‘Tis the season for bemoaning overconsumption, and then playing a closeted part in it by ordering all of our frankincense, gold, and faux fur online, exceeding the $100 mark to qualify for free shipping. By golly, doesn’t overconsumption and then taking a rip at the postal carriers feel good.
I’ve been extra good all year at overconsuming, so I think I’ll do a little more right now. I’ve not pinched pennies and parked in parking lots instead of metered spaces. I have run up my A-Tay credit card, paying off the balance in full each month but then wondering why I am counting out quarters and dimes and looking for the elusive CVS Extrabucks coupon when I needed to buy deodorant. I drank a lot of Morebucks, allured by the seasonal red cup, which somehow makes a peppermint mocha both more pepperminty and more mochalicious. I have watched Lovey Loverpants dutifully pack his lunch each day – the same sad grade school lunch that he has eaten for five years – and thought that if I don’t leave for work right now, I’ll be late (and completely without rations and thus unable to justify a Morebucks run before noon).
I’ve been a real Park Avenue brat sometimes, but I actually don’t think I’ll cease asking for more.
In fact, I’m going to be asking for much more this holiday. For when, oh when, has asking for less netted us anything good? When I have “I don’t care”d or “Doesn’t matter”ed my way through moments of selection, I have always gotten the stale end of the baguette. I’ve wound up with the Barbie who had been to the barber, instead of the more desirable Hawaiian Rapunzel of a Barbie. I’ve gotten white milk instead of chocolate, I’ve babysat the ADHD poster children on New Year’s Eve. I learned a long time ago – when you underwish, you underreceive.
And I’m really not expecting to receive much this Christmas. An oven mit from my mom, maybe, a holy reader from my mother-in-law. My husband will give me something practical but cool and surprising. My brother will call me on Christmas morning, and the way he explains how “dilapidated” his old slippers were and how he’s glad he got a new pair will be gift enough for me.
But I am asking for more this coming year, and mostly that’s from myself. I’m asking myself, although fairly well-medicated and fairly caffeine-addicted, to focus more, to focus more on focusing even. I’m asking myself to stop swearing so golldang much, to demand more of myself when it comes to deadlines and paying bills and following up with people whom I told, “I’ll follow up with you on this.” I’m pleading with myself to not count the cost of loving people, to trust in God where I can’t trust myself. I am offering all this up, hoping that to ask more from oneself actually causes one to give more to others and not just back to one’s miserable self. I cannot ask for less, because when did asking for less ever net us something more than Morebucks?