Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sweet Charity

The Post Office is sponsoring its usual Operation Santa Claus, and every year I tell myself I'm going to participate, basically because I feel guilty for not having kids.

The closest I've come to Operation Santa Claus is when a company I worked for several years ago was sponsoring some first-graders in a public school up in the Bronx. My co-workers and I each were given a letter from a six-year-old, written in block letters in crayon, most with helpful illustrations. Mine was from a boy named Jorge who wanted a Transformer watch. He'd drawn a picture of a stick figure whose wrist and hand were bigger than the rest of his body put together. If this were an accurate self-portrait, the Yankees had better sign this kid immediately.

Off I set on a shopping expedition. Except, the other problem with not having kids is not knowing what kids are into. Even parents of small children have been known to become utterly bewildered when their kid obsesses over the latest must-have. So I'm running into Toys 'R Us, Macy's, K-Mart, every conceivable place that might sell items meant for children, and describing this thing, and showing the clerks the picture, and they would all chuckle and say that they ran out of them sometime in August.

"This is worse than when they discontinue my favorite brassiere!" I thought.

At the eleventh hour, I finally found a place that had a shopworn package...oh yeah, and I threw in some extra batteries, which I'm sure made Jorge's mom very relieved.

I don't know yet if I want to set myself up for this kind of stress this year, although added to my guilt about being "child-free" is also, now, my guilt about not having to care for any other adult except myself. So maybe I'll get a gift for an adult. New York Cares is having their coat drive, and they're especially in need of large men's coats. I thought, "Maybe there's a lot of homeless big fat guys." But the reason they need large is so the wearer can layer other clothes underneath. This makes sense to me, since when I imagine myself being homeless I think about how to cut back on excess luggage.

I've already given away Jim's overcoats, so maybe I'll pick up a down jacket at a discount store and donate it. Down is impervious to the elements and easier to keep clean, and it can double as an igloo if you find yourself without a place to live. Except I keep thinking, what if I get mugged by some crackhead and he's wearing the jacket I donated.

"Yes, officer, he was wearing a navy blue North Face jacket that was on sale for $69.99 at TJ Maxx."

The police precinct around the corner from me always has a canned food drive. I always have canned food. So that's probably going to be the charity that I go with this year. Charity begins at home.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

nyc bloggers map