Saturday, February 04, 2006

February is the cruelest month...cruelest month

February is a busy month. It's always been busy, and it will always be busy.

There are a lot of birthdays that I celebrate in February. The weather often gets in the way of traveling to see everyone that I want to, but I still do my best to get around to everyone.

In fact, it's not that there are even a lot of birthdays overall in February. In some weird, time-bending way, all the important birthdays are packed into the first 11 days. The rest of the month is pretty smooth, it's that first week-and-a-half that taxes my creativity.

You see, birthdays are my thing. My thang, even. Christmas is all good, I try to get unique gifts, but, really, you're shopping for so many people, you just hope that you get the tags right and your mum doesn't get Batman Monopoly.

Birthdays, on the other hand, is where you can focus. That's where you can look for that one gift; that one item that absolutely no one else would have thought of. That one gift that just screams that person. Those are the gifts I go for: screaming gifts.

Unfortunately, occasionally it backfires. When you've got a gift that you know would be perfect for someone, but you also know that she (I say "she" because all the birthdays are female) really wants something else, what do you do then? That's when problems pop up. That's when you really start thinking that your gift might not be such a good idea and you should just go with the thing you know she will like.

This has happened again this year. I am caught in quite the internal debate. And, as you can see, I do not have a whole lot of time left to settle this conflict.

Normally I'd just listen to the little man inside my head, but the little man's got a roommate in February. We're talking Odd Couple here. Jack and Walter don't exactly see eye-to-eye, so they pretty much just argue, and every once in a while, I'll bang on the ceiling with a broom and get something useful out of them. Not this time, though.

Now that I'm tripping clumsily over all kinds of literary devices, I think I'll just wrap this up. Some of you are probably thinking that I just do the big birthday present thing to show people how wonderful and thoughtful I am. I know, I worry that's how it comes off sometimes; I know people like that. But I really do honestly think that birthday gifts should be custom-fitted to a person, it's a day to celebrate just them.

(One final note, I actually dislike my own birthday very much. That may have something to do with it too.)

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