Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Witz Pickz: They're Not All Gems -- Biggest Mistake Gifts That I've Asked For

In my family, we celebrate Christmas and Chanukkahj (I'm making a big push to convince people there's a silent "j" at the end of Hannukah), but Chanukkah is more about being awkward, and failing at religion, and laughing at inconvenient times that makes my Dad mad because it makes my Mom mad because nobody's taking Not Her Religion seriously. Long story short, Christmas is the bomb. Here's a preview, even though I'll probably get into it in more detail another post.

Our Christmas routine includes waking up later and later as time goes on, having something happen that leads to an argument (usually the phrase, "Thanks for ruining Christmas, Witz!" can be heard), followed by classic Witz Family "We're stuck with each other" family bonding. Then, my sister and I make brunch and we get to the actual presents part. Stockings first, then the tree, ultimately ending with the "Big Gift." The "Big Gift" is always from Santa Claus. This is weird primarily because we know it's not from Santa Claus and when my sister and I say "thank you" to our parents, they say "You're welcome," and not, "Don't thank us, thank Santa Claus." They're willing to play along for the tagging of the gift, but are damn well going to get credit for what they spent their money and thoughtfulness on. Anyway, through the years, I've made some weird "Big Gift" requests, some of which were better thought out than others. Here are a few of the ones I maybe shouldn't have asked for:

This was the "Big Gift" that I asked for sometime in high school. I can't imagine what I was thinking. I hate running. I played sports every day of the week. I wasn't morbidly obese. And yet I felt the need to ask for the fattest sounding gift I can think of. The weird thing is that there was clearly a moment when I asked for it and my parents weren't immediately like, "This won't be a good gift." I've neglected to use good gifts before, and yet they spent hundreds of dollars on a TREADMILL. They had to have known I wouldn't use that-- which I suppose makes them really great parents, but I'm surprised they didn't at least push me a little on whether I really wanted it instead of some sort of video game system or something. Even if they knew I wanted the treadmill and were ok with me not using it, they had to have realized that it only fit downstairs in our super creepy basement. Beyond being super creepy, our basement has a really really low ceiling. Our ceiling is so low, there was discussion of redoing it and that spawned this little tete a tete:

WITZ: Are we going to raise the ceiling like you were talking about?
DAD: I don't know-- why do we need to raise it!?
WITZ: Well, because we're in middle school and my friend The ATX can't even stand up down here.
DAD: You have other friends besides The ATX!

With the added height of the treadmill, my head would literally be inches from the ceiling every step I took. But they went ahead and got it for me. Even more shocking is the fact that there was actually that "Uhp-- we have one more gift for you......why don't you take a peak downstairs!" moment when I got excited, ran downstairs, and was psyched to find a machine TO RUN ON. In the end, it turned out to be a great gift...for my sister. Between the low ceiling and the constant threat of spiders, murder, and ghosts, I barely used the thing, but my 4'11'' gymnast sister still runs on it today.

Pool Table:
I wanted a pool table. I was probably in middle school or younger and thought it'd be cool to have a pool table in my basement (possibly to make it less creepy). I didn't think much about the whole logistics of the size and placement, and that resulted in me getting a mini-pool table. If you can have sex on regular sized pool tables, this was a pool table you could hold hands on...with one of you on either end of the table so it didn't tip over.

When I got it, it was alright, because I was smaller-- but as soon as I was a reasonable size, the table became ridiculous. My Dad never wanted to play with me because it was so goofily small, and then when I got bigger, I never wanted to use it. Due to a warp, it also had this habit of making all the balls roll towards the holes right after the break, and the pockets had a tendency to fall off when more than one ball was in them (due to a lack of staples-- yep, the table utilized staple technology). So every time you played "pool" you were basically saying, "I really want to clean something up."

It turns out there was one major upside to this gift. I'm not very good at pool, but a few weeks ago, my friend who I will call Nitro (as opposed to just saying "My friend Nitro" which sounds like I'm either friends with an American Gladiator or banging some huge dude from the gym) and I were at a bar where there was (oddly) a mini-pool table. WELL, I DESTROYED HIM. Like, all the angles and bounces of my old shitty table came flooding back to me, and I just trounced him three games straight. Totally worth it.

Bruins Hockey Jersey:
Now this was back when hockey was less of a joke and The Hartford Whalers existed and The Boston Bruins were my other favorite team because of guys like Ray Bourque. So it's not weird that I asked for a Bruins hockey jersey-- I played street hockey after school, ice hockey on ponds, and I went to hockey games when I could. What's completely random is that I decided this one time that I not only wanted a Bruins jersey, but I wanted MY NAME ON THE BACK of the Bruins jersey. Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time, but apparently I didn't factor in how incredibly mockable having your name on the jersey of a team you don't play for is. Did I think, "Hey, you know what are cool? Name tags! How can I make name tags even more prevalent in my life?" It wasn't made any better by the fact that I hadn't ever played organized hockey in my life. It wasn't inspirational. It was just basically a 12 year old kid reading off the old list of what he wanted to be when he grew up:

1) Soccer player (I severely overestimated America's love of the sport. I also drastically underestimated the amount of commitment and effort this would take, along with how puberty would treat me.)
2) Baseball player
3) Hockey player
4) Events Assistant at a Major University... (YESSSSSSSSSSSS!)
5) Writer

I'm still shooting for baseball player. So anyway, it was awkward wearing the jersey around my friends, and it was even more awkward wearing the jersey to actual games.

"WHO THE HELL IS WITZ??" drunken fans would ask?
"Oh, that's me."
"Because I'm that cool."

That pseudo-real conversation wasn't even funny-- it was just informative.

Non-Digital Camera:
I still feel bad about this one. I asked for the cheapest film camera possible and got a nice, somewhat expensive camera. I already had a digital camera for taking most pictures, but I wanted to be able to mess around with photography a little. Facts about me:

1) I've never taken a photography class in my life.
2) I never intend to take a photography class in my life.
3) It doesn't take much for me to quit on something.
4) I don't like drawing attention to myself in public.
5) When I was eleven, I threw a wood block at my sisters head and broke a window in our basement. I'm pretty sure I didn't actually want to hit her, and I'm also pretty sure she ducked, but maybe it's another example of why I'm not a pro baseball player. This is only relevant because that window is still broken and was never replaced by my Dad, which means maybe he's a bit slow to follow through on things as well at times (the story also gives you a better idea of the creepiness that the basement has captured so well). Genetics + Socialization = Witz is never going to use his camera.

Let's just say I still have the original roll of film in the camera (because someone else put it in for me, because I never took a lot of pictures, because I don't know how to take it out, because I don't want to pay to get it developed if I do get it out, and because I don't need to be the douchey-artsy hipster guy taking photos in public).

There's A Fine Line Between Funny and Spoiled,

P.S. Checkout the new music playlist I have on the right, along with an RSS feed you can sign up for AND a new "Fans of the Site" thing you can/should sign up on to let me know you care. Who knows, maybe I'll even send everyone who signs up something sweet for the holidays (read: maybe I'll scrounge up something cheap from work that I can send you-- whooo liiiikes post-it paaaaads??)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I once asked for a loom. Yes, a loom that one would make blankets with. In the 1800s.

And I got it. And I made approximately 1/15th of one blanket before I scurried off to play with something shiny.

Not to mention the bench-press set I got in High School that remains unopened in my parents' garage to this day.

We're both horrible children.