A Lighter View … How many Elvis posters?

A Lighter View … How many Elvis posters?

By Karen M. Morris, Humorist

I didn’t need anything for Christmas. Between my birthday, Mother’s Day, Arbor Day and all the other days, I’ve been over gifted. I have three dresser drawers devoted entirely to socks and theyre so full, I can’t get them open. My closets are crammed with clothes that range from a size 8 to an 18 (depending on my current need). And I have a mountain bike hanging from my garage ceiling that was ridden only once—into the garage.

My family can’t be blamed entirely for this situation. I’m guilty, too. When I need something, I just buy it. Like last June, when the elastic in my knee-high nylons blew at Leo’s graduation. I ran right out and bought myself a new pair of knee-highs at the gas station. Now, a good mother would’ve wrapped duct tape around her legs and said, “That should hold ’em ’til Christmas.” But not me, I’m just too darned affluent and self-absorbed.

My excessive lifestyle and lack of floor and ceiling space have created a crisis for my family. Since I already own all the standard suitable gifts for a loved one, they’re left to hunt for something that will amaze me—like all those socks.

As most of you who’ve been over-gifted know, you never let the family pick out something on their own. This can be disastrous and make your loved ones feel like you don’t appreciate their gesture. These gifts usually have names like Flava-Lazer or Aquaflexor and always come in a box without instructions. This leaves you to guess what the item is. I was using my Flava-Lazer syringe to apply color to my hair until my daughter explained that it was for injecting marinades into food. And now, I’m worried that I might not be using my gutter flusher correctly.

I’ve tried to help by coming up with a list of things that I desperately wanted (but just didn’t know I wanted them). Last year, I asked for a getaway weekend at a plush hotel and tile for my kitchen. The gang pooled their money together and got me a ceramic trivet that said Ramada. I smiled and put it next to my herd of dead Chia Pets. (The Lionel clock ran over them.)

This year, I tried to think of something that did not represent my opinions or attitudes about anything. A gift so unique that I wouldn’t care if it got sucked up in the vacuum cleaner, the dog started wearing it, or the president officially declared it an axis of evil. And, with any luck, I could pawn it off on someone who acted remotely interested and then run it out to her car before she could object.

I know my family doesn’t do multiple options well, so I need to be very specific and ask only for items that can’t be substituted for the dreaded combo-gift. Ive learned that a simple request for a piece of contemporary art or recessed lighting for the den can easily be morphed into a glow-in-the-dark Elvis poster, and I’ve already got two of those. I’d thought about one of those electric foot baths or replacing the red toilet in our bathroom with something a little less flashy, but the combo-gift possibility was too scary.

With Christmas right around the corner, I was getting desperate and started watching infomercials and their endless parade of products. Announcers with English accents shouted buzz words at me like: “extendable nozzle,” “full-featured” and “celebrity testimony.” At first, I thought only a moron would buy these things. But after a few minutes, I not only wanted them, I NEEDED THEM. My “must have” list included the following:

Suction cup hooks: With these handy devices, I no longer have to ask myself, “Where can I hang my bathrobe?” Now, I can hang it everywhere: the refrigerator, the mail box, or even the grill. Sweeeet.

Dent Queen: This will pay for itself by saving me millions in costly repair bills. Now, when I ram my vehicle into a shopping cart, I can grab my handy Dent Queen, attach it to the bumper and yank the cart out. This should keep my ’91 van looking like new for years.

The Steam-a-Way: Until the Steam-a-Way was invented, I didn’t know how filthy my house was. But now I do. Using just pressurized steam, hot enough to blind you, I can eliminate all the dirt that collects inside my oven knobs. We’re lucky we haven’t died from the plague.

What I like most about these gifts is that I didn’t have to make that embarrassing phone call to order them. While my family stood by with their credit cards ready, waiting for an operator, I could dream about all the places I can hang my robe.

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