I remember, I was watching a man set up a Valentine’s display in a shop window. It was just after New Year’s Day, but shop people need to get a jump on love, I guess.
Don’t get me wrong. Shop owners are fine people. They give us choices and keep us informed on the important holidays.
Think about it, how would we know it was Valentine’s Day or Christmas, Easter or Mother’s Day, if the shop people didn’t stay on the ball?
The other group to count on, is kindergarden teachers. They always know about special days and when it comes to Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, what the kindy teachers set in motion, no shop person could ever hope to compete with.
Which reminds me ……….
This is kind of personal. It might get a little syrupy, so watch out.
What I’m talking about here, is something I think of as a ‘treasure box’ given to me by my nephew when he was 3 and made at kinda, of course.
Once it was a simple white box and now it’s decorated with glitter, feathers, dried pasta, magazine pictures, shells and pebbles.
It’s gotten a bit moldy now, but once you look inside, you’ll know what I mean.
There are all these bits of paper with “Hello Katie”, and “Happy Volintime” and “I luv you Katie” written on them, and silly little red hearts everywhere. Stuck to the bottom of the box are exactly 23 “X’s” made out of macaroni. I’ve counted them more than once.
There are bead bracelets and a necklace, a ring out of a lolly dispensing machine, hand drawn ‘portraits’, favourite pieces of string, dead flowers, marbles, pictures carefully cut out of magazines and even a little favourite stuffed teddy bear.
I can honestly tell you, the treasures of King Tut are nothing compared to this.
I cried when he gave it to me. I just think it’s evidence of love in it’s most uncomplicated and pure state.
He’s 7 now. He still loves me, though it’s harder to get direct evidence. It’s love that’s complicated by age, knowledge and confusing values.
Yeah sure, this is probably the worst kind of simpleminded female drivel imaginable, and I’ve, more than likely, embarrassed us both by mentioning it. But it beats the hell out of anything else I have, for comfort.
This box stands for my kind of love and I want to take it with me when, and wherever, I go.
Speaking of crying …...
The Christmas before last, I didn’t receive many Christmas cards. One warm February afternoon this troublemaking realisation actually came to me out of the backroom in my head that is the source of useless information. I guess I just needed some reason to feel really shitty, so there it was.
But I didn’t say anything about it. I can take it. I’m tough. I won’t complain when my cheap friends don’t even care enough to send me a stupid Christmas card.
Then last August, I was pottering about in the garage, trying to establish some order in the mess, and found stacked in with the Christmas decorations, a whole box of unopened greeting cards from the previous Christmas. As I was working over the Christmas period, I had asked my housemate to toss them into the box to open at leisure, and then I ran out of leisure in the shambles of the usual Christmas panic, so the cards got stuck in the throw-the-box-in-the-garage-and-we’ll-sort-it-next-year syndrome.
I hauled the box down, and on a freezing day, in the middle of August, I sat on a garden chair in the back garden with a hot drink and a puzzled frame of mind, and began opening my Christmas cards. Just to help, I had put a CD of Christmas songs on the stereo and cranked up the volume.
I opened the envelopes and set the cards up on the lawn. Here it all was. Angels, snow, Wise Men, candles, pine boughs, horses and sleighs, the Holy Family, elves and Santa. Heavy messages about love and joy and peace and goodwill.
If that wasn’t enough, there were all these handwritten messages of affection from my cheap friends who had, in fact, come through.
I cried. Very rarely have I felt so bad and so good at the same time.
As fate always seems to have it, I was discovered in this condition by my next door neighbor, who had been attracted to the scene by the sound of Christmas music. She laughed. I showed her my cards and she got weepy. I was weepy. And we had this stupid Christmas ordeal right there in my backyard in the middle of August, singing along with Neil Diamond to the final mighty strains of “O Holy Night.” “Faaalll on your kneeees, O heeeeer the angel vooiiices.”
What can I say? I guess wonder and joy are always in the attic of your mind somewhere, and it doesn’t take a lot to set them off.