Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Murse shopping

The holidays are fast approaching. Despite living a religion-free existence, I seem to be hopelessly Christmas-centric, so it's hard for me to keep track of the fact that the holidays are actually already here for some of us, such as Dreamy.

Yesterday I asked my students who celebrate Channukah to tell us about it. Little Jack raised his hand. "Well, it's mostly about presents. We open a few presents every day." "Oh really?" I asked. "And how many days does Channukah last?" "Five," he answered without the slightest hint of uncertainty. "Um, I think it's actually 8, Jack," I replied. "Do you do anything with candles for Channukah?" "Maybe," he replied, "I really don't remember. Mostly it's about the presents." Later, Cooper -- who struggles with language -- told us all about his sister's Channukah party, except that sometimes he used the word Channukah and sometimes he used the word harmonica. I'm about 95% sure that Cooper's sister is not in fact Jewish, and that she once had a birthday party that involved harmonicas. Overall my attempt to educate my students about Judaism was, at best, spotty.

However, I learned something important from the conversation, which is that presents are an integral part of Channukah and, as such, I should probably be shopping for Dreamy. At the beginning of a relationship, it can be hard to figure out what to buy and how much to spend on your new beau. That's why it's good when a birthday comes first, so only one person is setting the precedent for how much to spend and there's no chance of an awkward discrepancy. I want to be generous -- I enjoy being generous -- but I worry that it might make Dreamy feel bad if I spend more than he does. So, for the past few days I've been trying to think of gifts I could buy that would strike a good balance. Small, plentiful, thoughtful gifts might be the way to go.

Of course, one obvious gift option is a murse. I've been encouraging Dreamy to start using one for some time, in the hopes that it will help him to be more organized. (I'm happy to report that he has been MUCH better since I came close to calling things off last month when he flaked on me two weekends in a row. In fact, he hasn't even flaked once since then.) Still, I think a murse would be helpful in myriad small ways, like not wasting time looking for his wallet, car keys, etc.

For murse ideas, I turned to the man who practically invented the murse: my father. Dad collects bags like Imelda Marcos collected shoes. He collects all kinds: luggage, briefcases, backpacks, murses. I noticed over Thanksgiving weekend that he was sporting a manly-looking Jack Spade creation. Unfortunately, when I looked it up the price tag was $200 -- unsurprisingly, since Dad doesn't skimp on his murses. That's more than I was prepared to spend.

So I think I'll start out small and keep my out for murses for a later occasion. The other day Dreamy mentioned to me that Channukah is kind of a made-up holiday, with no strong music or other traditions associated with it. To which I countered: "What about Erran Baron Cohen?" It's been two years since my all-time favorite Channukah CD came out, and many people have forgotten about it in the meantime. But not me. I think I'll send Dreamy a little iTunes gift to get the Channukah season started. His version of "Dreidel" is not to be missed.

1 comment:

  1. This is hilarious, from the harmonicas to the murses. Dad is going to love it.