Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What your friend wants for her birthday

And that isn't me. We're all good here. But I had a realization yesterday that I thought I should share with you.

It's rough economic times. We read the US news and we've read largely about stimulating everything under the sun. How people are cutting back. Reevaluating wants and needs. In general the American public is coming to her senses and that's a very good thing. And that made me think about some of the blessings we have received here. People like to send us things. They really should stop because it's too expensive but grandparents can be surprisingly hard headed. But we get all of these treasures that people in the US don't necessarily think are treasures. Case in point:

Monday the day got away from me. I hadn't slept well. My houseworker called in sick. Jonathan was at the university all day. @ was surprisingly involved in homeschooling. I talked too long outside to the neighbor. I needed to water the grass. I didn't give myself enough time to make dinner. Come 4:30 I had a vague idea but not the time to do it in. What's for dinner? I reach into one of my storage boxes. Some months ago as a birthday or Christmas package, someone (I think Gretchen) had sent me 2 boxes of Suddenly Salad. You know, the $2.00 box of pasta salad you pick up for the church potluck in the summer. That's something Jonathan can make while I take care of jobs outside and get moving on another project. We had Creamy Bacon Pasta Salad for Monday night dinner and it was just what the family needed and it was all thanks to the kind soul that sent us that birthday/ Christmas present. They saved dinner! Our Heroes!

Need another example:

A friend asked us to "talk" with a group of kids she worked with this summer. I chatted with her online for awhile one day. For some reason, in return for our chatting (because it was incredibly hard work), she sent me cake mixes. Why did she send me cake mixes? Because we can't get them here and she was being clever. I hope its because her local grocery was having a sale on cake mixes and she got them for next to nothing, I don't know that that was the case though. But she sent me this very heavy box of 10 different cake mixes. What a lovely gift! We have friends that are moving into a different house while their house is lifted. It's a stressful process to say the least and I thought I might bake them some funfetti cupcakes to help them get through the hard days ahead. My kind friend has also supplied me with favorite birthday cakes for the next year! How great is that!

Are you picking up the point? Maybe not. What I'm suggesting to you is that you look at some of these "everyday things" as presents. Why couldn't Gretchen give a couple of nice boxes of Suddenly Salad to her neighbor for their birthday? You're thinking "Because that's weird." Why is it weird? It's not weird. You're giving your nice neighbor friend a night off cooking or thinking about dinner for the cost of $2.00 (if they are a small family like mine). And that sounds like a birthday present to me. Why can't my nice friend give her nice friend in the US several cake mixes? Her nice friend probably could use a surprise cake that she wouldn't otherwise buy herself.

I know we're all trying to move out of buying so many ready-made box mixes. Oh, they're expensive; they're not really as healthy as they could be etc etc. But sometimes a mom needs a box mix. Can I get an AMEN!? Sometimes mom needs to have a night where the dinner isn't in the freezer and the dad needs to cover and we could order pizza or have a box mix. I'm thinking the box mix might be closer to healthy than the pizza.

We receive all kinds of things that people wouldn't think about giving us if we were in the states. Dried fruit, chocolate pop tarts (oh, how I love chocolate pop tarts), Lipton soup mixes, ranch dressing packets. Maybe you're a super coupon lady. Maybe you're friend isn't. Why not give off some of your ranch dressing packets to your good best girlfriend that you know loves ranch dressing packets but she might not want to buy them for herself? Why can't that not be weird?

By the way: this was in NO WAY a request to get you to send me stuff. We're really pretty good here. Your neighbor friend, maybe not.


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