So… Wednesday… Wednesday, the 23rd of September… I’m truly at a loss for words and yet, feel there is much I can and should say.
But this is bigger than just Wednesday. Much bigger.
I was taught from a very young age not to ask for things. It was said outright quite a bit, but sometimes it was more subtle. “Don’t ask your grandparents for anything when you visit them”. Don’t ask for help, if you can’t figure it out for yourself you’re stupid or weak or unworthy of whatever it is anyway. When someone asks what you want for a birthday or Christmas or whatever, the proper response was “Oh, you don’t need to go to any trouble. I really don’t need anything at all” and then there was to be gratitude for whatever was received… even if it was something you didn’t want.
Often, I’d want things and was told that we couldn’t afford it. Which may have been true but quite often within a day or two of a request, there would be a new something for my stepfather in the house or in the yard (we had 3 VW Beetles held together with duct tape and bungee cords). So, I got the message pretty loud and clear from that. The message being “whatever YOU want isn’t important”.
Fast forward to a relationship I had in my 20’s. The relationship was progressing, we’d talked about the next steps and I was SURE I was going to get an engagement ring for Christmas. But, of course, that’s not something you ASK for. So, Christmas came and I got…. a box of cordial cherries. And, I’m not going to lie, I burst into tears. When you are expecting an engagement ring and get a $2 box of cordial cherries, your love for said cherries is a tich overshadowed by your disappointment.
Step forward a little more and you come to the decade I spent with the Wasband. No proposal. Engagement ring was my Gramma’s ring. He didn’t work, so any gift-giving occasion that I wanted a gift, I had to give him the money to buy it. I kept telling him that what I really wanted was for someone else (for ONCE) to clean up our apartment. (Meaning HIM). When I would give him money, he’d get something inexpensive for me and spend the rest of the money on something for himself. I get it that we didn’t have much money… but that hurt and eventually I just stopped paying for gifts for myself and so holidays would come around and I’d be left out. I always made sure he got gifts not only from me, but from The Girl as well. That was never reciprocated.
I told you all of that, though, not to try to elicit sympathy or to make it seem as if I’ve had a horrible life… I haven’t. I just wanted you to have some background. I don’t get nice things for myself. I don’t do nice things for myself. I don’t ask for things from anyone but I will occasionally talk about things I love and want or wish I had (as people do). Not with the expectation that the listener will do anything about it, but those are conversations people have. (I will confess, though, that I did finally break down and buy myself a tiara. Silly, frivolous, ridiculous? Yes. Something I love? ABSOLUTELY).
So, back to Wednesday, the 23rd of September. I received a package. I hadn’t ordered anything but there it was. And in that package was a Dyson C65 Vacuum Cleaner. And I cried. Not because I was disappointed that I’d received a vacuum cleaner. Quite the opposite, actually. You see, I’ve wanted this particular vacuum cleaner for several years. But a vacuum cleaner that costs over about $50 has never been in the budget. And now I have my dream vacuum cleaner and it sucks (AS A GOOD VACUUM SHOULD… I mean, seriously, I think this thing could probably suck up one of my cats quite easily and I do not have small cats).
I’m still trying to wrap my head around this. I am still having twinges of “I don’t deserve this”. But, along with that, there is the fact that my heart is absolutely exploding with gratitude. I know who sent it and I’ve said “thank you” but that honestly sounds terribly inadequate. “Thank you” doesn’t seem big enough. Just like my last birthday gift from Mr. POSSLQ… I simply don’t have adequate words to express the gratitude I feel. Especially knowing that the givers of the gifts don’t have a lot themselves, so I know that these things represent sacrifice.
Thank you, AP, for the rainbow… for your friendship…and for the awesome, kick-ass vacuum cleaner.