Location: Colorado, United States

    35-year-old mother of two, wife of one, instructor at a university and free-lance writer, editor, researcher. I promise, I'm more fascinating than this "about me" and my favorites.

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Monday, January 10, 2005

Random thoughts

First, a question of etiquette: As I run around the house for tomorrow's pick-up that I promised ARC a couple weeks ago, I glanced upon a pottery vase. This vase was a wedding gift from a friend of mine. About two years after the marriage, she was no longer a friend. This was not someone who just accidentally slipped out of touch, this was a huge blow-out, screaming over the phone fight (and thus I learned the age-old lesson about hiring friends, even in a free-lance situation). It's a pretty vase that once fit our style, our lives -- just as this friend did. But now, it sits on top of the kitchen cabinets, gathering dust.

What would you do? Give it to charity? Sell it at a garage sale (though last summer's garage sale was promised as our last-ever garage sale!)? Re-gift? Somehow I feel uncomfortable having a gift that was given with well wishes from someone who would no longer wish me well.

Next, in the they-grow-up-so-fast category: As the girls get older, they're leaving behind some of their adorable mispronuncations and funny phrasing. I fear that I might some day purge the part of my brain that holds these precious things, so why not commit some to blog, just in case I need that part of my brain for something else.

When Maxine first discovered the Internet (at about age 4, I think), she used to tell us, "Hook me up on the dot-com." She also had trouble with hospital ("hos-a-bull") and magazine (maza-gine). Now, she can pronounce those words, and when she wants to go online, she can often just get there herself, or she'll simply ask, "Can I go on"

At four and a half, Madi hasn't outgrown all of them yet. Even when her big sister was struggling with "hos-a-bull," Madi said it clear as day. After all, her grandpa was there a few times for some bouts with diabetes-related problems. But still, Madi asks for "buggle gum" and one of her favorite shows is "Lizzy Ga-mire."

What's amazing is how quickly their quirks become our family language. If anyone is reading this, I'd like to see comments on your family's language.

Leftovers: I think I have come up with a non-profit idea, or a great idea for corporations to consider, or maybe there's already something out there to this effect (if so, I'd like to know about it).

Have you ever gone shopping with a gift card and then when you cash out, you have less than $10 left? Brent and the girls each got gift certificates for Christmas (Sears and Toys R Us, it doesn't take a genius to figure out who got what). Amazing enough, each of them finished with less than $5 on their cards. Once upon a time, they just gave you the change so you could spend the money at Starbucks. Now, they give you the receipt showing that you have $3.44 left. I'm no dummy, if I take my 6-year-old to Toys R Us to spend $3.44, there will be money coming out of my pocket.

So here's my idea. Collect all of these gift-card leftovers from people every where and give them to families who never get gift cards, families who never get gifts. It'd be easiest if the companies would just give you the option, "Ma'am, you have $3.44 left on your card, would you like to donate that to our charity that compiles the cards and gives them to needy families?" (Though I imagine there's more than one cynic out there who might think, "Yeah, right. Line your pockets with my leftover money, hey-oll no!" So that's where the non-profit steps in.) I imagine plenty of folks who just got what they wanted would rather just hand over the balance than figure out how to spend that amount. But it must be made easy for them.

On that same note, I was thinking about all the minutes that I paid for on my cellular plan but don't use each month. I would love to see the cell companies step up and somehow donate those minutes to people who need them. Families of military overseas? Victims of domestic violence? If companies like Cingular can help people roll over their unused minutes, why can't I give my unused minutes to a good cause, to people who need those minutes more than I do?

Both of these approaches could work because we're asking people to hand over things that are leftover, we're not asking for extra money or extra time. We're just asking for the leftovers.

posted by Laura at 8:50 PM |


Commented by Blogger Stephen Ludwig:

Give the vase away or sell it on e-Bay. It's a thing that's in the way and has a bad memory attached to it. You don't want to re-gift a bad memory.

4:20 PM 

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