I have lived out east for about 25 years and I still can’t get over the sensation of living on another planet. Case in point – May Day. In our younger days, we’d get little crepe paper nut cups with sweet little handles and fill them with mints and nuts and little treats. We’d run over to a friend’s house, careful not to spill (okay, eat) the goodies on the way there. Hang the basket on their front door knob, ring the doorbell and run away. Squeals of delight when they found their basket. It was so innocent, so sweet. Then comes the skip in your breathing when you got home and saw one hanging on YOUR FRONT DOOR. I remember getting them and just being so happy. It was special, it was 4 mints and 6 peanuts of friendship and caring. What’s not to love?
I’m sure by today’s standards, kids would get an MP3 player or a Nintendo game in their May basket. ( Kids are really wrecked at a young age, in my opinion. Nothing is special anymore.) But here on Mars, no one has even heard of May baskets, much less did it in their youth. How messed up is THAT? Who gave birth to these people? I have these lovely grandmas who come in to Joe’s store and complain about buying a card for their grandkids when, “All they care about is the money inside.” I always want to lean over the counter and say, “Well, who started putting money in those cards, huh? Did you ever think of getting them a good book, taking them out for an ice cream, or teaching them how to make a cake, or just the two of you cooking up something special for lunch? An actual chance for a conversation? A little bonding? How about a movie? A trip to the science museum, or a zoo? If your answer is, “My kids would hate that,” you have failed as a parent and a human being and I hope I never have to run in to you – or your kids.
Joe and I are the boring great-aunt and uncle, we buy savings bonds and tuck them inside age appropriate books. The kids aren’t too thrilled, but the parents love us long time. I guess I don’t feel the need to be an ATM to people I love, especially when they already have every doll/toy/dress/gadget on the planet. I’m up for the things they will look back on and say, “Gosh, that was so nice when…. I really miss being able to …..”.
It’s okay, I’m patient. I can wait. But if my books and that damn sewing machine screw do not show up soon, I’m going to go nuts – and not in the good May basket way.