Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What did you bring me?

So tonight I went through one of the proto-typical American male experiences: airport shopping. My five-year-old caught on, after one or two trips, that an overnight trip away from home was pretense enough for presents. This was not a precendent that I intended to set, and yet somehow it still happened.

Airports understand this little ritual -- that's why the terminals are looking more and more like shopping malls, with a few pricey botique stores but an equivalent number of kitschy newstands that all the sell the same two dozen souvenirs. Most of these stores do not put price tags on the merchandise, hoping that you will look at some keychain and assume it could be no more than three dollars, and only at the cash register find out that it's $6.50. Six bucks seems to be the magic price point on almost all the items in these stores -- just enough to feel like a gift, but no more.

I only wish more of the stores would realize they could get a premium for smaller gifts. I struggled to find the smallest thing I could that would still interest my kids. They already have enough toys, and I don't want to go filling up even more space with things they don't need. So, for God's sake, give me small gifts, even tiny gifts. Ideally it should fit in my pants pocket.

Fortunately I hit pay dirt, ten minutes before it was time to board. A small Beanie Baby gibbon for Aidan, and a moose finger puppet for Mal.


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