Friday, August 24, 2007

The Liver

In Shakespearean times, the liver, not the heart, was the place where emotion sprung from. Which strikes me as funny. By that logic, James Bond would be an emotional wreck from too many unstirred martinis.

Yesterday was my birthday. Today I had a party. I chose as my way to celebrate it that I would be serenely cheerful all day long, and all day yesterday, no matter what happened. I wouldn't rise to any baiting, I would dodge all arguments, I would be unavailable for questioning when stressful subjects of conversation arose, and I would just all around keep my blood pressure down and be not annoyed. At all. So when my sister starts saying, "Hey, host guy, the pan cookie/cake that you planned is undercooked." I just said, hey, whatever, I'm not the host nor the cook today.

I don't know how smooth that was on everyone elses' nerves.... Although...none of them are mad at me. Everyone seems pretty happy, pretty groovy. And, what's more, all the important things happened. The meal I decided I wanted got cooked and eaten. All my guests appeared, grinned for a while, gave me presents, and left, as I wanted them to. Got a pretty good haul too. Better than some of the last few years.

Getting presents is an odd sort of thing. One's possessions obviously don't define one. But they are a tangible expression of one's tastes, desires, ideas, their coloration more or less. And gifts are, more or less, a tangible expression of the feelings others have toward one. Or an expression of how they perceive one's tastes, desires, ideas, and, more or less, their color.

But a gift is more than that, because it's a representation of time spent by the presenter thinking about the receiver. So it gets me wondering why some years you might get better gifts than other years. Is it trully the gifts that are better? Or do you just feel better about the stuff sometimes? Are you getting quantifiably better stuff, or have they just caught you on a good day?

This year, I have a feeling that my gifts have reflected a level of comfort and confidence I have in my own opinions of my life and who I am. I sort of had no idea what I wanted, so when people asked me I'd say, "something cool." And everything I got fell into that categorie--lookit, English. But the pretty crazy thing was that only a few of my invitees even asked what I wanted. Yet I got great stuff anyway. Which could possibly be my perspective.

As an example: I got this sheeve--sheef?--big stack of paper. Three holed paper, blank, no lines, not blindingly bleach white but sort of grainy a bit. Just this stack of paper in its original plastic wrapping. It didn't look brand new, and it wasn't in any wrapping paper. It said to me that my aunt was beginning to leave her house, when she realized she had no present for me. So she looked around, said to herself that I might like that, and picked it up.

It was one of my favorite presents, even taking all that into consideration. I just liked it. Nice stack of paper. A novel that just needs to be written down. A big fuck off novel. It'll be a beautiful book. She even gave me a champagne pen which looked as if it'd been sitting around in its original wrapper for five or six years.

I got the first two Bourne movies and Monty Python and the Holy Grail too, and three wicked awesome CDs. And some other stuff, including, but not limited to, tee-shirts with subtle political messages.

So the two days of whateverness are quite completed. I'm pretty frakking tired, feeling fly and swank and a bit older. And I'm thinking on my stress level, and on everyone else's. There was a great deal of trust that went into this operation. I said, "As celebration, I shall invite mine chums over, and we shallt cook mine family victual upon which to sup. Mine family and mine extended family." To give me an excuse to have a party with my chums, and another with the oldsters. And to give my Mom a night off. So right from the beginning, there was everyone trusting that a bunch of spazzy teenagers would be able to make a meal. And no one said that we needed a backup plan for if/when we spazzed out and didn't deliver. No one said that. I did plan for a lot of extra time for the spazzes. Which proved uncapitalized upon and unnecessary.

Then, when I sociably stopped helping in the cooking operation, I trusted the food would get ready. And it did. I trusted my guests would arrive--I was in charge of invites, so it was touch and go from the get and get--and they did. A lot of little things, like the above mention pan cookie/cake. There was no exchange of instructions, no expectations. Just a sort of trust that important things would come to pass.

And I don't know if that's a postulation into the void: why is not the world always like this? Or if it's a hippy/anarchical/commie strain in me that's coming out of the closet just while I'm sleep deprived.

Anyway, good couple days. I didn't tolerate ill humor, and I didn't notice much for more than a few seconds. Got good gifts. Got older. Decided I might begin pretending to be grown up some of the time, so I never get this: "When are you going to grow up?" And chilled with my home folks.

Good night, and oogidy-booker.

1 comment:

Ali said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your birthday, but I think you need to cut down on your birthday cake intake. Seems like you were that ever-so-interesting combination of tired and wired when you posted this.

Don't worry too much about the growing up thing, it's all a moot point anyway.