For the girl who has everything . . .


The wishlist.

When I was a kid, coming up with gift ideas was no. big. deal. Give me a slice of paper, a pencil, the Sear’s catalog and boom: my sister and I had finely-tuned lists of everything our little toy-loving hearts could want. And if the Sears catalog with toys wasn’t available? We’d just watch TV, then parrot back every commercial we saw.

Commercials work, guys. Don’t ever forget it.

As I’ve gotten older, the wishlist has fallen away. I’ll attribute this to:

A) age. Because Polly Pockets aren’t as alluring as they used to be.
B) a paycheck — as in, I receive one. Having my own money has definitely impacted the wants I’d stack on a Christmas list.

I’m fortunate to be able to purchase what I need — save, you know, a brand new car or a house or something. Day to day, I don’t need much. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, clean clothes on my back. I have a good job. I have my column. I have family and wonderful boyfriend and friends and readers. When I wake up, I feel a sense of purpose. Even at dark moments, life holds enormous appeal.

So what would I want for Christmas?

I’m struggling. Really struggling. Spencer has asked me multiple times for a wishlist, a catalog of modern-day desires — but the things I really want can’t be purchased. Full-time work for my sister? A clean bill of health for relatives? A lucrative publishing deal? To magically drop 40 pounds overnight?

PresentMy lists usually look the same: a dress or two; some shoes; a few books and movies. Maybe a cool scarf I saw. Some makeup I like but wouldn’t buy for myself. A favorite perfume that sits three-quarters empty, saved for special occasions. If I’m feeling really crazy, a new lens for my camera.

Many men like to buy practical presents. I can’t hand Spence a list of clothes and expect him to feel satisfied with that purchase. And anyway, what size should he get? What color? What if it’s too long? Too short? Being the sweet (and delusional!) guy that he is, Spence always . . . well, he sizes down, friends. He thinks I’m thinner than I actually am, which leads to angst when I have to admit I need a size (or three) larger.


So, the quandary. The things guys like to buy — gadgets, appliances, software — are superfluous. I don’t need them and don’t want them to waste their money. I actually thought of breaking down and asking for an e-reader for Christmas — a cheap Kindle or something — but have decided to just stick to physical books for the moment. (That’s a post in itself.) Other than that? Nothing.

I’m stuck! Stuck! Totally stumped! I realize this “problem” is no problem whatsoever, not in the grand scheme of things (and life, and the world), but we’re drawing closer to the big day — and I know everyone wants to finish their shopping soon. I’m almost done . . . just a few more items to order online. And then I will wrap and drink hot chocolate and congratulate myself on another successful season.


If Spence gets too stressed, I guess I’ll just hand my non-existent list over to Santa. I hear he has “gift” for choosing just the right thing.


What’s on your wishlist this year? Are you going for practical items or fun ones? Choosing not to exchange gifts this year, or scaling back? Have any ideas for a curly-haired bookworm to pass along to her guy? Hit me with ’em.

I need a list for all my lists

I’m a list-maker. When I get stressed out about the five thousand things I have going on — like, you know, right now — I begin to draft lists upon lists of what I want to accomplish, things I need to do or purchase, and obligations I’ve made. I update my Google Calendar religiously. My desk is littered with scraps of paper and scribbled notes: shopping lists for the grocery store and Target; discontinued car brands I can’t feature on the front of my Automotive section at work; recipes I want ot try; appointments; addresses of friends I want to send Christmas cards this year.

It’s basically a hot mess, friends. While some of my lists are typed up as carefully-crafted Word documents — like the one outlining everything I’m buying for Christmas, the recipient, the price tag, whether I’ve already purchased it, etc. — most are on Post-Its, receipts and scratch paper. I’m “organized,” yes, but it’s a messy chaos. It’s organization on crack.

The only list which is quite organized, it seems? My book wishlist. Scrolling through the countless blogs I enjoy every day, I add titles like an addict getting her fix. Maybe the novel features a dynamic main character, a fun love story or winning female friendships — and comes highly recommended by a trusted blogger friend. Or perhaps I just dig the cover. Whatever the reason, I keep meticulous track of what I want to pick up on Goodreads, carefully “tagging” and categorizing my entries.

Is it a little obsessive-compulsive? Maybe. When I’m hanging out in the blogosphere, I keep my Goodreads account open at all times. I can’t risk missing something, you know.

One of these days, I’m going to get really crazy and re-order that massive list — which currently holds 156 titles — into what I most want to purchase/borrow next.

But, you know, I’m not quite at that level yet.

How do you organize your wishlist? On Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc.? On a spreadsheet? On scrap paper — or just in your lovely head?