My Dad was not big on gift giving or birthdays or Christmas. We celebrated them, of course, but he didn’t really enjoy any part of the shopping/gift buying part. As an adult I see this for what it was – him just not getting into it and considering it more of a tedious chore than anything. But as a kid? I took it super-personally. I was upset when I asked for a Cabbage Patch doll and got a generic equivalent. He didn’t really think about the difference, one was just cheaper. End of story.
He didn’t really see the importance of details in gift buying. He would try to get us what we asked for (he gave us the budget so we knew how many things we could ask for and still fit in the budget) but he didn’t necessarily care about details. I wanted a very specific Vuarnet shirt one year, but he got me the “girl” version which wasn’t like the ones the other kids had. He had good intentions but he just didn’t sweat the details because he honestly kinda hated shopping.
One year I really wanted this Opus Sweatshirt from the mall. Opus was a penguin from the Bloom County comic which I read every morning over my breakfast. I remember where the shirt hung in the corner of the store by the food court. I asked for it very specifically and very enthusiastically and I was excited because I had red AND black turtlenecks so I could alternate which one to wear under the sweatshirt – getting essentially TWO outfits out of the item. I remember dreaming about wearing it to an out-of-uniform day at school, or maybe a basketball game! To say I was excited about the sweatshirt was an understatement.
Except I didn’t get it. Because Dad waited too late to buy it and it was gone.
I think about that sweatshirt quite often, honestly, because it’s my reminder of how some requests are VERY IMPORTANT and I need to maybe consider that at birthday/Christmas time. But then I found out that Bloom County returned and now I WANT A DAMN SWEATSHIRT.
It’s like 30 years of longing has built up inside of me and I found myself searching for the EXACT sweatshirt at 4am this morning. It doesn’t seem like anyone makes the EXACT one but now that the comic is back? I TRUST SOMEONE WILL.
And I’ll break out the red and black turtlenecks and rock that sweatshirt twice a week through eternity.