Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day Five-Ninety-Eight: There's a first time for everything

I have to say, this giant floppy hat of mine is good for name draws. Even if it does get into my eyes constantly.

Stupid floppy hats. I miss my non-floppy helmet.

Anyway. Name drawing! If you're gonna do a gift-giving holiday you gotta do it right, and so I ordered a three-day break for people to rest, relax, enjoy Allofusmas, and, most importantly, track down a present for the person whose name you picked. Everyone lined up in front of me, everyone reached into the hat, and everyone now has to buy, find, or make a gift for someone else.

This is easy for most of us, because most of us have done it before. Yet it remains alien for three people: Jeffrey, Daena, and Celine.

Back in Castle Uncharitable (I should've been the one to name that place each day, I'm so on the ball), Allofusmas did not exist. Instead we were forced to endure Jeffmas, Jeffrey's selfish 'holiday' equivalent. Jeffrey and his family get presents and they give nothing back. Aside from currying favour with the ruling family, everyone beneath Jeffrey and his kin got nothing out of Jeffmas. It was entirely self-serving...

... so I wasn't the least bit surprised when Jeffrey approached me, entirely confused as to what he should do for Allofusmas.

He tapped on my shoulder. "Hi, Dragomir. You got a sec?"

I started, surprised. I was shopping in one of Cheem's tiny shops with Libby and Fynn at the time, my mind fixated on three jars of jams, wondering whether my person would prefer raspberry, blueberry, or marmot. Tough call. "Ack! Hey! Don't sneak up me like that."

Jeffrey shuffled backward nervously. He's been skittish since the 'incident' with Plato. And the scythe. And, well, you know. "Sorry. Just... needed to talk. Some advice."

"He's useless." Celine weaved out from behind her father, a bland little smile decorating her face. "Doesn't know what to get his person. I don't know that he's ever bought anyone a gift."

Jeffrey lightly swatted his daughter on the arm. "Hey! I bought you things all the time, back when we had... a treasury."

"You ordered The Baron to buy us things in your stead, as I recall. You couldn't be bothered."

"That's..." Jeffrey tugged on the collar of his coat. "Well, I distinctly remember purchasing you some toffee when we fled into the Imperium. At least once."

Celine waved a finger. "I asked you for money. You dropped it in my hands and continued staring out the window of the Matriarch. You only know I bought toffee because I gave you a piece."

"And, er, tasty it was."

"Indeed." Her expression not flickering for an instant, Celine whipped a package of toffee out from behind her back. "All this is a way to guilt you into purchasing this for me, of course."

And he did. Oh, how he did.

Libby, Fynn and I all helped Jeffrey and Celine with their shopping, though truth be told it was only Jeffrey who needed assistance. (Celine even got something on behalf of her mother, who for obvious reasons could not fit inside the shop.) We guided Jeffrey through the delicate process of breaking down the tastes and hobbies of his Allofusmas target, made some general suggestions as to what people might like to receive during the holiday season, and lent him a bit of money to see the transaction through. Toffee is expensive, y'know.

Jeffrey ultimately bought something. I don't know what that something is, or to whom it will go on Friday, but it is indeed something. I look forward to witnessing the fruits of his purchase.


Dragomir the Wanderer

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