Well, I do believe that all of my Christmas shopping is now complete! (Edit twenty minutes later, after I really thought through my list of people to buy for: The previous statement is false. I have items in mind for two more people, but they have not been purchased yet. Damn.) (Edit three hours later, on my way to work: One more person who might possibly receive a gift too. Going to have to feel that one out. Luckily, this post is not actually about being done with my Christmas shopping. That was a cleverly devised introduction to the real post, and it will stay here anyway because it serves its purpose.) Some of them are still sitting in conspicuously inconspicuous plastic bags in my room, hoping the recipients do not become nosy. Others are safely wrapped and were actually shipped last week! Hooray!
Which is why I would like to take the time to tell you a story about how gift giving brings people together in this mixed-up world of ours. This story is completely true and is meant to serve as an explanation that I have always been as crazy as I am right now, but it also always works out in my favor. For reals.
Sophomore year of college, about January or February, the campus was all a-buzz with choices of new living situations. Dorms, apartments, and houses, oh my! (I just combined a Christmas-y story opener with a reference to the Wizard of Oz, and I’m ok with it.) My five favorite young men from our dorm, after living for a year in various scattered apartments, had decided to join forces in one local House Of Awesome– rather like the Power Rangers, only without the cool outfits and with more bathroom cleaning (sometimes…).
One night, while chatting with one of these young men about their grand plans to become masters of their own domain, he happened to mention that they had their eye on a six-bedroom house and that they were looking for an extra roommate.
Did my ears perk up? Oh, yes they did.
Did he ask me if I had a living situation for the next year? Oh, yes he did.
Did I answer, “No”? Oh, yes I did.
Did he say, “YOU SHOULD COME LIVE WITH US!!!”?
Oh, yes he did.
But then, he promptly forgot this conversation. So I never moved in.
However, I did not forget, and when the boys told me that they had, indeed, found a sixth roommate to sign the lease with them, I was not a little hurt.
Who could this imposter be? What kind of poser thought that he could possibly replace me in the hearts and the home of these five boys? I was definitely going to need proof that he was as great as they said he was, and I needed proof ASAP.
Except I never met him.
August rolled around. The boys moved in. Video games were played. Parties were attended. Dinners were cooked (for me. Ha! Like I’d actually cook for them…). No sign of this mysterious sixth guy. The answer was obvious, right?
He didn’t actually exist.
The bedroom door that was always closed? It was full of the other five boys’ junk.
The Facebook page with his name on it? Completely made up using pictures of some other dude that the boys found on the internet.
The furniture that was supposedly his? From garage sales. His “study group” that he worked with every weeknight? Non-existant, and “meeting” in a building where I never went anyway. His “girlfriend” from “back home” whom he went to visit every weekend? Do I even need to explain that one?
It was the only logical conclusion.
This went on for months. Finally, Christmas rolled around, and I decided to buy the guys each a perfectly normal, neutral, boring gift.
God, I’m such a good friend. Anyway, this is when my dilemma occured. If, as I suspected, the “sixth roommate” was not a real person, I did not want to spend an extra $7 on boxers for no one. If, on the odd chance that I happened to be wrong, he actually did exist, I did not want him to feel left out by not purchasing him said festive underwear.
So I bought the boxers.
Each boy got his Christmas underwear in a nice Christmas gift bag, filled with tissue, with a Gift Receipt attached. I lined them up all pretty-like along the front wall of the house where they all took off their shoes. Attached to the sixth roommate’s bag was a note saying something along these lines:
We’ve never actually met, and so I’m not entirely sure that you are actually a real person. If you are not, I have attached the Gift Receipt so the other boys can use the $7 to buy beer. If you are, I hope that we meet soon and that you don’t think it’s entirely strange that I bought you underwear before meeting you. Merry Christmas!
We met the next day when he walked into my work.
He is a real person who actually lived in that bedroom of the house, eats food, owns furniture, graduated from college on the same day as me, and LOVED his Christmas boxers from a complete stranger. (Or so he told me, and he sure as hell better not take it back now that I’ve posted this on the Internet for all to see!)
And so, let it be known that Christmas miracles do exist! The season of giving and receiving is really all about family, friends, and getting the occasional text message that simply states, “I’m wearing your underwear!”
Merry Christmas, everyone!