I think the Christmas gift I gave one of my college girlfriends tells my story well. What to give her? The usual perfume? Tickets to some special event? How about a bird? I gave her a pure white parakeet. I might have embellished it a bit, calling it a rare albino parakeet, which it might have been for all I knew.
The evening before it was time for us both to go back home for the Christmas holidays we exchanged gifts. I thought I'd hit a home run with this bird idea. She thought otherwise. She had some excuse why she couldn't keep it....some bad experience, allergies....I can't remember. What I do remember is she left it with me.
Now I was stuck with this damn bird. I packed my car the next day and headed back towards Dallas, the bird in his cage, bouncing along holding on for dear life. About half way home, just outside Guthrie, TX, a wild bird hit my car right where the front grill turned and intersected the hood. Ugh! I had bird feathers and blood and guts all over my car, the hood, and up my windshield. I can only imagine what that white bird sitting there next to me thought when he saw his cousin's remains staring at him through the windshield. For me, I can see now it was an omen.
I got home with the bird, where he, or maybe it was a she, I never knew, had a nice Christmas. But then that fateful day in early January came when I had to pack up again and go back to college. The last thing I wanted to do was take that damn bird back with me. I thought my mom had actually developed a mini-relationship with him/her/it (I was wrong), so in my mind it wouldn't be wrong to just sneak out and hit the road early sans bird.
I thought I made my escape good, until about 9 pm that night when there was a knock at my apartment door. It was a friend of mine from home who also went to Harvard on the Plains, aka Texas Tech. When my parents realized I was gone without my bird, they called Neil and asked him to stop by and pick it up and take it to me back in Lubbock.
Ever since I've never been a big bird fan. Even now it's hard for me to say "bird" without putting "damn" in front of it. In the wild they're beautiful; in my house, not so much.
Needless to say, I've become much more traditional in my gift giving. :)
PS....I finally found a