Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Crazy Gift

Maybe I shouldn't be excited about this, but two people hit on me on my way into the gym today. Now, before I get too far ahead of myself, let me clarify a couple of things:

1.) Person number one was a homeless man inexplicably carrying a rake.

2.) Person number two was a stoner driving a cloud of pot smoke disguised as a car.

So I definitely shouldn't be excited about this. BUT, you should also know that I looked EXACTLY the same as I always do on my 3.3 mile walk (yes, I just used to figure that out which is totally not the point of their site) to the gym, specifically, wearing my blood-stained Uggs, workout pants and my oversized ski jacket. (That I apparently bought thinking that when I moved to Chicago at 22, I would continue to grow outwards AND upwards, and that appropriately earned me the nickname "Old Man Winter.") I did, however, change two things:

1.) I brushed my hair.

2.) I wore my sunglasses.

Now, given the positive events post-sunglasses at AE on Saturday, I am clearly attributing my increased hotness to the sunglasses over the improved hygiene. I think they are magic glasses. I am tempted to wear them indoors or at night as well, à la Jack Nicholson, or various Rush and Division douchebags, but I think this might cause people to confuse their magic powers with a mental illness (like narcissism, which this blog is not helping) and treat me kindly for the wrong reasons. 

This isn't the first time I have been tempted to do something that ends up making me look nuts. 

M was in Arizona this weekend, and brought me back a fantastic present. A candle that makes green shamrocks on the outside glow. I am really excited about this and plan to try it out while watching the women's free skate portion of the Olympics tonight. Super nerd, I know. But the real crazy is WHY M knew I would love this present. I look for four-leaf clovers constantly. It's a little obsessive and a lot childish. I have also found over a hundred four-leaf clovers, so I feel validated in this search. When I was little, I would tape the found clovers on the inside covers of a book series called Value Tales. And then I would write something like:

"Found at Bryan Park on 10/13/88! Saw it in the grass without even looking!!!!!!!!!"

I really loved finding clovers. And exclamation points, apparently. Why I felt the need to document these inside books instead of something more collection-worthy, like between panes of glass, I have no idea. I must have seen some kind of permanence in books. Even in books geared only to seven-year-olds. 

Anyway, M supports my mild clover craziness and when we are walking and I stop and look at the ground, he knows that I have spotted a clump of shamrocks to comb through. Last summer, we were at the lake with M's parents, and sitting in the grass lazily chatting. While everyone else was talking, I became distracted by hundreds of clovers carpeting the earth and started picking out four-leafed gems. I had already found two by the time I noticed M's dad staring at me. I don't think my explanation assuaged anything, and he now obviously thinks his son is dating a girl who also wears a hat of tin foil while blowing spit bubbles off her tongue and petting her own shoe. 

To M's credit, at this point, he began searching too. For which I should have been grateful for but with which instead became instantly competitive and kept searching until I had more four-leaf clovers than him. I am not the best advocate for my own sanity. 

But, gifts that celebrate a little bit of crazy can be a good thing. Like the candle. Or like tiaras to wear on a birthday. Or like giving one of those found clovers away to someone else. I have done this a few times, mostly to wish someone good luck or as a congratulations gift. I will tape the clover to a blank card or leave it pressed inside a frame to preserve it. Sometimes I will write something underneath it:

"Found in Lincoln Park on 7/21/09!!! Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

(Just kidding.)

For M's birthday this year, I used one of the four-leaf clovers I found at the lake to make a card, wishing him a year filled with luck. The kind of luck I had, not his kind of less-clovers-than-me luck. I am insufferable. I am going to go put my sunglasses on and walk home in the dark. 

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