--Ravi Shankar has died. I didn't know much about him, and on my list of favorite musical instruments, the sitar occupies a lower rung. But I'm struck by how many important musicians have died this year after making it into their late 80's and early 90's: Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Dave Brubeck, Ravi Shankar. Is there something about the music that helped them survive so long?
--My local NPR station is having a fund drive. My first thought: Really? Didn't you just do this in October? But I know that it's the end of the year, and people are more likely to give as they think about the charitable giving deduction that they'll need for tax year. So, fine, fund raise away.
--I switched channels this morning. On a local hard rock station, I heard d.j.s blathering away about some study that talked about what women expected in terms of gifts from their husbands, boyfriends, and significant others. I was flabbergasted!
--1% of annual income = amount of $ women expect their male partners to spend on Christmas presents for them. But wait, it gets worse. So much worse.
--What do women want? Well, we finally have an answer. Number 1 choice: designer shoes. Number 2: designer handbag. Number 3: a pet. Number 4: designer coat.
--Excuse me. I need a minute to go and vomit. And to remind myself that I have no idea about whether or not this survey is real. For all I know, the d.j.s just made it all up.
--But it BOTHERS me that anyone could think that a woman wants her man to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars buying her designer crap that is probably a duplicate of what she already has in her closet.
--I know that it was a morning drive kind of program, but I still yearned for someone to bring up the morality of it all. If you're going to spend hundreds of dollars, buy me a book, and give the rest to a charity, preferably one that works in the third world. Send your money to Africa to drill a well (Clean water for Christmas! it has a certain ring). Buy a cow or a chickens for a family or a village. I have so much, and and it's hard for me to sleep at night knowing that so many have so little.
--I realize I'm a different kind of woman than the kind that the d.j.s were discussing. But am I the norm? It depresses me to think that the woman who demands presents, and very expensive presents at that, might be the norm.
--I also realize that there may be a bit of hypocrisy here. I'd like to say that I'm donating as much to charity as I am to my retirement account. I'd like to say that I'm giving to the third world double or triple what my household spends on wine and beer in a month. I'd have to run some numbers to be sure, but I doubt that my charitable giving is what I wish it could be.
--Am I more morally pure because I spend my money on retirement funds instead of designer shoes and handbags?
--Why do we equate love with gifts? A question for a different post.
--I am seeing more Christmas lights on more houses, lights left burning all night. Perhaps it is a sign of people feeling hopeful about their economic circumstances.
--Today I shall make the first batch of Christmas cookies. I made fudge back in November, but no cookies yet. I'm going to a cookie swap, and I need 6 dozen. Fun!
--The trick will be creating enough cookies so that I have 6 dozen cookies left by cookie swap time. How many extra do I need to make?
--I will also be working on the dough that will become Santa Lucia bread tomorrow.
--I shall be festive, I shall! Despite the strange weather, the humidity, the threat of thunderstorms, the heat, yes, despite it all, I will cultivate a holiday spirit.
The Summer of Reading
4 days ago