ReGifting Thanksgifting

Sitting between two Sumo wrestlers from the larger parts of Japan, I’m flying from LAX to SLC to spend this holiday with my familyand friends. It’s uncomfortable as hell, but some things are simply worth the hassle.

This is of course, one of them, but I’m planning on holding my expression of appreciation for the hassle until I’m no longer a head jammed between two separate sets of shoulders. Visualize a bowling ball stuck in a very narrow alleyway, halfway up from the street.

I’m actually grateful for the opportunity to be flying home as I was teaching today until 4:00 and didn’t leave for LAX at 3:00 as planned. A student who’d sworn up and down that she wouldn’t be later than noon showed up at 1:30 and we didn’t get into the sky until 3:00, about the same time I’d meant to leave for LAX.  But…I’m also incredibly grateful for the opportunity to teach.  In fact, it means more to me than ever. I’ll never be a world competitor-level skydiver again, and I’ll never be able to keep up with the twenty-somethings that can kick my ass backwards from Monday. But I do love the thrill of teaching, and will do so until the day I’m wormfodder.

Getting to LAX was stressful (LA traffic is usually about as relaxing as dodging seagull poop bombs falling on a busy pier) and true to form, the hurriedier I go, the behinder I get. The 91 freeway North had an accident. And of course, so did the 110. AND the 105. I needed to be at the airport by 5:30 to catch my flight, and at 6:15 I was pulling into the long-term parking lot. Not a good omen.

I’m grateful to a friend for talking me through the drive and keeping me calm while I was contemplating jumping out of my truck and screaming “I’ve got a temper and I’m not afraid to use it!” and hoping that would clear traffic ahead. That could have begun a bad day… Thankfully, my flight was magically delayed and I got through security just in time to catch the flight, even though it had been delayed by 30 minutes. Glad for the “no baggage” thing.

So back to the two Sumo wrestlers and the unmentioned guy across the aisle….

The gentleman seated across from me is having a discussion with his wife about “regifting” and how horrid it is, “how could anyone do such a thing?” What makes this eavesdropping really uncomfortable is that in order to listen in, I’m practically nose to nipple with the oversized man-boob of the 350 pounder sitting next to me. And I don’t want to rile him any (he’s sleeping, or pretending to be. Or maybe his eyelids are simply as overweight as he is, I’m not sure). But…the conversation is one I’d really like to jump into. We’ve all received weird gifts in the past, right? Yet my plane-mate is proclaiming that re-gifting is right up there with cheating at cards, taking the quarters from your daughter’s pile of tip change, or thumbing through Cosmo in the checkout line (it’s a Utah thing….)

Hmmm…I for one, don’t have a lot of use for the gallon of  Old Spice that I received for Christmas one year. And the Chia Pet head of George W. Bush? It’s either gonna get round-filed or handed off to someone as a joke gift, or maybe as repayment for the strip monopoly game I got for my 40th birthday. Either way…it seems a shame to throw away a gift that is still shrink-wrapped. I’d return it, but the day after Christmas, Walmart immediately lowered the Chia-head of the president from 49.99 to 2.99. It  wasn’t worth the gas cost to drive to the store’s return department.

Which brings me to another reason I like re-gifting; Return Departments. Have you ever braved one the day after Christmas?

I’m thinking that the French had a better time of it against the English Armada.
Very Large People In Polyester fighting for space in an area smaller than most corrals,  these anti-regifters sound akin to braying donkeys as they argue with return clerks about why they should get regular price for something they’re returning even though the post-Christmas price is 90% off of whatever it was paid for. It was a gift, it cost them NOTHING! Whatever happened to “It’s the thought that counts?”

Duh…it’s also a new profit program, right? Mark up an item 150% of cost, then discount it by 50% of the retail price, which still engenders a profit margin of 50%, then discount it by 90something percent the day after the holiday and still clear a minimal profit for the fast turnaround.

It’s amazing the crap people will buy in the Christmas buying frenzy. Honestly….how many of your friends really NEED a Ped-Egg, and how many of them are wondering if they have funky feet and you’re trying to be diplomatic with your gift?  When I got a gallon of Old Spice, I found my insecurities wondering if I smelled so badly that only a worser smell could mask the olfactory offensives?  That  24 pack of battery-operated personal fans…let it sit right where it will be the day after Christmas. Honest. I don’t want/need one. Although they could be fun in freefall….Hmmmm….. Silly String is really fun in free fall too.

Back to reality here tho; I am a grateful person. This year, I’ve learned more about life than I had in the previous lifetime. If I were a cat, I’ve used up eight of my nine. I’m gonna make this last one count. I’m grateful for the thoughts sent my way, and I’m grateful for all the love and support sent my way. I’m appreciative of the cards, letters, emails….and I’m gonna re-gift them all. I promise, if you sent me some love, some support, a card, a happy thought, I’m going to re-gift it and pass it along.

Re-wrapped, of course.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from my very humble trailer in Lake Elsinore, California.

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I've been a successful sales manager, musician, film/video professional, instructional designer, and skydiver. Picked up a few pieces of gold, brass, titanium, and tin along the way. This blog is where I spill my guts about how I'm feeling at any given moment, and maybe a blurb or two about what's happening in the sales, video, or skydiving worlds.

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