Sunday, 7 December 2008

"What's wrong with you?....

....why don't you want anything for Christmas?"

Oh dear. It's that time again. I've avoided answering the question for a month or more now but today was crunch time. It went something like this -

Mrs OP - "People want to know what you want for Christmas. You can't leave it until the last minute."
Me - "I can't think of anything I want. I never can."
Mrs OP "Well do you want some money then to buy something yourself?"
Me "Not really, it's a bit desperate to give money and anyway there's nothing I want to buy. They could give the money to charity or just keep it, I really don't mind.
Mrs OP "Well there must be something you want..."
"Must there", I say, rising to the challenge, "well, I don't think there is".
"What about an iPod, you haven't got one of those"
"No I haven't, because I don't want one. Nor have I got any kind of games console, DS, Wii, PSP, Gamestation or any of the rest of it, because I don't want them."
"Well, what about vouchers?"
"Same as cash - and you'll end up spending them anyway because I won't go to the shops all year."

The game is warming up now.

"What about tickets for a show, or play...ah! - what about Al Murray, he's on tour - you like him."
"Yes I like him on the telly, but I don't want to go and see him."
"Just not that interested in all the aggro of going, sitting there and coming back. That's why I like him on the telly".
"DVDs? CDs?"
"None I want thanks. Still got DVDs in their cellophane from 3 or 4 or 5 years ago. Never watched them. And books I've never read. It's a waste to get me things for the sake of buying them."
"We could book somewhere and go away for the weekend, or go out for a nice meal. Maybe go to London to the Mandarin Kitchen." (is that place still open by the way? Near Queensway tube station).
"Is that a present for me or for you?"
"Hmm, fair point. Well what about clothes, or shoes or..."
"Ties, hankerchiefs and socks", I suggest, "No ta, don't really need any at the moment".
"A new watch?"
"Got plenty of watches, thanks".
"Well, you'll have to think of something."
"Right", I say, "I'll try*. I've been looking around while buying things for other people but I just can't see anything I want for myself"
"You're being miserable"
"No, I'm not. In fact, I'm quite content because there is nothing I want, nowhere I want to go, nothing I want to see. Why is that wrong?"
"It isn't normal."

A truce is declared, whilst regrouping takes place.

The thing is, I don't want any more 'stuff' cluttering up my tiny world. Materially, I grew up with little and the instinct to ask for things, and acquire more and more was usually thwarted, so it never really took hold. I never really noticed at the time, but I'm sure that's how it's come out in me as an adult. I don't mind this, by the way.
As a reaction, I suppose, to my rather chaotic childhood all I ever really wanted was security, stability and to be left alone in peace when I wanted to be. By and large I have managed to achieve a measure of that, so far as anyone is able to in real life. I like that, and I think my family appreciate it as well.
However I will freely admit to having often confused the need for security with accumulating 'stuff', but lately I have become tired of these extraneous material goods hanging around me and have started to dispose of them**.

I am, as they say these days, on a journey. I don't want any more gear underfoot, tripping me up. I have no burning ambition to go anywhere or see anything in particular either.
Is that normal or abnormal - or is it just the time of the year? What's wrong with me?

*any ideas gratefully received

**what about a couple of trestle tables, for car boot sales? Now there's a thought.


LF Barfe said...

I've reached a similar state of grace. I suspect that I like stuff far more than you do, but I have enough of it. The only thing I really need is a new screen for my laptop to replace the cracked one. Mrs B offered to buy it for my Christmas present. Are repair jobs acceptable gifts?

Planet Mondo said...

I get tarred with the 'difficult to buy for brush' every Christmas and birthday (which are just 9 days apart) - the way it works now is, I'll order a bundle of stuff to 'budget' which can be split between B'day and C'mas - keeping the surprise element - and most of which I've forgotten about when they arrive.

On top of this Mrs PM chips with a supplementary selection of bits of her own choice.

It's a system that seems to work a treat for both of us..

office pest said...

Well Louis, food for thought there. I think a repair job is a good idea - after all it is a gift that keeps on giving. Why not go the whole hog though and ask for a brand new laptop - probably be cheaper in the long run what with warranties and all.

Mondo you seem to have it worked out, inasmuch as you know what you want at least and how to get it; dang - that's everything worked out, isn't it?
On reflection I have decided to go the cash/tokens option as I can then either get a negative scanner, a new printer, or put it towards a new suit & shoes and sharpen up my act!

If you have a moment, check out Space Age Britain for the Apollo 8 story; I've got a copy of the flight plan and aim to post on mission highlights as they happened.
Meanwhile here on OP we'll be buzzing off for a Christmas break courtesy of BOAC. I have the in-flight menu ready; Five-Centres will be impressed, I think.

Five-Centres said...

I'm going through all this with Mrs F-C at the moment. I just can't think of anything. Thing is, if I want something I just buy it, then end up not needing anything.

office pest said...

I know what you mean F-C. I see things I like and if of a mind to, buy. It gives no-one else a chance and is selfish in every respect!