Sunday, August 02, 2009

The birthday list

In my family, holiday wish lists are kind of a big deal. They're a ritual of sorts: twice a year--T minus one month at Christmas and birthday--you'd better know what you want, or risk pointed e-mails and/or probing phone calls and/or the traditional threat of receiving only a blow-up raft on Christmas morning. We consider it a helpful gesture (for the gifters) and an insurance policy (for the giftee), and we don't mess around with it.

As a kid, my list was really more like a wish spreadsheet: Item (purple hoop earrings), Location (Claire's or similar), Price ($9.00?), Notes (Really really really want these!!!). My brother still divides his into categories: Books, Music, Movies, Miscellaneous. My dad just calls his "Cool CDs," knowing that letting us all loose in the Classical section of Best Buy without a guide is only asking for trouble, not to mention the wrong edition of The Four Seasons for him.

August is my birthday month--meaning I'm running late already--and in a sense, this year's list is not that hard. It's not like I don't want things. I wouldn't, for example, say no to interchangeable circular knitting needles, nor would I turn up my nose at a pretty and functional enameled Dutch oven, the Nigella of the cookware world. My Etsy Favorites is full of adorable things, and I'm happy to give my username and password to anybody looking for some whimsical gift ideas.

But there's a certain point where the list stops being about cookware (I'm so old, you guys) and starts being about all the things I really want but that don't wrap well--the things that aren't things, or that are things, but my family can't provide them without spending lots of extra time in their secret science lab/villainous lair. And I wouldn't want to put that kind of burden on them, you know?

And so I present my Alternative Birthday List 2009 (What I Really Want):

Extra hours in the day
Woman of Leisure status
Functioning teleportation device
Time speeder-upper/slower-downer device
Adoring and efficient literary agent (preferably television, but open to alternatives)
Daily clothes/hair stylist (Tim Gunn or similar)
John Krasinski in hot pursuit

And, of course, World Peace.

But I still wouldn't mind the Dutch oven.


Anonymous said...

Oooh, oooh, can I have that time device too when you get one? Just tell me where and I'll dash right out to pick one up. ;)

Sarah said...

So my roommate and I, as you may or may not know, LOVE Tim Gunn. But we jointly decided a few months ago that we wouldn't want to on Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, because we fear what he would say about our wardrobe. ON NATIONAL TV. That's kind of how I feel about having an actual stylist.

Liz said...

G - You'll be the first to know, promise! My life would be way more fun with that sort of control, don't you think? Great power great responsibility what?

Liz said...

Sarah - I do know that you and Roommate love love love Tim Gunn, and rightly so. And I'm with you in the sense that I wouldn't want to do his spiel on national TV, because that would be all public and I would clearly be laughed at. But in the privacy of my own home? To hear him say, "Make it work!" and tell me which of my ridiculous collection of A-line dresses are the MOST flattering? Music to my ears.

Ben said...

I was just about to ask you for your list! If anything else is of interest, do let me know. India awaits - I can always get you a sari/nose ring/CD of high pitched music/houseboy/swaying cobra that comes out of a basket when it hears the flute.