Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Sixth gift- accident!

My co-gifting partner Kelly was my gift for today. I was able to grace this girl with Trader Joe's Mac and Cheese! Now, my vegan tendencies take a haitus when I'm super stressed...or REALLY hungry. This stuff will fill you up! Being on a college budget is super rough sometimes, and I'd been particularly anxious about my health because I've yet to have a diabetes test in a GREAT long time. The fact that A) I'm always hungry or thirsty and B) I'd have to wait 4 years to get insulin anyway IF I were diagnosed....well, makes me want to run to the next National Republican Convention before getting a blood test!

This girl has been inspiring me to do better, and I can honestly say that I have been HAPPIER since this experience began with giving. Consciously opening our hearts to others can help us love..and forgive :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

A reflection- by Sandra

Actively giving gifts. I feel like I had a wonderful experience of giving a gift to myself today!

It began to rain about 40 minutes after I had taken my third walk today.

Earlier, it was beautiful outside, and I took the CUTEST baby that I get to nanny for on Mondays and Wednesdays with me. She is absolutely adorable, and as my old neighbor will say, it was in good karma that I met her mom after I was having financial difficulties. She needed a nanny, and I needed money, and soon enough we all got along super well.

Anyway, my class (the one that makes me super anxious) was cancelled in lieu of turning in papers online, so I had a bit of a break. Knowing that my obsessive and isolated tendencies would lead me to my computer and Season 2 of Desperate Housewives, I ventured out again.

It began to rain just as I got to "Cancer Point," as Jonathan and I call it. I was lonely and scared my sophomore year, when after a routine exam (thanks to finally getting health insurance...at age 20), my doctor told me I needed a colposcopy (a cervical biopsy), to determine if it was cancer or not.

It was an incredibly invasive procedure, that I hesitated to discuss with the guy I seeing at the time because it was so shameful. My reaction was cold, and almost borderline for expecting him to pry and ask questions while I was verbally saying I "didn't want to talk about it." Time to grow up now: men aren't mind readers.

Apparently a gay best friend has the antidote for unnecessary shame. I don't know what I would've done if Jonathan hadn't been there.

2-3 years later, we wanted to share our usual pint of Ben and Jerry's (awful, isn't it?! This is why I need to make us lemon bars for our next "fix").

The usual cafeteria we would use was super hot, and it was the first day of Super-warmth here in Chicago. "Should we go to...," he started...and I finished with "Ummm...Cancer Point?"

We both laughed, supporting his hypothesis he stated before. We did "laugh about it years later," and hopefully I'm a bit more mature and wiser since.

A fifth gift...after receiving one! (by Sandra)

Today, I decided to write a letter to the Evanston Whole Foods, after a girl who saw me ONE time remembered me and told me my hair looked nice. Holy crap. MY hair?! UGH! What a sweetheart!

I hope that the letter finds her well, and I am excited that maybe a lesser known employee will get some recognition! :)

Fourth gift: Easter Sunday! (by Sandra)

Today was Easter...and I had to work- ugh!

I was so upset, considering that this particular job I was DETERMINED to quit. I went from a general amount of hours that I could handle between both jobs to having an increasingly time intensive work schedule. This would normally be pretty OK with me, but as I near closer to the end of my senior year (a seemingly "lazy" time), I find myself working harder than ever, and trying to find the redeeming moments associated with working there.

So, while I found myself diving into my VERY un-diabetes friendly sample doughnuts, I would usually not offer them to a) rude people b) VERY rude people and c) people who order things "non fat".

This particular day, a rater part b customer came in with his kids. It always breaks my babysitter's heart when I see sweet kids with terribly rude parents. After they got their cocoas (that I made full smalls, rather than kids size), I hand delivered these 2 cuties chocolate doughnut samples on a plate. I wanted to start crying when they looked up in disbelief with a small "thank you." Such darlings!

It's our job as adults to protect children. I can only hope that this has a ripple/butterfly effect on their lives somehow...

Third Gift: I've got a crush on you! (by Sandra)

So today I purchased 2 gifts to be given on two separate days. However, for the sake of not cheating, I'm only counting one gift for today. I bought my work fiancee a book of short stories by Tolstoy, because I knew that he probably didn't own it. A fellow admirer of Russian Lit, we both have admitted to having mild crushes on each other, with the acknowledgement that neither of us would do anything about it: probably because we're too alike!

REGARDLESS, I felt compelled to include him in my gift-giving adventure.

However, I'm still going to dedicate myself to getting him off of Ramen Noodles...they've probably got enough MSG to give us BOTH cancer- enough is enough!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Second gift (by Sandra)

So I work in a cafe', and sometimes I can be a loud barista. Aside from the obnoxiousness that I subject my fellow coffee drinkers to, I also like to talk with them, and just about half of my "regulars" know about my trials and tribulations regarding my graduate school struggle. It's these people that really keep me going throughout the long work hours of a job that I REALLY wanted to quit to pursue nannying to make more money.

Now there are other people who come in and try to steal my tips, demand that I don't know what the drinks are (or yell and insist that our company is going out of business or that rather than a "small," I really meant to make a "large"). Oy!

So this guy come in with a guy that looks like his little brother, kinda giving me this annoying customer vibe. Once he rings up this order (after asking me to repeat his order, what drinks were, etc.), he realizes that he's short 4 cents. It was like I knew that he wasn't going to have the money, and normally being a stickler for equality, I would've given him a smug-ass look and said that he still needed to give me this money, or drop a drink from his order.

The other order was for a little boy who looked like his brother, but when I asked ended up being his cousin. I rememebered that I never saw my cousins growing up, and I'm sure that if I were a spiteful gentleman of about 16, I would've bought them iced drinks on a hot Chicago day too!

So, I gave the guy 4 pennies, saying that he "better tip next time." He probably won't, but I feel like I stepped out of my Dorothy Parker, bitchy shell for a second to help a guy not look cheap in front of family.

Onto more gifts!

First gift! (by Sandra)

April 1st:

Hello everyone! I feel super blessed, and my first day of giving was INTENSE. I was leaving extra tips, offering people many cups of water at work (for hydration with their lattes), and I beamed with smiles as I thanked a fellow manager for not being as douche-baggy as another one.

I couldn't tell if any of these gifts could "count," but after talking with my boyfriend at the end of the day, I realized my true gift was for my father. My awesome liberal ex-hippie dad called to say that he would be downtown, and soon after I got off of my shift at work, I called and said that I'd go meet with him. It was only for an hour or so, but a few Bill Mahr references later I could tell that this meeting was my real gift for the day.