Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Recovery Kit Gift

I am highly superstitious. Even if you know me well, you may not know the full extent to which I believe in the power of jinxing. I always put my shoes on in the same order, (right shoe, left shoe, left laces, then right laces...there's no need for one side to always go first.) When I travel, I wear my lucky earrings and necklace. I still play padiddle in the car, (which I just Googled to find the spelling and also found "padiddle sexy strip clothing," which is something entirely different) and I think that an odd number of one-headlighted padiddles are lucky, whereas an even number cancels out the luck. And, during the Red Sox playoff runs in 2003, of which we won't speak, and in 2004, of which we will, I was convinced of my ability to control the outcome of each game based on the position of my feet. For this one, I know for a fact that I'm not alone, but it does take a certain kind of superstition to keep one's foot squarely on a pillow placed strategically on the floor during the entire length of a record-breaking 5 hr and 49 minute-long baseball game.

The reason I mention this particular brand of crazy is that my dad had surgery yesterday and the day before, and I refused to post anything about the care package I sent him until he was safely home and recovering. He is now safely home and recovering and so I can share the "Happy Recovery" package. I know he is safely home because I spoke with him after surgery number one, and he told me he had just eaten "cheese and Swiss crackers." After surgery number two I spoke with my mom, who told me he was "sleeping it off like a drunk." Pain medication, when not abused, is fairly amusing. When M was on some strong pain pills a couple of years ago, he would just say the first thing that popped in his head. Things like, "You're so short." Or, "That woman is OLD." Or, "Why does your hair look weird?" It was hilarious for the first day and then it was annoying.

Anyway, last week I used the last shoe box at my apartment, (clearly, in order to take care of others, I will have to buy new shoes,) and filled it with useful things for recovering from surgery. Leg surgery, to be precise. As a result of a terrible construction accident just before I was born, the crushed discs in my dad's back have somehow caused the veins in his leg to multiply or gnarl themselves into a mass of tubes that have to be removed. Reason number 583 why I cannot ever be a doctor is that just hearing my mom explain how they lasered 47 veins in my dad's leg and LEFT THEM IN THE LEG to wither away on their own made me gag. This is enough to make anyone gag, you say? To which I respond that this is, in fact, the fourth time I have had this procedure explained to me. My dad has had this surgery four times.

So what do you get the guy who has withering veins, again? I found the most recent Special Edition Sports Illustrated all about Michael Jordan, (whom I grew up watching with my dad,) the DVD of Animal House, (which I saw for the first time with my dad after his first leg surgery,) the DVD of Elf, (which my dad mentioned over Thanksgiving that he had only seen once and which I happen to be obsessed with, so maybe this was the least useful of the assorted gifts,) a card on which I drew a picture of a crutch and the word "gimptastic," and a toy for my parents' dog that my dad could use to play with said dog from the couch. The toy was comprised of two tennis balls connected by a braided nylon rope. My parents have the largest dog in the world. He looks like a small bear. He sounds like Chewbacca. His name is Kramer and he almost broke my arm once. My thought was that instead of wrestling with Kramer as my dad normally does, he could lay on the couch and hold one end of the toy while Kramer pulled with his little bear teeth on the other end.

Instead Kramer got so excited about this toy that he ate the entire thing in 30 minutes. Like, ate it. Leaving only nylon shreds to show for his work.

Like all other gifts, though, it is the thought that makes the difference. Like all other care packages from me, I also added unnecessary notes to each item explaining why I included it. I guess it's kind of like being superstitious. If I don't include the notes, I am convinced that the recipient will not understand the importance of this particular thing. But if I do, the package will mean that much more. And the Red Sox will win the World Series.

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