Instant gratification is not just a catchy slogan Nick-at-Nite used during all-night marathons of classic shows. It is my way of life. As a general rule, if I see it and I want it, then I get it. Rest assured, my parents did not install this lifestyle in me. They are good about shopping around, looking for the best price possible. If it takes them a few days or a few weeks or even a few months to find the right priced item, then they’ll wait. Fred is the same way (more so, if that’s possible). He not only shops around, he also reads consumer reviews online. I don’t know how they do it. Perhaps they don’t get that overwhelming urge that I get when I see something I like. Or maybe they’ve just learned how to push it down and ignore it.
The same concept applies for gift giving. This time of the year is torture for me. I’ve already done most of my holiday shopping and have the gifts wrapped and ready for giving. But there’s one little problem: it’s still November. I have four more weeks to wait before I can hand out the gifts. I want to see the surprise and happiness on people’s faces now. I don’t want to wait. A few weeks ago I broke down and gave Fred his birthday present early because I didn’t want to wait any longer (we’re talking only a few days, too).
I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. I have a December birthday and when I was younger, I started planning my party in June. I’d excitedly tell Mom my ideas as she pruned the bushes, winter the farthest thing at that moment. Every Thanksgiving I would impatiently beg to put up the Christmas tree just minutes after dinner was finished. Despite cooking all day, Mom agreed to decorating the tree as soon as the dishes were washed. Of course, this seemed to take a long time so I generally occupied myself with selecting the music we would listen to while erecting the fake pine. Once the dishes were finally done, Mom hauled the tree from the basement while I carried the lighter boxes of ornaments. Generally, I started off helping but then got wrapped up in the Christmas books (that silly Amelia Bedelia! Date cakes aren’t made from a calendar!) while Mom did the grunt of the work. To cook all day, do all the cleaning, and then the grunt of the work for something I wanted took, I imagine, an abundance of patience.*
*This is one of the reasons why I don’t want to have kids. I can tolerate other people’s kids long enough but my patience wears thin quickly and I don’t think I could handle it 24/7.