Five unexpected gifts this week

It’s not my birthday. It’s not my wedding anniversary or any occasion* that would warrant me getting gifts but I have. I’ve been spoiled. This is a great week to be me.

Here is what I’ve been given for no reason whatsoever:

1.  Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz
A friend of mine had three brown paper shopping bags full of books to donate. Most of them weren’t my kind of genre but I did find a Dean Koontz book that looked interesting. I used to really like him and somewhere along the line I decided I didn’t anymore. After reading the first few pages of Ashley Bell, I decided to undecide what I previously decided. Now I like him again. Seriously. I’ve gotten to page 68 and I’m already recommending this book to you. Whoever said Dean Koontz is just a Stephen King wannabe hack (me, I said that) is totally wrong.

2.  Home-grown produce and eggs
My mother has friends who garden. People who get dirty in this oppressive Phoenix heat for fun. This week I’ve been the beneficiary of their labor. I’ve gotten eggs, squash, eggplant and juicy tomatoes that I’ve added to salads and used for bruschetta. Last night I made eggplant parmigiana and it was delicious. I would totally invite you over for dinner but A) I might not even know you and B) I don’t want to mop my kitchen floor and I can’t very well invite company over with an untidy house. That’s not my fault. (It is though, really. It’s my fault.)

3. Dishes and a breakfast sandwich maker
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to experts who know about these kinds of things. As far as I’m concerned, it’s also the tastiest. So I was only too happy to accept a breakfast sandwich maker from my mother-in-law. I can use the free range eggs I got! And some cheese! And it’s ready in five minutes! She also gave me plates and coffee cups so I will be very appreciative of her every time** I eat a yummy breakfast sandwich off a new, unchipped plate.

4.  Amazon gift card
I get my love of reading from my mother. For no other reason than she is very generous, she gave me an Amazon gift card. If you know me – and maybe you don’t, which is partially why you’ve not been invited to dinner – then you know that I added that sucker to my account faster than I can make a breakfast sandwich. Of course I’ve already ordered new books to read, even though I’m on page 68 of Ashley Bell.

5.  A $54.14 credit on Amazon
Okay, this one was weird. I was checking the balance of my gift card and I had even more than I’d just added, after I’d made a purchase. I found a recent gift card claim credit of $54.14, which is an odd amount. There was no explanation and at first I thought I’d been hacked. But what hacker would want to give me money? Either it’s someone who really, really wants to come to dinner or there had been some mistake. Then I found an email from Amazon explaining the Apple eBooks Antitrust Settlement and that I was eligible for a credit as part of that. (Check your accounts, everyone. You might have a credit too.) I hadn’t expected this at all so it was like receiving a gift from the Universe.

Clearly my mother, mother-in-law, and the Universe are telling me that I should take time to enjoy reading and eating breakfast. The mopping can wait.

Did you get any cool gifts this week? Maybe you just found something you’d misplaced. If it was gone long enough that certainly feels like getting something new. Or maybe you found someone’s forgotten change in the automated change dispenser at the grocery store. I’m not judging you.

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*I’d like to petition Merriam-Webster or whoever is in charge of words that we add an accepted alternative spelling to the word ‘occasion.’ Did you notice that alliteration, Mr. Webster? Does that somehow elevate my request? Because I’d really like to add an S to this word. I think we can all agree that occassion just looks better, red squiggly line underneath it be damned.

**While I’m requesting dictionary revisions, I’d like to add this to the list: make every time a compound word. Everyone. Everybody. Everything. Everywhere. Everyday. Everytime? Mr. Webster, I implore you. This nonsense of separating ‘every’ and ‘time’ is one thing that makes the English language so hard to learn. These words belong together and it would be nice not to have to backspace everytime I type them.

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