…And a Barbie …And a pony

14 Aug

I have a rather unremarkable birthday coming up. Smack in the middle of two ‘big’ ones, it shouldn’t even be worth mentioning because really it’s just another Thursday on which I will get up and go to work and maybe give myself a day off from training to run a marathon relay with friends. (As Thursdays are Body Combat and I’m quite taken with aggressively punching imaginary opponents to upbeat soundtracks, however, this is highly unlikely.)

But even though I am well aware that in the Grand Scheme of Life I am young and not supposed to have reached telos or even really know how to achieve Purpose as yet, I’m feeling a bit restless.

This has resulted, for the first time in forever, in an inability to articulate, “I would like X for my birthday, thanks!”

Frustration abounds.

Do I want money from my parents to ostensibly put towards an iPad (purchase date: some nebulous point in the future) but that would more likely be spent on a million silly little things like lip gloss and library fines and car washes?

Or perhaps a Sephora gift card so I can stop being a child and start being a woman, complete with a signature scent?

What about the millions of little kitchen gadgets I’d love to own but for which I have no space? The ramekins and the food processors and the garlic presses and basically everything in the Anthropologie home section? (These are all out as my father point-blank refuses to buy me anything requiring packing and shipping until I settle somewhere with more than a six month lease and promise to hire movers instead of his pickup truck.)

The problem, dear readers, is that I’ve gotten out of the habit of frivolity.

For the past, oh, five-or-so years I’ve asked for gifts of necessity. Money towards a computer, or a down payment, or – one of my absolute favorite Christmas presents ever – a… vacuum!! (Sometimes, it’s all about the little things like increased suction.)

This year I don’t need any little things, though. Or any big things, either, really. (Knock on wood.)

It is time, it would seem, to recapture the color of a Lisa Frank childhood. But the practical part of me with the Roth and the savings and the health benefits worships at the altar of Necessity and struggles to believe that she won’t be terribly offended should I submit a request to her nemesis, Want.

The conversations go something like this:

What do you want for your birthday?

Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it?

What do you mean you haven’t thought about it??? We’re too used to not having to think about what you want for you to have an existential crisis about Life and Purpose and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings!

How about a Barnes and Noble gift card?

Note: Santa, if you’re reading this, I would love love love a power drill in my stocking! The staple gun has been a big hit.


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