Since my birthday is in November, my poor family members have the difficult task of figuring out what to buy me for my birthday and for Christmas within two months. Actually, it shouldn’t be all that difficult, since one of the traits I have inherited from my dad is the fact that I pretty much am happy with whatever someone gives me. My dad is amazing that way. I’m confident that I could give him a self-made macaroni picture (even now, when I am 24), and he would be genuinely happy about it.
Still, for some reason it appears that my family doesn’t share my conviction that it’s easy to buy me presents. Therefore, each year I obligingly write down a few points on a wish list, and they have ideas both for my birthday and for Christmas.
What I typically write down are items – books, CDs, household utensils (I’m growing up, blah) – or experiences (tickets to concerts or the theatre, for instance). I try to make realistic lists – I don’t list ridiculously expensive things, but at the same time there is a certain standard to be met (my parents and my sisters are all very generous). I try to make lists that can actually help them, though this means I am not necessarily putting on there the things I really want.
The other day, however, I noticed on Facebook some of my friends making wish lists. With the risk of copyright infringement, let me summarize:
Someone (I believe it’s a housewife from Cardiff, 23) wanted “a laptop that works, a house that stays clean, a body to die for, and a Winchester, Dean”. Then the follow-ups mentioned dollar$$$, jobs, Robert Pattinson, book-contracts, housekeepers, a blue-eyed and kilted Scotsman and so on. Now, though I have a propensity to choose silly friends (wonder why...), there were some more serious wishes on the lists as well, for instance asking Santa to “let me be as I am”. (I am very glad that you are, Natasha.)
Instead of joining the discussion, however, I decided to incorporate my own list in this post (which was a roughly-about-wishes-but-left-hanging-with-an-uncertain-fate kind of post).
I hereby present my alternative wish list:
What I really want for my birthday:
• An apartment of my own here in Oslo. A nice one, in a nice neighbourhood. One where I can decorate according to my desires, where I can make a home.
• The time and energy to both finish my master’s thesis (with success), and to simultaneously write a novel (preferably also with success).
• A gym membership that gets me in shape without me spending any time on it, or any energy…
• An income that does not require me to pretend I am happy about hearing the story of someone’s life just because they are buying a pen from me.
• And last, but not least, a lesson more in the spirit of Natasha: the ability to appreciate what I’ve already got.