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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Confessions of a Grinch

Christmas day is rapidly approaching and I am in full Grinch mode. Christmas being a dysfunctional inter-generational wealth transfer based on a false premise. Nice update of the bah, humbug Mr. Scrooge story. It is really just a front, I actually rather enjoy the holidays. I do have a major personality disorder that becomes obvious this time of year. I hate to shop. I hate shopping malls. I really, really hate driving this time of year. I haven’t mastered online shopping and have no emotional mechanism for selecting gifts. I do not know what a perfect gift is. My family has learned to forgive me these handicaps, and generally allows for my dysfunctional behavior. Some (but not all) of the women find my confusion and bewilderment humorous. Fortunately, my wife saves me from the most embarrassing blow back of not be capable of shopping. She goes shopping, buying gifts for grandchildren and relatives then signs my name. Without this forward guard I would most likely be forced to leave the country in shame and disgrace.

My wife goes shopping, sometimes partnering with her sisters, with a gusto I can only wonder at. What can possibly drive this behavior? Sitting home watching the football game gives me time to ponder on the mystery, it takes 3 hours to play a 60 minute game, lots of spare time to do something else. I believe that shopping for women is an ancient, deeply rooted, behavioral trait based on our need to successfully hunt. Some say, “Women just like to spend money”, this is like saying hunters just like to shoot bullets. It is not about the money, it is the thrill of the hunt. Stalking the prey (the perfect gift), finding a bargain (Minimum resource usage), and the joy of a kill (Making even the checkout line emotionally satisfying), all followed by a tribal ritual of comparing hunting skills. Then the wrapping of the prey into packages for distribution at the winter solstice, that midwinter day marking the survival of another brutal winter with hope for the spring, a time to enjoy the larder set aside.

Of course, given my total befuddlement with the concept, I could be entirely wrong. Half time is over and I have to return my attention to the football game.

Merry Christmas to all.

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