1. desember 2013 klokken 13:28 #268
THE UNWILLING MOM
-It’s not that I need more stuff. It’s not that I’m not happy. I go to funk jazz and have cats and guinea pigs. We went to Gothenburg during the fall holidays and everything. It’s just that…
My ten year old girl hesitated.
-It’s just that I get… like a chocolate!
She looked out of the window for a while to make her point.
-And my friends get…
-They get like new socks!
She looked down.
-And when it’s Halloween…when it’s Halloween all the others have everything!
-Everything? I said. -What do you mean?
Halloween isn’t a Scandinavian tradition at all. We have just recently started delving into it thanks to heavy marketing. Most of us don’t know what «everything» is in this respect.
-Well, they are prepared. Their parents prepare for Halloween. Linnea’s mom was dressed as a witch this year. And at Henrik’s they had slimy stuff hanging off the balcony!
It was probably true. Linnea’s mom loves Halloween. Henrik has lots of slimy stuff. I have seen it.
-But do you know what our family does that others don’t? I said. -We celebrate Thanksgiving, since your dad is American. And you get two Christmas Eves, first the Norwegian one on the 24th with our Norwegian family, then the American one on the 25th with our American family.
-Yes, she said thoughtfully, controlling the tremor of her underlip better now. -And sometimes I even get a third Christmas Eve with my aunt and uncle!
-But mom, she continued. -I still want a homemade Christmas Calendar! I don’t want chocolates!
She knows I don’t like the homemade calendars so much. I know it’s politically incorrect to state such a thing. Mothers LOVE to shop for the calendars, they LOVE to wrap gifts for hours. I am a mother. I guess I am genetically disposed to LOVE the calendar thing myself.
But I don’t. Not much anyway. I am a mutant. The thing is – the children just toss the little gifts! They like to open the little parcels – but they aren’t impressed by a glitter pen or a headband and they don’t need them either.
Little gifts just aren’t what they used to be. Little gifts are everyday fare. I have two daughters – that makes it 48 calendar gifts to bring into the house that will sit around just about everywhere, that will be trodden on barefoot and furrow into soft foot soles, that will lurk in the depths of the tumble dryer, that will sink into the soft butter on the countertop or worse, into the toilet – 48 gifts that the veterinarian will have to operate out of the dog’s stomach.
What’s wrong with store-bought Chocolate Christmas Calendars? The chocolate is eaten up. Finished. No alien objects in the tumble dryer. No dungeon of unused plastic toys. The dogs are happy too. And then Christmas comes with all its gifts; real gifts, no last minute buys chosen for their small size and low price.
I sighed and my daughter sighed too.
-Your message is going through, I said.
She looked at me, unwilling to believe so.
-You’re getting a homemade calendar this year. And no chocolates this time.
Feeling a little bit disturbed, I went on with my chores with two more to add – the shopping for and the wrapping of the calendar gifts.
Socks are ok. Everybody needs socks at all times. The world’s craving for socks is so enormous that if our monetary system breaks down, we could become a sock economy, and trade socks for food and shelter.
And likewise, if the use of socks was prohibited, we would get a black sock economy with socks being smuggled out of the sock-producing countries and we would get sock barons and sock dealers, undercover sock police and maybe even sock addicts. Pop singers would sing about sex and socks and rock’n roll. Rock stars would outrageously use socks in public and paparazzis would never be out of work.
But can I possibly offer my daughters sock calendars? 48 pairs? That’s overdoing it, isn’t it?
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