Now, I've been trying to only focus on the good stuff. The stuff that makes me happy. The joyous stuff. The "hey, this is awesome!" stuff that we can all get a laugh out of. Anyone can complain about something, but isn't it more rewarding to celebrate something?
Well, that's all about to change as I finally talk about something I did not like. Not one bit.
My memory does not accurately remember the year, but the evidence points to it being 1982. (Though, if it were much later than that, the item in question becomes a more and more surreal gift.)
YES, I am dancing around this! It's because I want the reveal to be just PERFECT! (However, you've already scrolled down and looked at the picture, haven't you, so you know it's a ceramic E.T.)
|Yeah, it's watermarked! Don't no one steal my E.T. photo, OK?!|
I've never been good at hiding the way I feel about gifts. In fact, I remember one year (not this E.T. year) opening a gift and - swear to god - saying, "Is this a joke?" before I could stop myself. I am really hard to buy gifts for.
LOOK AT THAT FACE AGAIN! Such an ingrate! Now consider this: My mother had MADE that for me in her pottery class. Yep. No matter how professional it looks, that was not bought off-the-shelf. Hard work went into that, and there I am, all "Hmmmmmm. NOPE! Don't like it! NEXT GIFT!" Ugh, modern me wants to push 5-year-old-me's face in for being a brat.
However, let me play out the rest of the tale and see if we can cut '82 me some slack:
After working so hard on it, my mom was not going to let me throw it out and I acquiesced to allowing it to be displayed in my room. At the time, I had a tiny shelf running all around my room. It was about three inches wide and about a foot below the ceiling - or about nine feet off the ground. This E.T. was placed on the shelf, in the corner over the foot of my bed.
Now, at the best of times I didn't really like E.T. I found him gross-looking and disturbing ... but once the lights went out, he became the most terrifying thing I could imagine having hover over my bed. The dim light in the room somehow made E.T.'s eyes glow. And, no, they were not painted with glow-in-the-dark paint, it was just a trick of the low light reflecting off those orb-like, dead, white eyes. Snapping on a night light didn't help as all it did was cast shadows that set every wrinkle and fold in the alien into sharp relief and cast a SECOND, shadow E.T. onto the wall. It was a nightmare.
So maybe that kid in the picture had it right, after all? He could foresee what the night would bring and wanted no part of it. I take it back, 5-year-old-me! You were totally justified in being an ungrateful gift-getter!
I think that that E.T. still lurks somewhere in my parent's house. I must find it and face it. Come to terms with it. See if 36-year-old me can brave spending a night in a room with it.
"...and in the morning, Jeff was dead and the ceramic E.T. was nowhere to be found!" Nope, wait... here it is, it rolled under the bed ... TO WAIT FOR ITS NEXT VICTIM.
"I'll be riiiiight ... heeeeeeeeere."