Isotoner Gloves Dec14

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Isotoner Gloves

Christmas shopping fucking sucks. For the last five or ten years I’ve been saddled with a guilt-based gift theory that everything I buy needs to be consumable or transferable. Which is why, by my estimation, a book or some homemade cookies are a “good” Christmas gift and VHS pornography is a “bad” Christmas gift. No matter how much you watch the porn, it will never go away, and unlike the book of the same title, no one will ever want your used copy of “The Firm”.  So for the holidays each year, I spend hours looking for things that people can eat or use but not be saddled with forever.

I wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I just bought whatever crap the poorly produced daytime television commercials told me I was supposed to buy. Isotoner gloves are the perfect example. I used to buy their crappy gloves for my family members every year. I must have squandered my saved allowances on 20 pairs between the ages of 7 and 12. I have no idea why I did it. No one ever asked for them. But they were always available at the holidays. And they looked so classy with their pleather racing stripes. And I guess I just thought that everyone in the world should have nice warm hands at Christmas.

But at the USGP races this weekend, I realized what a shitty gift I had been buying my family during those dark, dark years. Mary showed up with a pair of red Isotoners, and I passively noticed that everything she touched turned a bright pink (much like how everything I touch in my own life turns to shit). When I saw her a few rainy hours later, it was clear that he gloves had been bleeding profusely over everything without a 10 foot radius of her hands. She looked exactly how I imagine OJ Simpson looked immediately after killing his ex-wife. Angry. Bewildered. Guilty of a violent crime. Except, you know, more petite. Her wet gloves had stained her hands bright red and everyone was making jokes about eating beets. Laughs ensued.

But then I was left feeling melancholy. How many people had I bought these stupid gloves for? I vowed to do better this year. I was going to get books and cookies… and porn… for everyone in my life. I ended up at Powells for what seemed like hours (BTW: they don’t have porn there), looking at books for my somewhat-loved ones that said “I care about you, but only in a Clive Cussler-kinda way”. I was getting bleary and I couldn’t focus. I got lost in the Portland historical photography section, staring blanky at a series of now-and-then photos of downtown when i started thinking about Christmas in the old days, then I started thinking about horse drawn carriages on the Broadway bridge, then I started thinking about how cool it would be to have a time machine and hang out in ol’ timey Portland and blow everyone’s mind with a laser pointer. I’d shine it on walls and make all of the people in their knickers and caps chase it around like eager kittens!

I don’t know how long I’d been thinking about this when I noticed the lady below me looking up at me with a face that asked “Are you staring at my cleavage?” and I looked back at her with a bewildered look that said “I didn’t even notice your cleavage, lady! I was thinking about my time machine” then she looked back at me with a look that said “You’re not going to find your time machine down my shirt”. Then I gave her a defeated look that said ” I don’t really know how to not-respond to that”. This wordless conversation  lasted for a really long time.

Then I left the store with a collection of milquetoast books for family members and the following bits of holiday shopping wisdom:

- Powells does not sell porn

- Isotoner gloves suck

- OJ Simpson killed his ex wife

- If anyone is still shopping for me, I’d like a time machine