Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Returning The Gift Of Herpes

It's that time of year again. The holidays are behind us, fading into a distant memory, and so is our short-lived ambition of keeping all of our lofty New Year's resolutions.

We've all been there. When you were gifted that shirt or those pants a month ago, you thought to yourself, "Surely I'll have to get a smaller size in a couple of weeks with all this working out and healthy eating I'll be doing this new year." With your 'healthy you' on the horizon, you capitalize on the week of limbo between the holidays and New Year's as your cheat week to politely finish off all baked goods and treats lying around the house. I mean after all, with your new ultra active lifestyle and green smoothie diet you'll be starting in just a week, you can afford taking the last six slices of banana nut bread and dutifully eating any and all sugar cookie survivors. "I'll need a smaller size indeed," you say with a confident smile while polishing off the last bit of cheese-ball from the santa shaped plate with your finger.

It's now the middle of January and you're becoming painfully aware that realistically you should just take off the tags and start wearing said pants and shirt. At least while they still fit.

Great are the gifts that you never have to return, and great are the friends that know you well enough to give them. My friend Libby has mastered that art. For example, if I ever pulled a Voldemort it's safe to say Libby's gifts would make up at least 3/4 of my Horcruxes.

One year at our gift exchange, in this order, I opened her three gifts.

1. A "Deep Thoughts With Ambien" notebook

I had the unfortunate habit of keeping my phone next to my bed after taking Ambien. Those in my contacts were often recipients of many a crazed rant, ambient induced pictures, haunting Hey Tell messages, and occasionally, slight racism. I once Ambien tweeted the following to my Puerto Rican friend, Sara.

Though can we all just be a little impressed with the Ambien induced Spanglish?

2. A stoic David Bowie Labyrinth snow globe

Libby and I both grew up on Labyrinth and for everyone else that did too, this requires no explanation.

3. A bottle of Herpes

As I unwrapped a glitter filled bottle labeled "HERPES", I looked over and Libby shrugged, "I just really wanted to say I gave someone Herpes for Christmas."

Earlier that year Libby and I had taken an art class together (an experience worthy of it's own post.) During one class we spent a large portion of the night in group discussion of how glitter is classified the Herpes of the art world. It was a gift that had poetically come full circle.

A few days later I had to drive to the mall to return a coat. I'm just going to go ahead and blame 'broad shoulders' as the reason for needing a larger size.. yes, broad shoulders.. not banana bread.

So I grabbed the Nordstrom bag from the back seat and headed into the store. I stood at the counter for quite some time before someone came over to answer a ringing phone on the counter. I stood there quasi-patient as the call dragged on. Finally, he wrapped up and asked how he could help.

"I would like to return this," I replied as I turned the bag upside down to get the coat onto the counter. But before the coat could hit the counter a random box of Kleenex beat it there, thudding and rolling to it's side. Something else flew out of the bag catching my eye. It hit the counter and quickly bounced off toward the employee. It wasn't until midair when it caught the light and shimmered that I realized that not only had Libby's gift somehow gotten into the Nordstrom bag, but my newly gifted herpes was now flying out of the bag, and straight for the Nordy's guy.

If I could have crawled inside that damn Mary Poppins Nordstrom bag myself, and just died, I would have. But instead, I got to watch as the employee kneeled down, grabbed the bottle, and came back up with the most confused and slightly accusatory look.

"Yes. Eh, that, that's my little jar of Herpes." I flatly stated, breaking the silence with a fake confidence as if I had simply dropped a pen or lifesaver.

"Are you wanting to return it too?" he cautiously asked as if trying to think if this was an appropriate response in any training manual.

"No," I replied, reaching over and taking back the jar, "I'll just hold on to that."

Not much was said during the rest of the exchange. Also minimal, minimal eye contact, but I'm confident that somewhere in Twitterdom under #Nordstromproblems there's a little jar of sparkling herpes.

Morals of the Post:

  • Life truth: Once gifted herpes, do not neglect said herpes. It will come back to bite you if you do.
  • It wasn't the banana bread. So drop it.
  • Now you know 3 of my 7 horcruxes. Game on, Potter. 

Dedicated to those (you know who you are) who helped me find my bloggin' shoes. I'm back.


  1. We gladly welcome you back with open (and for some stubby) arms. I have a polyester shirt or two from back in the good old days of me screaming while I "raced" to my near death on D-Rob's oldest and probably slowest horse that remind me of just how many loaves of banana bread I have consumed. Welcome back Hawkeye!

  2. Glad to find myself back on Hawksauce's blog -- it's even better than I remember.

  3. i'm so happy you have returned. i cannot lie and must confess i was privy to a sneak peek of this post. it had me laughing my arse off in my kitchen, and it still has me laughing my arse off as i sit in my office chair. bravo, my dear friend, bravo.

    p.s. YES glitter is most definitely the herpes of the arts and crafts world. i was reminded again of this as i opened christmas card after card that i had to promptly put back in the envelope so as to save myself and everything around me.

  4. Wonderful. Just wonderful! I miss your face!

  5. Hawk I am glad you have returned. I almost wouldn't believe it. But just now I found my old notebook, dusted it off, turned it on. Though, like the old notebook, you had gradually slipped my mind over the past two years, there you were still in my browsers favorites. And I thought 'might as well...'
    And there it is! a 'new' post. This made my day. Keep it up!
    A random fan from Germany.


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