Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dear Harry & David,

Please stop sending me your catalogues.

I do not need a box of pears, and neither does anyone else I know.

Because you know why? Because I can buy pears in the grocery store. Anyone can. And even if I want individually hand-polished precious overpriced pears, which I don’t, I can go to Whole Foods and get them there. They’re in the produce department right next to the individually chakra-aligned strawberries.

Even if I lived somewhere where I didn’t have access to supermarket pears, even if I lived in a remote corner of Alaska, I don’t think, if I had my choice of things to receive via bush pilot airmail, that I would pick pears. I would probably pick tequila. And cigarettes. Oh, and sex.

You know who you remind me of, Harry & David? You remind me of my mother. And no, I don’t mean that I think you hang out at the Senior Center and sell Avon. I mean that when I was a kid, my mom would always put that giant navel orange in my Christmas stocking. She did that, even though the produce drawer in the fridge was full of navel oranges that I could pretty much help myself to whenever I wanted. That navel orange was, at first, a mystery to me. I thought that there must be something special about it, seeing as how it came from Santa and all. But when I figured out that the orange was a perennial fixture, it was no longer special, and I would unceremoniously return my Christmas orange to the produce drawer so that it would not go bad. Gradually, over the years of course I began to resent the orange. Because if the orange wasn’t there, I figured, then maybe better, rarer, and more expensive things could take its place.

I mean that, Harry & David, you seem like a product of another age, an age like one that my mother lived in the indoor plumbing-free wilds of rural America. An age when all fruit was precious, and a navel orange from Florida must have seemed like a small, fragrant, sticky Christmas miracle.

But these days, in the days of organic heirloom peaches available mere minutes from my front door all year round, getting your catalogue in the mail is pretty much like getting that giant navel orange in my stocking. It’s sweet, but it’s filler. And we all three know it.


SkylersDad said...

And please leave out the set of D batteries also. It was cool that they were in the sock to power whatever toy I got on Christmas morning when I was a young spud. But I am reasonably sure that I can locate a battery on my own for something that may require it these days.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

one of my cousins with a guilty conscience sends me a box of Harry and David crap every year. She does this even though I do not thank her and have told her to stop.

dguzman said...

Oh, Vikki, your post is so bittersweet. Sweet with the thought of your mom trying to give you something that would've been precious to her as a child, yet bitter because the world has changed so much that hardly anything is precious anymore, when it can be bought so cheaply.

*deep sigh*

vikkitikkitavi said...

SkyDad: You're still getting batteries in your stocking? Wow, Santa hates you.

Dr.MVM: Well, she can't feel TOO guilty, if she's sending you H&D crap.

DGuz: Commodities may come and go, but the image of my mother putting an orange is each of our stockings, despite the many years of protests from me and my siblings, is something that will puzzle and comfort me until the end of my days.

Doc said...

I loved the line about what you would have air dropped to you, tequila, cigarettes, and sex. Your bush pilot (takes on a whole new meaning now doesn't it) would never ever forget to swing by your place.

Great, as always.


GETkristiLOVE said...

Not only that, the orange blocked things from getting down into the toe of the stocking, so it was more than a filler - it was a blocker. Arrrgh.

Red said...

I seem to recall my mom, I mean, Santa switching it up and giving us chocolate oranges one year...or is that just wishful recollection on my part?

Jess said...

My mom used to put a giant squash in my stocking. A GIANT SQUASH!

Distributorcap said...

i got a gift basket from Harry and David a few weeks ago

the pears were rotting
i hate pears

H&D are not green, they more grinch

'Bubbles' said...

Great post. I remember my mom telling me about the thrill of the orange when she was a (poor as dirt) kid in Iowa during the depression. I remember thinking how sorry I felt for her. I didn't get any oranges, tho. I was the youngest... I'm not even sure there was a Christmas morning anymore! Too many hangovers from the Christmas Eve bash, I'll bet.

I told Thing 2 about "Fruit of the month" last week. You should have seen her face! Priceless! It was just a great big look of, "WHY??????"

Grant Miller said...

My dad was the "Harry" of Harry and David.

Thanks for making fun of him.