Drawing names and Secret Santa helps in avoiding this problem, but since I had to roll it like Greece (austere living with a bad attitude) this holiday season, I avoided the whom-to-buy-for conundrum this year by not buying for anyone I don't share DNA with.
So when I found a gift in my mailbox at work, I was pleasantly surprised and slightly worried. When I saw that the present was from my department heads, I breathed a sigh of relief--as my superiors it was their obligation to buy me a gift in the spirit of morale.
I took my present back to my classroom, shoved the 150 research papers that I would be grading over my Winter "Break" aside, and immediately opened my festive, cellophane gift bag, drew out the red tissue paper, and unwrapped this:
My boss had bought me a pygmy pen. Cute. We English teachers can never have enough pens.
Like all children, I wanted to play with my gift immediately, but I couldn't figure out where the tip of the pen was. I popped off the cap, and like a child whose parents forgot to buy the batteries her new toy needed, felt disappointed.
Well shit, my pen was broken. The tube of ink seemed to be missing. Putting the cap back on, I examined my pen more closely and realized that it didn't seem to be a pen. But what the hell was it?
I was completely befuddled. But wait, I had seen my friend and colleague, Laura, in the lounge with hers clipped to the collar of her shirt. Walking a few classrooms down the hall, I found her with another colleague working on a state report. Flinging the door open, I held up my mal-factured gift and asked, "What the hell is this?"
I popped off the cap again, "What, is it for? Drugs?" Do my bosses think I do drugs, and if so, are they encouraging me to stay off of them? Do they know that I don't do drugs and are encouraging me to start?
Laura guffawed, cast a side-glance at our colleague, then straightened up and with her widest, most condescending smile said, "A stylus."
That answer did not help me at all.
"For your iPad." The district had bought our department iPads a couple months back so we could be more "mobile" when using technology for instruction.
I shrugged and shook my head.
"So you can keep your screen clean."
Smallest damn screen-cleaner I'd ever seen.
"Now you won't get your dirty fingerprints all over the screen," Laura clarified. "You can use that instead of your finger."
Lightbulb. "Is that what this rubber tip is for?" I said.
I wish I could say that my lapse of intelligence was due to mental exhaustion. I wish I could say that it was due to mentally already being on vacation. I wish I could say it was due to just being mental. But, if you've read my other posts on technology, you know I can't blame it on anything else than the fact that when it comes to anything digital . . .