Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Not the one in the sky with diamonds
Last night Brian was stressing out because I'd put a couple of wrapped presents for him under the tree. I was mostly doing it for the aesthetics of it - I like looking at a tree with presents underneath it. He freaked: "You already have stuff for me and I haven't gotten you anything yet!" I told him he didn't need to get me anything and he laughed. I meant it though.
I know it's hard to believe - me, who talks about how much I love presents and who writes entire blog entries on the wonders of certain hair products. My dad didn't nickname me Lucy by accident and I've done a pretty good job of living up to the reputation. Of course "Lucy" also referred to her grouchiness and meanness as well as her greediness, so the name works on many levels for me. But Brian won't hear it; he is big on getting me SOMETHING to open up on Christmas and my birthday, no matter how okay or broke we happen to be on any particular year. Which is one of the things about him that is very sweet.
But I started thinking about it. Of course there are plenty of things I *want*; I mean, my God - have you seen the flyers in the Sunday papers recently? Pretty, sparkly, shiny, fluffy - I could rattle a long list off right now. But do I really NEED anything? No, I don't. I'm lucky enough to live in a cute, comfortable house, drive a (not running great but still running) car to a job every day. Within reason, I can go into a grocery store and pick out whatever I want to eat. I have hundreds of channels from which to choose to watch whatever I feel like entertaining myself with at the time and even recording it if I want to watch it later. I have some people in this world who love and care about me, despite me being me. I have everything I could possibly need and then some.
And then, the little Jew who sits on my shoulder immediately tapped his guilt-wand and made me feel poopy. I have so much more than so many people and most of the time take it totally for granted. Am I worried about money both personally and with regard to the country's failing economy? DUH. Who isn't? Can I afford to give out cash to everyone asking for it this time of year? No. Because I'm selfish and worried about spending my money on presents and traveling this Christmas.
But then I got an idea. That does happen sometimes. I'm not willing to part with my money, but I can give some of my time. Which is why this morning I called Harvest Hope Food Bank and asked how I could help. And now on Friday instead of going shopping or spending quality time on the couch, I'll be volunteering for a few hours. I'm excited about it. The most I've ever done is donate canned goods to them and clothes to Goodwill and women's shelters, and those things require little to no effort whatsoever. Once I'm there I'll find out more about the operation and then there's a good possibility I'll go back to work there more during my time off this month.
It may only be a small thing in the great scheme of things, but it's a start. When you're nicknamed Lucy, you need all the good karma points you can get.