Rish and I got together the other day for our usual recording session, which means a very, very late night followed by a very early morning. Going to bed at 3:00 or 4:00am then getting up at 8:00am always makes me grumpy. I try my very best to not yell at my kids the next morning as we get ready for school/work, but I'm not always successful. Anyway, that's a long preamble for not a lot of substance. The point of all this rambling was that when my daughter asked me what the box was in the living room wrapped in HO HO HO paper, I didn't even give it a second thought.
"I don't know," I said, "Ask Mommy." After all, she's the one who dominates all the buying and wrapping of Christmas presents.
A few minutes later, when my son asked me what the box in the HO HO HO paper was, I gave him a similarly short answer. "I don't know, ask Mommy."
Then, when my wife came home and said, "What's that box in the corner in the HO HO HO paper?" I knew something was up. If she didn't know what it was, then who would? It was time to investigate.
I found that the box said that it was to me, from Santa. How kind of Santa to send something my way early. "It must be from Rish," I said.
"What is it?"
"I don't know, it's wrapped," I said.
"You're not going to open it?"
I didn't know if I should. It was a Christmas present, after all, and that was still about two weeks away.
"You're really going to leave it till Christmas?"
"All right." I ripped it open, and a shock ran through me. "Oh, no you didn't," I said.
One time, years ago, I saw an episode of America's Funniest Videos in which a guy opened his Christmas present, and started bawling. He'd gotten an Oakland Raiders replica football helmet. "It's something that I've always wanted," he sobbed. I remember laughing at that guy while in the back of my head sort of understanding how he felt.
There's a very few things that I've "always wanted" through my whole life. Once I became an adult, I thought I could finally get those things, because, well, It's my money now, right? But once I became a father, there wasn't money left over for those kinds of things. There's so many other things that money goes to. In fact, a lot of the things that I had already, have had to go into boxes in the basement because the space that I did have was taken from me to give to the kids.
But one thing that I've always wanted, and never gotten, was (yes I'm a nerd) an AT-AT. That's a Star Wars toy. It's kind of the holy grail of Star Wars toys. It's the biggest thing I think they make. It was the biggest thing at least when I was a kid. But I didn't want it just because it was the biggest. It was also, by far, the coolest thing they made, perhaps the coolest thing about Star Wars altogether. But, because it was the coolest thing and the biggest thing, it was also the most expensive thing. I was never able to get it, because I couldn't afford it as a child. As an adult, well, like I said...
Then, I pulled the paper off that box. Underneath, you guessed it, an AT-AT. Rish made my dreams come true. Since I know he reads this, I'm here to say thank you. I probably would never have gotten it for myself. I'd have grown up an old and bitter man, and as I died, and the snow globe fell from my lifeless hand, my final words would have been, "AT-AT."
I didn't cry, like the guy in Funniest Home Videos, but I could have. One time, we got my son a Superman toy when he was four. He opened the present and said, "Superman jet! It's what I always wanted!" He was four, however, so it was cute, but it didn't really mean much. I'm way older than four, and when I shout, "it's what I've always wanted!" It's true. Thanks, Rish.
Unfortunately, the present I got for you isn't nearly as cool. Hope you like it all the same, even if it isn't something you always wanted.