It was my friend Melodie’s birthday the other day, and we always exchange presents. She’s a mystery writer and, like me, sits at the computer all day. (Check out her web site on the links list over on the right.) The problem is that every time I shop for a gift for her, I always end up buying the same gift for myself.
It’s not birthday envy; I have little interest anymore of being another year older. And it’s not that I have to horn in on her special day. It’s just that when I find something cool at a store, which isn’t all that often, I say, “I want one of those too.” Apparently, I don’t have the self-control to say, “No, Jane. You’re just buying one for Melodie.”
So there I was at a store in Santa Barbara, browsing aimlessly, not knowing what I was looking for, when I finally told the saleswoman that I had this friend who was a writer and I didn’t want to spend a ton of money but I wanted to get her something pretty and well-made and useful.
She guided me over to a shelf full of lovely, handmade wool gloves in various colors and said, “How about a pair of these?”
I picked up the camel, sandy-colored ones and said, “They’re beautiful – so soft – but where are the fingers?”
She explained that fingerless gloves were all the rage for people who wanted to be warm in the cold weather but free to dial their iPhones and BlackBerries, maneuver while holding their car keys, etc. And then she said, “They’re perfect for someone who uses a computer keypad.”
Bingo. I tried on the gloves, wiggled my fingers around and thought I had hit on a miracle. My hands are often cold when I’m working. Yes, I live in California, but I’m way up in the hills where the temperature dips in the winter. How exciting to have gloves that would allow me to type but keep the rest of my hands nice and toasty.
“I’ll take them,” I said. “I mean I’ll take two pairs. Same color.”
Melodie loved hers. And I’m wearing mine right now. So it’s kind of my birthday too, even though it isn’t.