Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Column #7: Peace, love, joy, books and DVDs

I believe in presents. Thank you, Gap ad, for reminding me that this is the season of not only Christmas, but also Hanukkah and, yes, you too, Kwanzaa. If not for your appearance on my TV screen every minute, perhaps I might have forgotten about this most holy time of the year. Or, perhaps not. I look forward to this annual rite of merchandising for two reasons. One, time off. How the U.S. of A., the home of the guy who decided to merge bacon and mayonnaise, also became the home of the “work ethic” while Europeans and Latin Americans get six weeks off every year and take three-hour lunch breaks every day while we scarf down our Cheetos and Coke lunches in 15 minutes is, simply, horrifying.

That day off after Thanksgiving is awesome, of course. Getting both Christmas and Boxing Day off is also nice. However, nothing is more wonderful than getting presents. Family? Please. Togetherness? That's stupid. Love? Yawn. The 20th anniversary edition of Say Anything? Cool! Is it as exciting as the Nirvana: Live at Reading DVD? Why not ask for both?

I was raised by people who consider themselves to be Jewish. You might think that being raised Jewish is easy, but for the most part it just leaves us jumpy every time we hear someone say the word “Jew,” or even a word that merely sounds like it. We see the world that's divided into Jews and “everyone else.” Through the years, I have considered whether this may or may not be a viable option for me. Ultimately, it has become obvious that I must finally go my own way; not united but not divided with anyone else. I know now that what I am can only truly be called a "Presenterian."

Hanukkah is a pretty good deal, sure. Eight gifts over eight nights, that would be more than enough for some folks. However, I say, “Why stop there?” In my single days, there would be the occasional night when I would order a pizza, and then eat it, all by myself, in one sitting. Not just a slice or two, the whole thing, not even leaving a slice for lunch the following day. Thankfully, and despite this, I eventually found a woman who accepted me, mostly. Even better, she isn't Jewish — which meant that I was now eligible for Christmas presents on top of Hanukkah presents.

I mean, I'm not saying that we got married because of that. Or because a wedding meant lots of presents. But I didn't mind those things. No one does. It's a fact that Gandhi loved getting leg warmers and a new tie every year for Christmas. Marrying into a large gentile family means getting so many more gifts than I ever got before. Even better, I can boast freely about that here, because most of them don't even read my column.

Speaking of togetherness, I must take a moment here to complain about those fat cats in Hollywood. They know that we're going to be stuck sitting on couches with uncles and cousins for hours at a time, so why do all the good TV programs go into reruns or on hiatus during the holidays? I would rather share a fresh episode of Breaking Bad or Project Runway than kill time with Hallmark Presents: A Dog Named Christmas. Also, how come the fun movies like The Hangover and Up come out in the summer, while the dark, tragic movies like Precious come out now, when we're bonding as a family? Do the math, Hollywood.

I'm just glad that during this very special time of the year we remember what's truly important — me getting that new book about “The Simpsons” that I've been looking forward to reading.

c. 2009 Velocity Weekly

1 comment:

Cracked_Oblivion said...

Yay for presents (especially those in the form of Simpsons books)!