My wife did not ask for anything for Christmas. Fine. I didn’t ask for anything either, didn’t expect anything as well. My kids, teenagers really, hadn’t given much thought to showing any element of appreciation to their mother. Note to self, don’t expect shit from your children.
So on Christmas Eve, the boys and I found ourselves at Costco, bored and looking about. The center for capitalism, the stomach of consumption. Costco. Near the front entrance is a sea of big screen TV’s. I knew the American economy was in trouble 3 years ago when people living in mobile homes were carting out $2,000 big screen TV’s. But I digress.
In ‘our’ living room at home, we have one of these old tube sets, big ass models, it’s a little fuzzy, but works fine. So standing in Costco, Christmas Eve, surrounding by a bunch of TV’s, manufactured in a country where they don’t know what Christmas is, I suggested to the kids, “let’s buy your mother a LCD TV”.
Yippee. Everything “on sale”, we spent over an hour trying to figure out what size set would fit comfortably in the armoire in our living room. Rather her living room. Or perhaps better, the bank’s living room. We discussed back n’ forth. We also discussed that she didn’t want us spending a bunch of money. But I felt their mother deserved some treat for being their mother, putting up with their crap all year long. She likes to sit there in the evening and watch a movie. We make our purchase decision and head to the register. We’re feeling good about Christmas, the spirit of giving.
Christmas comes, she gets the TV, expresses that she is thankful and the lord baby jesus did whatever he does on Christmas. I was home drinking. Praise the lord.
Yesterday, I arrange to come back the house to connect up this HD TV set and it’s mangle of wires and spent about an hour prepping it. My wife and her mother off in the city playing tourist. Sad to say, the TV cabinet is a mite larger than us ‘boys’ had thought, but hey it’s a new TV. Praise the lord. I sat on the couch and watched the vivid display and realized the display was roughly the same size of the old tube set, but about 250 pounds lighter. I could have moved the system size a notch higher and fit into the cabinet. Oh well.
So tonight, a day’s labor done, my phone ring, it’s my wife, she’s in tears. “What kind of TV did you buy me? It’s the size of a postage stamp”, she screams. “I want my old TV back along with the Tivo System not this hard to figure out Verizon FIOS stuff”. “Why did you mess with my TV, I was happy, I told you not to buy me anything for Christmas”. And on it went. My older son texted me she was banging around the house all fired up about a fucking TV.
Now, my friends, I will return to my house today, get the TV, return it to Costco, spend more money, buy a bigger TV, take it out to house, put it in, smile and leave.
But let this serve as a strong remainder to you. No good deed goes unpunished. You, I, us, them, we’re all alone, take care of yourself first. Give money to UNICEF if it makes you feel better. The good news with Africa, 400 years from now, we’ll still be giving money to these people, makes us feel good. But please recognize how truly alone in the world you are. All this BS about family and values and taking care of each other is a bunch of crap Hollywood invented and on a occasional misty eyed evening, I write about as well. Do what makes you happy. Be first in line.