I love birthday presents. I'm suspicious of most other presents (Why are you giving me this? What do you want? This is something you're just getting rid of, right?), but birthday presents are welcome.
I've had some wonderful presents over the years. I have one friend who used to buy me gargoyles. She didn't like them. She was embarrassed to go into the kind of stores that would sell gargoyles, and she was very vocal while in those stores that she was buying it for someone else. The funny part is, she bought the absolute best gargoyles I've ever seen. I asked how she did it, and she told me, "I just pick the ugliest one." Well, it worked. I still have all of them. Thank you, Monica.
The first best present ever was from my elder brother. I was 11 or 12 (I can't remember now, but I was young, maybe younger than that), and Helen Hocker Theater was presenting Dracula for Halloween. As Dracula is one of my favorite books, I wanted to go, but no one wanted to take me.
My brother gave me a birthday card good for two tickets to Dracula. See, he loved theater, he was old enough to drive, and he was willing to spend three hours with his bratty little sister because he knew the guy playing Renfield.
I loved the play. More than that, I loved my brother for taking the time to go with me. He taught me about suspension of disbelief that night, my first lesson in good story-telling.
He's given me a lot of gifts over the years, and many of them qualify as the best present ever. One of them was a memory card that allows me to use my home computer to write this blog. One of them was the DVD release of Quark, one of those campy, horrible, only-six-episodes-aired sci-fi shows I've written about before. It's possible this show may be known and quoted only by my immediate family. Actually, it might have been a Christmas present. Doesn't matter.
His love language appears to be gift-giving, like our mother, and he is very good at it.
I would say, though, the best present ever from Eric falls into two categories. First, my nieces, those two young ladies whom I love so much. Being a part of their lives has been the greatest privilege I have ever known. Second, my brother himself, who has become a friend, advisor, and occasionally a phone technician, auto mechanic and heroic yellowjacket killer.
I never would have thought when I was the little princess that my geeky elder brother and I would become such good friends. Without my nieces to bring us together, I'm not sure we would have figured out how much we like each other. I'm so glad we both had the chance.
So, thank you, Eric, for all the presents over all the years. I have loved each and every one, but I love you most of all.
Unbeknownst to me, my dear elder brother was creating my first website while I was writing this post, http://www.robynntolbert.com/. * It's still rough, but it will become great. Thank you again, Eric!
*The website has since devolved back into this blog because I like blogging better than website maintenance,