Monday, January 7, 2008

Gift Giving. Want my routing number?

There's a George Carlin joke that goes something like this: If someone at a bar says, "Hey, buddy! Can I buy you a drink?" Say, "No, thanks. Can I have the money instead?"

When my wife and I were engaged, we registered for gifts at a couple of different department stores. I sort of joked to my wife, "Why don't we just put our bank routing number on the invitations?"

Of course, the thinking is that we could use the money more than the things for which we registered.

In hindsight, I am glad that we registered and were given gifts besides money. When we moved into our new house, we were able to open about 80% of our wedding presents, as there was no place to put them in our condo. We now have enough place settings and glasses to entertain without using plastic (though my wife and I battle over dish duty.) We have a full set of china, though we have to buy eight more bowls (we have all of the plates and tea cups for twelve place settings.) Not that we'll ever use the china for fear of breaking any. We were given towels and vases, platters, cookware, and other things that have come in handy.

Now that we have a child, our house is the recipient of a vastly different manner of gift - the toy. We now have a basement, a main floor, and a second floor and in each room of each floor there is at least one toy. Even the bathrooms.

Why are there toys in the bathrooms? You try having a proper bowel movement with a screaming child in another room. I've smelled JD's poop up close. He can smell mine once in a while.

His first birthday is this coming weekend. I'm very excited. I'll probably write another entry about my excitement. What I'm not excited about is figuring out what to do with all of his new toys.

First of all, I have to put them together. That's not that big of a deal. Then I have to present it to this child. He may or may not take any interest in it. Or, it may become his favorite toy. Or, he may play with it obsessively for a few hours, then never touch it again. Then it must be stored.

There are many people who have the money to continuously purchase storage for all of their things. I am not one of those people. I purchased a house to store my family and our things. Not good enough. Actually, one of the downsides of the house is that storage facilities are lacking. I digress.

You know what would be a good present? A toy storage chest! That would be a great present. Another good present? Money. I will have a 529 plan soon. One would already be open, but my financial adviser (he's the best) said the plan will be improved in February. So I have his money earning 4.40% in an online savings account. Clothes are OK, but taste varies. Then again, people are often creative and think of things that I never knew he would want or need. One way or another, money or not, we will have to purchase toys or clothes or books at some point. Having them gifted is not a bad way to go.

I guess I just have storage anxiety. Is that a term registered with the psychologist institute? If not, I just coined it. And besides, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have fun playing, too. I just can't wait till he enjoys XBox, real sports, or can we can jam on guitars together.

1 comment:

  1. It's been while since I actually took the time to read your blog. Love the updates and male perspective. Sorry to hear that the reality of friends in different places in life have you down. In the long run, you'll reconnect more assuming they will eventually be where you are today. In addition, sounds like you'll have even more friends (playgroup and wife's coworker's husband). Out of curiosity, is he a stay-at-home dad, too? Either way, you definitely have tons in common while your same-aged kids are growing up.

    Hope that playgroup falls on the next school holiday! Would love to join you all again. You know who!