I don't enjoy birthdays much any more. I used to think it was because I was:
- getting old and forgetful,
- jealous of the kids getting all those toys when I used to just get a cessation of whippings for 24 hours,
- exhausted from all the wretched children crawling around underfoot,
- a real prick,
- all of the above.
I realized that I really miss my Aged Mother's sticky-tape dispenser. It belonged to my Dear Old Dad too in theory, but I never saw him use sticky-tape once in my life. He was more of an Araldyte and wire kind of guy. But that's not important right now.
My Aged Mother's sticky-tape dispenser was heavy. When you lugged it into another room to wrap up your presents, it would softly thump down onto the table, its velvety black base smothering the sound under its weight. It was heavy enough to work with one hand while you restrained the paper with your other hand. It's little row of serrated teeth could neatly rip the tape off, leaving the end all zigzaggy like it had been snipped with pinking shears.
But in our house, the tape roll is just flung into a drawer with all the pens and bulldog clips and rulers. It takes you five minutes just to find the end of the roll. Meanwhile the wrapping paper has curled up and unwrapped itself from around the present you're trying to deal with. It's garbage. Wrapping presents is so deeply psychologically scarring now. It's no wonder I never remember anyone's birthday anymore.
So when my Aged Mother rang me up and asked me what out of the house I would like when she dies (which is an exercise she undertakes every few months), I should have nominated the sticky-tape dispenser.
But instead, I'm just getting the llama. Sigh.