Present Pre-sent Presents

It’s a great day to play with words! Then again that would be every day for me, so welcome to my world. Once more unto the breach. Day 8 of the #PNIWritingChallenge is here and, if you can’t tell from the title, it’s a fun one.

What is the best gift you have received to date?

This morning as I was walking the dog and thinking about this posting I was lost in the many different ways the letters p-r-e-s-e-n-t can be used and that’s how we end up with weird titles, my friends.

Aside from family at Christmas time, I’m not the best at receiving gifts. I feel awkward, and I don’t know what to do with my hands. How much gratitude is enough? Too much? Should I have brought something for them even though it’s my birthday?

I love to give gifts. I tend to pay attention and base my gift giving off of information I picked up over the year(s) that I’ve known someone. It’s fun. This is why My Companion receives a lot of gaming or comic book type gifts. He loves them.

I’ve been told it’s rather difficult to shop for me. I get it, I have a lot of varied interests and I prefer to ask people about themselves rather than give out too much personal information – yes, even to family.

That being said, some of my favorite gifts have been from family. My brother and his clan gifted me a fleece Detroit Lions blanket one Christmas. I love the blanket. I ditched the comforter on our bed and set us up with our own blankets. That stops the cover thieving in the night, or it was supposed to. I’ll let you know how that experiment ultimately plays out.

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The cat loves the Lions blanket, too. We call it the “momma blanket” because when he feels it under his paws he reverts back to kitten-hood. If the blanket is out, the cat is on it. When he’s acting like a psychotic shithead I will bust out the blanket and toss it over my lap because it acts as mind control on him. It’s a wee bit evil but I like to imagine the cat understands, the silly Binny that he is and all.

This post isn’t supposed to be about some of my favorite gifts, though. It’s supposed to be the favorite. So here we go.

My Companion is probably the only person who can give me gifts and I don’t feel weird about it. The presents he’s given me have been perfect for each occasion. That could be because we communicate about what we like and what we want, often. With our birthdays being so close together we often have matching presents. It’s funny, really.

Our first Christmas together he picked me up a first edition, second printing of Gone With the Wind. It’s my favorite book though I don’t read it as often as I once did. As a former bookseller I noticed the pages are a little foxed, slightly discolored, and there’s no dust jacket, but I don’t care because this one is for the collection and not for future sales.

I love me some Scarlett and Rhett, how could I not?

Besides, the beauty of that present involves some back story. The night My Companion and I met, I wanted no part of dating, flirting, or even talking to someone of the opposite sex. I’d had a rough night at work and all I wanted were a couple of beers and some peace and quiet.

The dive bar we were in was not big on peace and quiet. My Companion jumped through unintentional hoops. I put this guy through the wringer in every way I could imagine and he stayed the course. His persistence pissed me off a wee bit. Then, when the friends I had come to the bar with took off to play the bowling machine (they sucked ba-a-a-a-a-a-d and I still giggle. I think my one friend threw a 55. That is accurate in how she bowls at real alleys. I can score 55 with my eyes closed) My Companion and I began discussing books.

In all of my dating years – and there have been many of them – somehow I have never dated a fellow reader. How this happened I have no idea considering for most of my life reading took up a majority of my time. I used to read a book a day and still have time to work and socialize. Sometimes two.

I don’t remember how Gone With the Wind came up in conversation, but it did. I believe I had just written a section in Freedom’s Treasure about that book (Anna shares my love for that novel) so it was fresh on my mind.

When My Companion expressed an opinion that agreed with mine – Scarlett’s problems were self-induced but she was also a much maligned character – I was hooked. We ended up talking until 4:00 in the morning and had our first date on that Friday.

His gift of that hard cover book solidified that he was the man for me. Is that my favorite gift from him? Probably. It’s locked away where light and heat and things can’t get to it. I bought an e-book version for when I feel like actually reading the story.

The birthday presents, though, oh, the birthday presents.

Several of my posts have mentioned Football Sundays. I can’t help myself. Trivia bit: in all of my books, there’s a reference to either the NFL or mention of my favorite players. It’s just how I roll.

My first birthday with my guy, he picked out a Peyton Manning Denver home jersey for me and he picked out Archie Manning’s jersey for himself. My Companion likes the New Orleans Saints, and he likes Brees, but he was pretty impressed by Peyton -it would be hard not to be, the guy holds a lot of important records – and Archie played for the Saints for his entire career. That’s the kind of dedication we can get behind.

The next year was Peyton’s Denver away jersey, and a San Fran Montana jersey for himself. Now that we’ve maxed out our favorite football players – not counting defensive ones as I’m not willing to pick up jerseys for people who constantly switch teams – we’re going to have to pick something else.

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I’m quite curious to see what that something is, though I’m 90% sure we’re going to be filling out our Funko collection for the next couple of years. For his birthday this year I found a Mother of Dragons and one of the actual dragons in Funko form. They were perfect for him.

It’s a gorgeous day out and Denver plays tonight. Now that I’ve babbled about the jerseys I am going to have to wear one out and about today. It’s just so difficult to be me. Sigh.

So tell me, friends, what’s your favorite gift to receive? What’s your favorite gift you’ve given to someone else?

 

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