THE THOUGHTFUL GIFT

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Life has not been a gentle friend to Carmen. After her divorce, she was left with three children to care for. Therefore, Carmen is an expertise is in excuses, if you are among those searching for one, give her a call. Carmen doesn’t have any friends. Because she has a trust issue, from the time she had discovered her best friend sleeping with her husband, although she’s been divorced for over twenty years. The only leaves her house in order to go to work, she does not drive. She said last time she attempted to drive, the drivers kept on blowing their horn. And when she finally stopped the car  and got out to question “what she was doing wrong?” One of the drivers told her “we did not see a driver in the car, we thought no one was in the car.” Since that day, she had stopped driving.  Carmen also hates going to the supermarket, because she said “it reminds her of the days when she could not afford to cook a decent meal for her children.” Therefore the children usually take care of the groceries. “But make sure you don’t buy the wrong trash bag!” “Yeees mom!” One of them would shout back.  However, if there is one thing she truly enjoys is watching her rental movies. But she will only use her personal computer to watch them since she thinks the DVD  player may have some bugs inside of it; and she hates everything which crawl, or even fly, including airplanes. Whenever her children tell her “mom, why don’t you go outside for a walk? Or go to the movie theater for a change?”  Her answer is always the same: What’s there outside I have not yet seen? Life is already miserable, why go look for more trouble. Besides, the popcorn at the movie theaters are too expensive, and what’s a movie without a bag of fatty popcorn?” “Then buy some mom!!! So what if you pay a few box extra, as long as you are having fun? “How can I have fun wasting money?” Then she mumbles to herself: “This new generation does know how to save. Why would I pay $20.00 for something, when I can buy if for a few pennies; do I look like a fool to you?”

So as you may gather by now, I was right. Carmen has many excuses. What else can I tell you about her? Well,  Carmen follows the same routine everyday.  She wakes up early in the morning, spends some time reading, while drinking her coffee. Then, she will place the empty cup on her nightstand. “Don’t you dare move my cup she will tell the maid, I’m not done yet!” ” But Mom, the cup is empty!” Will yell one of her daughters. Then she always answers: “What is it to you? It’s my dam cup, my dam table, my dam house!”

She has a silver comb and brush set, not even the children were allowed to touch them, for she had them for over twenty years, and the maid better remember that. If she moves them while cleaning, she better would place them back at the same position. Otherwise, she risked being dammed to hell for eternity. Everything in Carmen’s room are meticulously arranged, and she knows where everything is. “Look in the third draw to the left, under the third blue night gown, there, you will find a pink lacey lingerie, under which, is a Chantilly lace white shawl, bring it to me dear.” The only exception to this perfectionist rule of hers is her bed, which looks like after hurricane Katrina rampaged through New Orleans. Her gigantic bedroom furniture which is carved in dark mahogany wood, and almost the same size with the house itself. As you enterer her room, it feels as if one had just stepped into Dracula’s coffin. Everything is in red, her drapes, her linen, all in bloody satin red; even her photo album is red.

On her bed are the following items: Her books, her movies, several journals, a large photo album, some clothes left entangled on her bed, may have been there since last year; and lastly her personal computer which she only uses to watch her movies, because according to her, “everything you do on this tiny computer can be seen by others.“ Yes, all the previous items I previously mentioned , share her king size bed with her, along with six large pillows, and a gigantic red comforter, which looks like all the cloud from the sky landed on her bed, except they are covered in blood. Please keep in mind, Carmen weight about ninety five pounds, and she is nearly four feet tall, so even her little chi Wawa dog has a better chance of being spotted in the mist of that paella pot, than Carmen.

So for Christmas the children decided to give her a useful gift. “Mon pretty much has everything, therefore this year let’s think of something useful and meaningful to give her.” As they all agreed to brainstorm on some ideas, then thought they would meet for lunch in a hot spot. A couple Fridays later, while having their bites,  each one of them pulled a magazine, while the youngest one held a folded piece of paper in her hands. The first one said, “I thought of a great idea for mom’s gift, I know you guys may not think much of it, but first hear me out. First look what I found in this magazine?” As she opened the pages, she pointed out a miniature golden bell. And Just when she thought the others would object, surprisingly, they all said: “Oh, my God we all thought of the same thing!”  Then the first one replied: “This is what I had in mind. We could give her a bell for Christmas so she can keep it on her nightstand, so whenever we can’t spot her on the bed, we would ring the bell to call her; that would be fun wouldn’t?” “That’s great!” Said the second one. Then the younger one quietly opened the paper she had held in her hands. There was a drawing apparently done by her, it was a medium size bell, with a large chain holding the bell. “You see”, she said. I had a better Idea. We could have one specially made for her with a belt, so she could wear it around her waist”  “No,” the oldest one said.  “Mom is not a dog, therefore we cannot expect her to wear a belt with a bell around the house.” Then the youngest one replied “No, I did not mean for her to wear it just around the house; I meant for her to wear the bell everywhere she goes!!!”

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