Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pat Pat Pat

Usually patting oneself on the back for something that's supposed to be a selfless action -- charity, a gift -- is considered to be a bad thing. I'm not sure why... you can argue yourself blue in the face over whether the altruism gene is really the selfishness gene in disguise, but it's all the same thing: You're making someone else feel better and in return you're making yourself feel good as well. Otherwise it's something else, self-sacrifice or work or another form of exchange.

Today I went down to New York Presbyterian to visit a friend who unexpectedly wound up in the hospital. So aside from the very serious and multilayered concerns, which take a while to sink in and work their way around my mind anyway, my first -- and easiest to handle -- thought was, What do I bring? Given that flowers aren't allowed and she's not the teddy bear/mylar balloon sort?

I love giving presents. Not on cue -- I'm not a fan of Christmas for that reason -- but I love that click when I see just the thing for someone, and tend to stockpile gifts all through the year and hope I can find them when birthdays roll around. So when inspiration struck when I needed it this time around, I was so pleased. On my way down to the east side I stopped by Book Culture, one of the two fine indie bookstores near my office. It used to be Labyrinth Books, for those of you who know the 'hood, and I think the new name is a bit unfortunate -- it makes me think of petri dishes. But regardless, it has the best selection of glossy high-end magazines and literary journals of any place I know uptown. And there I purchased:
All of them fat, fun, and trashy/smart, with interesting articles to read and great pictures to look at if she wasn't up to reading (the links all work, if you're interested). The whole bunch tied up in a green ribbon and delivered in one of the excellent Book Culture tote bags, because eventually all that loot needs to be hauled home...
What can I say? I was just tickled with the gifts I bore, and I had a fine old time picking them out. I love shiny lowbrow/highbrow magazines, but I don't tend to splurge on myself like that. And I know she wouldn't either, which made them extra fun to buy. I hope when she gets to them they cheer her up a little.

If I ever end up in the hospital, faithful readers, I hope you all will take the hint.



Blogger Debi said...

Hoping that day never comes, sweetheart, but I'm making a note just in case.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Miss T said...

Now *that's* a good gift.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Margarita said...

I will look for a more cheerful reason than visiting your sick bed to surprise you with something along those lines.

2:25 PM  
Blogger heddy said...

I LOVED your gift! It is true I would not have indulged in these treats for myself. I also love the tote bag, and it was very handy when I was discharged.

That said, the best gift was seeing you. I only wish I didn't have a nausea spell while you were there.

Thanks so very much for visiting!

1:51 PM  

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