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  • jdettmann

You Shouldn’t Have


Later this morning H, May Blossom and I are going to commence Operation Shop and Gnaw*,in which we set off to buy Christmas presents for our friends and family and end up buying stuff for ourselves and eating Reuben sandwiches the size of our heads at Zaidy’s.

How do I know this is how our expedition will turn out? Because it has happened before. Knowing that, I am making a list so that at least we can try to buy presents for other people as well as for us. Anyway, it’s the thought that counts, and we do think about buying presents for other people.

This orgy of consumption will take place at my spiritual home, Cherry Creek Mall. Each time I come to Denver I head there, usually within twenty-four hours of arrival, and what I do is turn it upside down and shake it really hard until everything falls out. I stuff it all in shopping bags, pay the shopkeepers a ridiculously small amount of money, go home and wear it all at once. I am everything that is wrong with the world.

I’m not proud of this. Though nor am I ashamed enough not to do it. But today I will buy at least one present for someone else for each thing I buy for me. This I vow. I’m already slightly ahead, in fact, because yesterday at the Museum of Natural History I faked a fear of dinosaurs so I could go to the gift shop while H and May Blossom went T-Rex crazy. Some of the intended recipients of the gifts I bought read this blog, so without giving too much away let’s just say my younger brother is going to have a mighty dinosaur bath-related flashback to his early childhood come Christmas morning, and someone else’s small son might be getting a rather squirrel-shaped ornament for his Christmas tree. Other readers are welcome to click on the links, but let’s see if those people mentioned above can manage not to do the electronic version of sneaking down to the tree when everyone else is asleep and gently prising off one piece of sticky tape to peek at their gifts.

*Credit for stolen jokes where it’s due: this expression was coined by my dad.

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