Andy Rooney has noted that while it may seem counterintuitive, usually people want more of what they already have a lot of. For example, if they have a mess of fountain pens, so many that they couldn’t possibly need another one, ever, then they probably love fountain pens so much that they would love the gift of another neat pen.
Etiquette experts have known this for a long time. If you know what someone collects — what they love — then you know what would make a good gift. Gini’s father collected cows, so when I found odd ones, like “Milky,” who, through the magic of a pill placed in her plastic udder and a pump hidden in her tail that forced her to drink from her trough, actually gave milk, I knew he would love them.
I think my parents really want to give me what I love, but they have a problem with that. Because I have to deny what I love in order to be there for them, there is no way they can find objects that are open to my bliss.
My sister, when faced with challenges from me, often tells me the problem is that I am “negative.” That means, at least from what I can figure out, that I am defended, concealing, separating.
Well, yeah. I have to keep what I love separated from my existence, and that can make a person cranky. We both know the solution, but we also both know that the solution has complications, not the least of which is a lifetime of denial and defense that has helped make me decrepit.
If you can’t love what you love, what can you love?