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Wayne Post
  • ANNE PALUMBO: With gift, will he hear what I hear?

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  • I feel as withered as a blow-up lawn Santa thatís hit the skids.
    Iíve just spent hours looking for a gift for someone I donít really know that well: my brother-in-law. Worse? I got him something that fills me with shame.
    Maybe you have an impossible-to-buy-for friend or relative and can relate to the anguish.
    Then again, maybe you solve your dilemma with a gift card. Unfortunately, and with profound sadness, I canít go that route. Since I get everyone else in the family gifts, it would look odd to give Mr. Impossible a gift card.
    No, the long and winding route I take typically brings me to my knees.
    Just so you know, I started this yearís quest all merry and bright. My mood was positive and my intentions were good. Hoo-ha, I chirped at the onset, Iíll get him something to wear. A nice, crisp button-down, a slam dunk if ever. Armed with clarity, I skipped off to find him the perfect shirt. Not so easy. Several stores and many ragged hours later, I ditched this direction.
    While aimlessly walking through the mall in a coat that was unbearably hot, I racked my brain for ideas. Nothing materialized, so I called my sister, who, as it turned out, was just as frustrated. ďHeís impossible to buy for. Seriously! I want to strangle him with garland!Ē
    Undeterred, I continued to stroll through mall stores. Hours had passed since I started my quest. I was hot, miserable and as parched as a Yule log.
    My merry thoughts had vanished.
    I donít know how I got there, but I soon found myself in the Sears automotive department, looking at car accessories: heated car seats, floor mats, travel mugs, steering wheel covers Ö my head was spinning. So many options, so little knowledge about what knucklehead needed. Yes. He had gone from brother-in-law to knucklehead in three frustrating hours.
    I couldnít make a decision. Besides, I was burning up inside and needed some fresh air, fast. I knew from past shopping experiences for impossible people that delirium was setting in.
    Unfortunately, on my way to the exit, I bumped into a holiday display of ďimpulse purchase items.Ē Weíre talking gifts that you grab when youíre at the end of your shopping rope. Why so many deal with hygiene is weird, but, whatever, I was intrigued with the offering: a WaxVac for clearing ears, a Smile teeth-whitening pen, a Tag Away skin tag remover, and some Strutz arch supports for aching feet.
    So many options, so little oomph to walk away and resume a decent search.
    No surprise: I grabbed an impulse item. Although Iím too embarrassed to say what it is, I will say this: Knucklehead will be hearing a lot better in the coming year.
    Page 2 of 2 - Anne Palumbo is a freelance writer who lives in Rochester.
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