Monday, March 12, 2007

The Perfect Gift

David mentioned that he was sending me something in the mail last week, but I had forgotten about it until I saw the package outside the door. It rattled, and I couldn't imagine what it could be. After I opened the box and found many identical smaller boxes inside it I was really puzzled. Then I used my box cutter (another gift from David, by the way) to get into the first box and found two plastic pink flamingos. I laughed out loud with delight and continued to do so as I opened box after box. The dogs watched me curiously and took pleasure in the boxes themselves, carrying them around and chewing them.

What a perfect gift to get on the first day of Daylight Savings Time, when Spring seems imminent and temperatures have climbed into the high forties. It is still light and sunny even though it is past five o'clock. It is finally the time of year when five o'clock is still afternoon, water rivulets from melting snow flow down the streets, and mud rises to the surface everywhere. The flamingos are such a cheerful sight to me, one who has a particular fondness for these icons. There is something so utterly absurd about them. It goes far beyond the simple snobbery of those who think of them as the epitome of bad taste. They have the charm of total uselessness, a burst of garrish color that proclaims joy and enthusiasm for tropical warmth and happy, sunny days. They are obviously symbols, with no pretense of looking like the real birds they represent. They shout "plastic" out of every pore of their rigid little bodies. Here in the north, they reveal their owners to be of modest means and good-humored temperament, people who love to celebrate summer after dark snowy days.

I have always decorated my bathroom with pink flamingos...........well, since I have lived on my own and can indulge my every impulse anyway. I've wanted some for outside, but it's hard to find them in this part of the country. Besides, they are at their best in numbers, and I couldn't afford enough of them to make the statement I wanted to make. Now David has made this possible with his spring gift.......a gift that no one else would think to give. How wonderful.
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