Sunday, July 10, 2011

To Get and to Give

While reading the self-help book, The Five Languages of Love, I discovered that my way of both feeling loved and demonstrating love is through gift giving. The anticipation of a beautifully wrapped mystery that required someone to both think and take the initiative to get it makes me feel intensely special. During childhood, my mother made many of the gifts she gave me for my birthday and Christmas. One year I was especially intrigued with the story The Velveteen Rabbit. I loved that an inanimate object could become real to a boy through the imaginative games, experiences, and deep love he had for it. The more worn it became, the more connected the boy felt to the rabbit. On my 9th Christmas morning, my Mom had made me my very own gray velveteen rabbit. It was so special to me that I spent the next week flipping through a book of baby names until I finally rested upon Lorena. I was determined to build as deep a connection with her as the boy had with his rabbit, and after years of sleeping side-by-side I finally realized that connections cannot be pushed. They either happen or they don’t, and my heart belonged to an originally white but now grayish bear (I got her that same Christmas when she came attached to a plaid Kmart nightgown) that I had named Snowy.

This week was my friend Ramsey’s birthday and showing him how much I care was important. Of course I could have picked out a new tie for this very dapper man, but I knew the nostalgic route was more appropriate. Since he loves records and we have spent more than one evening listening to jazz tunes or dancing to the B-52‘s, I decided to purchase a 1960’s record holder I found at the flea market and fill it with used vinyl from the 1950’s-80’s. His constant reminiscing over the rotary phone his family had during childhood also impelled my getting on EBay and bidding on a similar 1980’s cream tele. As I gave him his gifts I was prepared for them to not mean as much to him since his love language is “affection” and not “gift giving,” but his glistening eyes proved his heart had been touched regardless. I was able to give Ramsey more than a birthday gift--he got to open up a piece of his own past. There are some inanimate objects that one naturally connects with and some that no matter how hard you try it just can't be forced. I connected to a bear once upon a time and Ramsey connected to a phone. There's no better gift than connection.

*1960's vinyl holder.*

*Ramsey on his new rotary phone.*

*1960's vintage red and white polka dot dress to match the cake I made for Ramsey's birthday party.*

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