Last year, it really was great, and overall, successful - though there were a few minor glitches with mailings. Happily, I ended up receiving more than just awesome gifts - I found someone who is now my friend in things artsy and shopping on-line with out hearts in our wallets and I'M SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT.
For me, the pleasure of shopping was also one of the best parts. I loved finding gifty thingies for my recipient, Sarah. Since then, we've been corresponding privately, and it's such a joy to receive something from her in my inbox. That, I think, is exactly what Andrea and I hoped for -- for bloggers to just plain be nice to each other, even just once, across our differences and space and time -- and maybe to make new friends. I think the best part was that the presents are for the bloggers themselves, not for sharing - it's permission to be selfish. How often do we get that?
So, this year I am looking forward to a day of thinking about someone other than myself, and then in return, receiving a bunch of stuff from someone who's been thinking about me. How just plain nice that will be.
Here are my answers:
If I could, I'd invent a personal soundtrack device, and damn it, the world needs one because, everything sounds better in the movies, perhaps because of the swelling strings and a well-chosen eighties hit like "I Melt With You".
I sometimes buy shirts in colours other than black, which I end up not wearing, because they are more like the me I want to be than the me that I am.
If you came over to my house to play and touched my embarrassing personal grooming products I'd be a little bit mad at you forever. (I can't help that I'm hirsute, pimpled and wrinkly and like to cover it up a bit.)
The colours in those eighties Southwestern or country colour schemes make me want to shave my eyeballs with a cheese grater. (You know, peach and teal with gray; "country" blue with maroon and forest green and bonneted geese - it's because our home came with those colours, and they are very hard to eradicate.)
The colours of Kraft paper with black, and lately, I am LOVING chocolate brown with red , well they are so beautiful that when I see them, a beam of light comes down and I hear a choir sing.
Black licorice (and its nasty cohort anise) makes me gag, feel it in my mouth for a minute, and then swallow it back down rather than spit it out (or else I just don't like it, but I'm too nice to say it.)
I might get sick or die if I touch or ingest cheap 50/50 sheets and overcooked vegetables, or look at slutty-looking dolls intended for little girls.
Products that propose solutions but create more problems (like things to hold bath toys and keep your bathroom cleaner but that will need more cleaning than the toys themselves) and wasteful packaging give me the willies and I might need to consider a frontal lobotomy if I even think about it further.
I love the feel of cashmere and some of those new microfiber fluffy things that they make blankets and kids' toys with these days so much I want to hump it like a puppy on a sofa pillow.
No one should have to watch me eat carmelly custardy good things like flan and crème brulee and toffee ice cream and warm rice pudding, because then I might consider being polite enough to share, and I don't want to share it.
I'm a grown-up now, so I don't have to eat "cold-cuts" anymore, and you can't make me.
If I could invent a way to permanently coat my nostril hairs with this
scent, I'd be my own biggest customer: vanillatoffeenutellachocolatecoffee. (What? There isn't such a thing? Well, somebody invent it please.)
Three things I like that anyone might like: dark smoooooooth beautiful chocolate, craft items and paper, beautiful vintage illustrations.
Three things I like that nobody else in the world likes: folk art that borders on the scary and disturbed, including vernacular photography (old snapshots where by accident, something wonderful was captured or the composition is accidentally beautiful or eerie); annotated cards, musty old children's books and stuff that's been written on with personal notes and letters from long ago; grandma-knit things like mittens, slippers and hats even if the wool is scratchy.
I have too many kitchen utensils, and not enough stuff to read.
Okay, we know the best things in life aren't things, but these are the best
things in life if there are going to be best things: handmade things; antique things with a history that shows in their wear; and home-made baked goods perhaps with some vanillatoffeenutellachocolatecoffee.
When people have kind, sweet and nice things about me, they're usually
talking about (as was once said when I was student of the month in an aerobics class) that I'm funny and intense (I know - in an aerobics class I was funny and intense, which is how someone gets to be student of the month!), and that I try really really hard to be "good". When they say I'm a sarcastic procrastinating over-promiser, they're usually right too.
It's true, I'm a Blogger. I'm learning to be proud of it.
If I could have any talent in the world, I'd choose to be able to manage money, so that I'd have more to give to charity, enough to know we'll be comfortable as we age or for emergencies, and enough so that I could by fewer, larger, really great pieces of art rather than (I mean in addition to) the small but affordable ones that make me happy, but don't deeply fulfill me.
You are given a day and a no-limit credit card to spend in one of these
places, childfree. Choose one, or write your own: * I wrote my own.
Can I go to the American Folk Art Museum, alone please - or maybe with one good friend who will know when to be quiet and when to speak; and maybe I could buy something and also donate to the museum, and then go and buy what I need to make whatever I've been inspired to create by the visit? Then, can I go have a great meal, with a lovely bourbon and a nice dessert, and look through some of the expensive coffee table books that I'd buy in the gift store, having a conversation with a cool old bartender-guy? And then, can I have a bath and a nap in a nice hotel room with my family? Please? (Can you tell I think about this every day?)
And here's the last chance to make sure that you're not going to get a
"Jelly of the Month" club membership when you're expecting your bonus for a
It is important to me that the items chosen for me are chosen with care, and show me that you had as much fun shopping for them as I'll have receiving them.
And, maybe, there will be something soft enough to stuff down my pants.
I also hate excess packaging, and you must know that I save all my plastics that can't go in the recycling bin in order to bring them to our local Environment days, but then missed them all this year so I have about seven garbage bags full of plastic packaging in our basement and it really really bothers Steve that I was so overly ambitious in an area where few other people care.
(Examples: respect my Wal-Mart boycott, are vegan, aren't made by child or
sweatshop labour, can be stuffed down my pants)
If I could suggest that you read only one post from my archives, this would
be it: YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME? (Following all the links, of course. What? That's cheating?)
If I were to name the Holiday of my choice for this exchange, it would be:
HOLIDAY! (But, if you were to happen to find some awesome vintage Christmas stuff, VINTAGE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY!)
And so, there are my answers. Go forth, and be shoppy, oh mystery gifter person!