Tuesday, October 04, 2005


My parents just got back from a two week vacation. They are retired so they tend to go on a lot of vacations. They need a holiday from all that not working. It can take a lot out of a person, you know. When they returned from their journey they handed me my traditional gift bag filled with souvenirs from the lands to which they had traveled. Given the fact that I am their only child and they were gone for two whole weeks you’d probably assume that the gift bag would be pretty big, right? Wrong.


Because I’m a genius.

My parents started testing out this whole traveling thing a few years before they retired. They went on so many cruises they would often get “solid ground sick” instead of “sea sick”. And if you know anything about cruises you know that they stop at a lot of ports. And if you know anything about my parents you know that they felt the need to buy me a gift (or eight) at every port. And if you know anything about me you know that it is nearly impossible for me to throw away any gift I am ever given, for fear that decades down the road the gift will magically hold tremendous sentimental value. And if you know anything about the gifts available at ports you know that I was reeeeeaaaallly reaching to think that I was EVER going to find sentimental value in a fluorescent green tank top with a lizard on it.

So I realized something must be done. Because fluorescent green is just not my color. I tried telling my parents, “Really, it’s okay, you don’t have to bring me anything back.” But that didn’t work, because they realized that I was telling them this because I didn’t really like the stuff they were bringing back. So on their next trip they went out of their way to find me gifts that they thought I would like. And they ended up lugging a 10 pound chess set that had been hand-carved out of stone all the way home from some faraway coastal land. And then I felt bad imagining them having to carry the extra weight just because I had an aversion to tank tops.

And then the genius kicked in. And this is where you might want to take some notes. I decided to start collecting magnets. And by “collecting magnets” I mean, “have others collect them for me”. I notified my parents, and any other traveling friend or family member, that I was collecting magnets. And if they were traveling a magnet would be the BEST gift EVER to purchase for me. Because, you know, I’m a collector and all.

Seriously, this was brilliant. It’s really a win for every side, the traveler and the home-y. The traveler doesn’t have to fret over what to purchase their best friend/daughter/family member/co-worker, they just have to wander their ass into a gift shop at some point in their trip (and yes, airports count) and buy me a magnet. And I, the collector, no longer have to figure out what to do with the random t-shirts and chess sets that my parents accumulate while traveling the open sea.

I’m telling you, everyone should do it. It doesn’t have to be magnets, you can say you are collecting anything really. But magnets are the easiest thing, if only because of their presence in the before-mentioned airports. (There’s nothing better than picking up a friend from the airport after they have traveled to Europe and the only gift they have for you is a magnet that says “Dallas” on it. Better late than never on the souvenir thought, is what I say.)

The only real problem with this plan of mine is that very soon I am going to have to either buy an additional refrigerator and put it in the dining room or I’m going to have to completely remodel my kitchen to accommodate my need for three visible sides of my fridge.

That would be a small price to pay to insure I never again have to look fake-excited about the color fluorescent green.

Some of my parents' travels...


Jenn said...

Genius. By the way, how is your "search for sport" going?

Dean said...

Very good plan of action. But I am concerned...
Is that a picture of Frank Sinatra in the upper right corner?

dawn said...

Oh, no you should be concerned. Cause that is not a picture of Sinatra, that is a picture of Andy Williams. My parents saw him on their latest trip. Yeah, I thought that guy was dead. And I bet most people don't even know who he is. But not only is he not dead, he has a friggin' magnet.

Dean said...

OMG! I did think he was dead. Used to love watching that show. The best part for me, as a little kid, was the bear who would come knocking on the door looking for cookies.

An Andy Williams magnet...now I believe I have seen it all.

Anonymous said...

You WANTED a chess set! and it wasn't 10 pounds--it was AT LEAST 50 pounds of solid marble! Your Dad still has one arm longer than the other. Much easier transporting those magnets.


Leah said...

I'm really struck by how organized and well-spaced all these magnets are. Hmmm...I love people with a sense of "order". :-)