Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's your Thing.

Everyone has “a thing”, something in their interest, work, hobby, physical characteristic that identifies them to everyone?

We often pigeon-hole people in our life based on their interests and hobbies, appearances and past experiences, and everything in-between.
 My boss, Joseph A. Carter, I compartmentalize as a rabid politicophile as his interest in politics and activism is something I have not witnessed since the 1970’s (and I work for a newspaper). He also has a love for baseball, music, designer beer and grilling (although his fascination with beer can chicken seems to have wavered).

We can discuss a movie, television program or a particular singer and I await the inevitable “do you know he/she is a liberal (or conservative) etc. He too compartmentalizes in an abbreviated way, right and left, conservative or liberal.  It does seem to streamline and simplify things a bit.
Back in 1986 there were a series of commercials promoting California Raisins. Hip, anthropomorphized (wonder how long I waited to use that big word) musical raisins sang “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” all to promote the benefits of dried up grape eating for the California Raisin Advisory Board.
My mother made the fatal error of announcing to the family that she thought the raisins were cute. The next few birthdays, Mother’s day, Christmas and assorted holidays found her overwhelmed with all the advertising nick-knacks one could find at Spencer’s gifts in the mall.
Given the choices available at that store, Dancing Raisin clocks and figurines were the only PG rated item available.
My mother would never throw any gift away, no matter how hideous, and she could never understand how my brothers and I would swap Christmas presents if what the other had suited our needs. She kept every gift, not as a hoarder, but out of cherishing the thoughtfulness and love behind the present.
She passed a few years ago and my brother, Johhny Fangs, lives in the family homestead.  Just today he tweeted me a pix of some figurines he found at the house.
Mrs. Jaygerardtoday for years had been identified by her interest in cats. This was a love for the creatures, not a strange addiction found in inter-city row homes where neighbors report unusual smells only to discover a few hundred felines running rampant with a decomposing octogenarian on the kitchen floor.  
She too was a recipient of numerous figurines, coffee mugs, salt and pepper shaker sets until one day she calmly announced “enough is enough, there is no more room in this house and it’s just too weird”. The collection slowly disappeared onto the basement IKEA shelves, collecting dust and awaiting an eventual yard sale.
I have decided to formally announce my decision to make something “my thing”. 

My family never knows what to give me as a gift, not that I have a Warren Buffett bank account and can purchase anything I so desire, I just never express an interest that can tie in to gift giving.

I will now make Christmas, Birthdays and Father’s Day easy on family and friends with my new interest: collecting gold and silver.

Feel free to gift wrap as much as you wish.  I promise that like my mother I too will never throw it away and unlike my spouse I will never grow weary and retire it to the basement IKEA shelves.

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