Monday, December 25, 2006


Let me tell you, there are easier things in life than getting presents for three-year old twin girls who have just (presumably) departed the terrible twos. I knew that if I gave one thing to Mitsuki and a different thing to Miasa, there was a good chance that each would covet what the other had; and much as I was loathe to treat identical twins identically, I wasn't ready to pull them apart over Christmas presents. (Even now looms the vivid memory of the Teddy Bear Fiasco.) Very likely I was exaggerating the problem, but it was my problem: so I asked Kasumi what I should get them. Kaya's gift would be easy, she being the eminently solo and broadly pleasable big sister.

So it was that, a couple days before Christmas, on my way home I went into the big toy store near my office in the big city and shouldered my way through the hordes of wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and girlfriends (for some reason there weren't many male Christmas gift shoppers) to find an employee to ask if they had any scissors for little kids.

She went to the phone and called another employee who took me to another employee who took me to the shockingly diverse little kids' scissors section way in the back there. Among the headachey number of choices, I could get Hello Kitty scissors, Miffy scissors, Pooh scissors, Disney scissors and the many other newly essential scissory creatures there are that I've never heard of. I had found a brand new existential conflict.

I seemed to recall that the twins liked Kitty and Miffy or was it Kitty OR Miffy, or Kitty NOT Miffy, or triple vice-versa, it seems that there is no permanent region in my mind for such information... If I got each twin a different kind of scissors, for example one a Kitty and one a Miffy, much long-term rancor could ensue, so I should get two of one, since there was a little name tag on there by which the scissors could be individualized, much as the twins themselves were, by name only. So basically, Kitty and Miffy comprised the horns of my dilemma.

Never in my earlier, serious days had I foreseen myself on the other side of the world before a visual cascade of kiddy scissors pink and yellow and red and white with kitties and bunnies and mousies and teddies and what not on them (how narrow our scope, in the shallows of youth), trying to make one of life's key choices as I stood there stroking my chin and pondering deeply, much as in my younger days I had pondered less imminent matters like the meaning of life and the purposes of humankind.

In my elder wisdom, which under the surreal circumstances took some time to arrive at with the clerk standing there waiting, I figured that what would please the twins the most was whatever pleased me the least, so I sprung for two - gasp - Hello Kitty scissors. And - with commensurate gasps - two sets of Hello Kitty pencils and two pink Hello Kitty pencil sharpeners, so the girls can shorten their pencils after cutting up all the paper they've written on.

Life is wrought of purpose, and the tools therefor.

Merry Christmas.


Joy Des Jardins said...

Merry Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family Robert....and, nice job SuperG.

Winston said...

Great story, great story-telling job, as always.

As the world turns, I s'pose your Christmas day is done while ours is just getting underway. May the peace and love and joy of the season remain with you and yours throughout the years ahead. May the food not...

Val said...

One of the joys of shopping in a Kyoto department store - all the Miffy products that my two girls (twenty years ago and also now) would swoon over. Peace and joy to you and yours Robert, from a grey Dorset hillside.

kenju said...

Merry Christmas!

Maya's Granny said...

And here we are in Juneau, where Christmas has just ended.

I don't know if I could have ever been a good enough granny to buy even one Hello Kitty item for Maya. Thank heavens she loves me anyway.

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Robert, I am obviouly very delayed in wishing you a Merry Christmas. Love this entry...I hope your Christmas was made merry; and, I wish you and yours a very happy new year.

Robert Brady said...

Thank you all, kind and gentle folks, and joyous holidays to you.

Mary Lou said...

At least you did not take them into the store this year.

Merry CHristmas Robert!