to find out what I was getting for my birthday, but to gently sway her in the direction of a sewing machine. She replied, "Something you've never asked for." I suppose what she didn't realize at the time was that that severely limits the possibilities, for I am a greedy, greedy girl. But it's made me start guessing. Here is a list of some things I've never asked for. Feel free to contribute to the list.
  • a car
  • a bicycle (I'm currently using my sister-in-law's)
  • a ticket to Rome
  • a new television with HD capability
  • a couch (with our current futon, you can feel the bars underneath you and have to decide whether to allow the bar to go right between your butt checks, or whether to sit slightly to the side of the bar)
  • a dryer (we've been without one for a month)
  • a boyfriend
  • a $500 gift certificate to Red Robin
  • an elliptical machine so I can work out in my own home

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the boyfriend...

(Lest you think I'm really spoiled, all of the things listed above do not fit in the b-day budget. I feel comfortable in posting them because I know that I'm not actually going to get any of these things. Please feel free to contribute guesses about my potential b-day present, but keep the guesses out of the realm of possibility.)


Limon said...

My guess is that she'll give a cherry that has no stone. Awwwwww!

Squirrel Boy said...

Well, I WAS going to get you that gift certificate for Red Robin, but you've pretty much ruined that idea, haven't you? Thanks a lot, Cicada.

Daltongirl said...

Here's what I think you're getting for your birthday:

1. Silly Putty surgery so you can actually look like your blog photo.

2. A year's worth of insurance/gas/repairs so you can take this stupid van off my hands.

3. The photography lights that DB is hoping to sell on eBay for $500.

4. Three nights at the Anniversary Inn, in that one room that has a jacuzzi shaped like a giant martini glass.

5. The fish charm that she promised before, since you're still fishing for men.

6. Smenita. I don't know what it is, but it's the word verification, and it sounds expensive.

(From DG, sent to my gmail because the comments were temporarily not working.)

Miss Hass said...

I think you're getting a brand-new 15" PowerBook.

Or maybe you're getting a trip to Hooper, Utah, because that would be cheap.

Cicada said...

Miss Hass,

Creepy... since "Hooper Utah" is written on my white board... you haven't been to my house recently, have you?

Tolkien Boy said...

And here I was set up for a dove with no bone.

Say, Cicada, are you drying your clothes the old-fashioned way? I have visions of you in a head scarf, setting out clothes on a line.

Cicada said...

Hahaha. Yeah right, TB. See, the Church has PROGRAMS to help us out. Like visiting teaching. Even though I didn't even really know who my visiting teachers were, I called them and made THEM dry my clothes.

Interestingly enough, it was enough of an experience to make us all bond, and I've hung out with them three times in the past week. Perhaps my dryer was divinely broken...

Mary said...

A sweater!

Mary said...

Do we ever really ask for them? No. Do we get them? All the time.

Cicada said...

I don't know if I've ever received a sweater as a gift... Oh! There was this one time on my mission, and I really appreciated it because the giver was poor. Sweaters are nice! Can one possibly have too many?