So Katarina calls the other day and casually says she needs to stop by with a “little something for Christmas.” I pride myself on being a great gift-giver, so I am super-excited for her to come over because I have something for her, too.
She arrives and we immediately dive into conversation, the type of conversation that never ends but just temporarily stops until the next time I am lucky enough to see her. We talk about everything and nothing, our words punctuated with bright confetti laughter.She hands me a rectangular shaped box, exquisitely wrapped in thick gold paper and finished off with a green silk ribbon. I hand her a square box with cartoonish reindeer wrapping paper. There is no bow, as my kids used all my ribbon to set a trap for the cat two days ago.
“You go first.”“No, you.”
I begin to tear into the paper and I see beautiful note cards with an ink drawing of a sweet little cottage. Wow, I think, that house looks so familiar. After a few minutes, the worn-out synapses in my brain reach full capacity and I blurt out,
“Katarina! That is MY house!”That's right. She hired a professional artist to come over and draw my house and THEN have the drawing made into notecards.
|My house. Drawn by a professional artist. Who does this for a living.|
Her voice breaks the silence. “Shall I open mine now?”I want to snatch the inferior gift I gave her out of her hand and immediately search around my house for something worthy to give her instead, like stacks of cash or perhaps a diamond tiara. It’s too late. She already has it open.
“Oh, MOV, how wonderful! It’s a … candle.”Her face registers only joy and gratitude, yet I feel compelled to justify the candle.
“Lemon!”“Yes!” she nods.
“Soy-based! No chemicals!”
“Fabulous!” she agrees.
“It’s from the high-end kitchen store!” I offer, grasping at anything to make the candle be better than a candle.“I know!” she enthuses appreciatively. “I love the high-end kitchen store!”
I stare at the notecards. Of my house. That a professional artist has drawn.“Katarina, I have to tell you: that is one of the nicest, most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. I feel bad. I should have gotten you something better …”
Why did I not get her a new car? A car is a good gift. She could not top that.“MOV, don’t be ridiculous! I love candles, and lemon is a great flavor.”
“Scent.”“Whatever. Anyway, I adore lemon! I do.” She smiles sincerely.
“Oh, okay, then. Good. I’m glad you like it.” I grin back at her, almost convinced that a generic candle is as good a gift as cards of my house. Drawn by a professional artist.“How did the artist do this?” I ask.
“Well, he drove over here to your house and took pictures. Then he drew from the pictures.” She shrugs, as if she is saying, Then I emptied the dishwasher, no big deal.My mind flips back to that day at the end of summer when that strange stalker-ish person was camped out in front of my house with a camera. I had called the police.
I decide not to tell Katarina about that.“Katarina, thank you. I love the cards of my house.”
Maybe now is not the best time to tell her we are only renting?MOV