Thursday, July 11, 2013

True Friends Will Tell You What They Want

This picture has nothing to do with my post. But it is Topher's brithday party last year. It was a costume party, because of course it was. 
Topher has been my friend for a long time. And of all my friends, he is one of the few who's birthday I actually remember. The main reson for that is because he always lets you know when his birthday is coming. And he always tells you what he wants. Which I appreciate. You'll say, "Chris, what can I get you for your birthday?" And he'll say "Well, you can either get me the Elizabeth on DVD, but I think my mom is getting that, so you should get me the LA Confidential DVD." (This was, obvs, a conversation we would have had in the late 90s.)

He's not greedy. He doesn't solicit gifts. But if you want to get him a gift, he doesn't need a surprise, or sumpin' special that proves how much you know and love him. He just wants something that he wants and so he tells you what it is. And you buy it. And he is gracious and happy and grateful. Transaction completed.

One year in college, Topher really wanted a DVD player. This was when DVD players were big and expensive and rare, like Unicorns that provided director's commentary. He would never have dreamed of asking for one, because he was a poor college student, married to a poor college student with a bunch of friends who were poor college students. But a bunch of us decided to to pool our money and buy him one. Can you imagine having to pool your money with several people to buy a DVD player? I think you can get one now for about $15. Or as a prize in a happy meal. But these were the dark, rough days of the early aughts when technology was big and ugly and expensive. It was a fun gift to give, because I think he was genuinely surprised and delighted and he was the first person I knew who owned a DVD player and it was kind of cool. (And then a few years later he decided to create "Classic Movie Night" where he  would invite us all over to watch classic (read: boring) movies. Have you seen Bringing up Baby? I don't really remember much except it was terrible and about a dinosaur and a woman who was born on the side of a hill. I rued the day we bough the DVD player, then. And it caused me to create "The Dawson's Creek Directive" wherein I do not consume media that was created before "Dawson's Creek." (1998))

So if you want to know what to get Topher for his birthday, you should just ask him. He'll let you know. Maybe his DVD of Bringing Up Baby is getting worn after repeated viewings and needs replacing. Or you could go in with a bunch of friends and buy a really expensive piece of technology. What would that even be nowadays? A 3D Printer? A rocket ship? But whatever you do, don't get him the Elizabeth DVD. I think his mom already got him that.
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