Sometimes it’s the guys who clean up the parking garage late at night into the early morning hours and find something that isn’t theirs, only to return it to the booth by the exit gate for someone to claim the next day.
Sometimes it’s the dude on instant message who inadvertently cheers up a co-worker who isn’t feeling particularly well. By making the time pass more pleasantly with a funny anecdote, he shows a caring touch that makes another’s day easier.
Sometimes it’s the guy at the tire shop you bring your vehicle with the tire leaking air to. You expect the worst and hope it can be repaired instead of being forced to buy a new tire you hadn’t budgeted for. You find out it’s fixed and ask what the damage is when you come back to pick up the car. Tire guy tells you it’s on the house. You tell him you’ll be back when it’s time to buy new tires and mean it.
Sometimes it’s just offering to have a beer with someone who is not feeling especially jovial this time of year. You may not think you say or do anything particularly helpful while bending your elbow with your friend, except you do. You listen to them. Sometimes that is the biggest show of support anyone ever needs.
Sometimes it’s the old friend who writes an even older friend a letter reminding them how much they mean to them, that they think of them quite often and how they’ll always have a place in their hearts. The old friend imagines the look on the even older friend’s face as they read the letter and they both are smiling simultaneously, as only friends who write letters to one another do.
The holidays are supposed to be a magical time. It too often becomes a shop ‘til you drop kind of time. Shopping is stressful to guys. Women conduct retail therapy. But, I think it’s ultimately stressful to them as well. The anticipation of getting the right present for the right person. Leaving early to beat the crowds and get the best parking spots. Then you shop, come home and still feel empty.
People that are shopping for others who don’t have as much are the ones who don’t incur any stress and actually feel good about shopping. Any other kind of shopping is forgotten as soon as the iPhone you bought them is outclassed by the next model.
I once got a stick man from a friend as a present. I spent a lot of money, comparatively-speaking on this individual and all they got me in return was a stick man. Yeah, it was a “special” stick man. It was made by hand by said individual. I was told it was worth more than any gift you could buy because handmade gifts have the most meaning and that makes them special. To this day I think the stick man looks cheap and that it didn’t take them very much time to make it. I was thinking the time it takes me to go to the bathroom is probably just a little less time spent than this person took to build the stick man.
We’re always comparing at this time of year. I got this. You got that. He stood in line for this. She took off from work to buy that.
I’m guilty as much as anyone when it comes to feeling like the reality never meets, let alone exceeds, the expectations. That’s the gist of the situation, too. As I watch the Yule log burn, I’m struck by the peaceful, easy feeling I have. The fire is mesmerizing. The music is bringing me dancing through the snow in a one-horse, open sleigh.
Then they break away from their regularly scheduled yule log loop to bring me promotions of other shows that are on when the yule log isn’t burning. My peaceful, easy feeling falls by the wayside.
I am cantankerous.
I am disappointed.
But it is better to give than to receive, I tell myself. And my ire fades in to the fire that eventually resumes its spellbinding, slow burn that never deviates. Talk about unrealistic consistency.
Sometimes it’s not such a bad idea to end a meandering, bereft of absolute brilliance blog with the words, “Peace out.”
And so I have.