I’ve been planning for the holidays, making my list and all that jazz, and I’ve run into my usual holiday quandry–that handful of people I buy for who are impossible to buy for. For years and years, my grandfather was the top of the list, but he’s been replaced by my husband.
The big thing about these two is that if they want it, they buy it for themselves. If they don’t already have it, either they have no use for it or you can’t afford it. The few things they haven’t gotten around to buying for themselves are things that either you have no idea what it is or how to pick one out, or they’re incredibly finicky about it. And when you beg for the tiniest shred of a hint, they say one of three things: “Oh, I don’t need anything, really.” Of course they don’t need anything, they’ve already bought everything. “Oh, I’m happy with anything.” Yeah, and that’s why they shop and shop and shop before making the simplest purchases. And my personal favorite, “What on earth are you talking about? I’m very easy to buy for.” Riiiight, that’s why the entire family goes through this with you every single year. Uh-huh.
The problem with Grandpa is that he’s old and has no more hobbies or vices. He plays cards, but he already has everything he could ever hope to use for that. He and Grandma have dueling remotes for the television. He has ever device ever invented to help him win his running feud with the neighborhood squirrels. He gave up smoking pipes years and years ago. He already has maps and tourbooks of every place in the country he could ever go (he plans their vacations four months in advance and schedules the trip down to bathroom breaks) and he has no desire to leave the country. He has all sorts of computer gadgets he doesn’t know how to work, and he won’t let anybody teach him how to use them properly.
The problem with Dr.J is that he has all sorts of hobbies I don’t know anything about, and he has all sorts of obscure stuff to use for those hobbies. And anything he wants or needs for those hobbies, he goes out and gets.
I could get him music, but whenever something comes out that he’d like to have, he trots down to the store and snaps it up the day it’s released. I could get him computer games, but the first I hear about him wanting a game is when he brings it home and starts playing it.
I don’t even bother with clothes or kitchen stuff because, despite his protests to the contrary, he’s picky about that sort of stuff. I’ve watched the man spend hours shopping for sheets. Sheets, for the love of God. And he wonders why nobody wants to buy him anything major.
This year, though, I not only have to come up with my own ideas, my relatives are pumping me for ideas for him. Right now, we’re planning to all pitch in and buy him enough drugs to keep him sedated from next September to Christmas, so he can’t buy himself anything.