Saturday, October 2, 2010
The Start Chopping T-Shirt or Metallica Box Set, there can be only one
For Valentine's Day 1994, I bought my then girlfriend April Apple (honest to goodness) a Dinosaur Jr. shirt depicting a man raising a meat cleaver that was dripping with blood. I had to go to a local record store to trade a Metallica box set for the shirt as I had no money, Valentine's Day was fast approaching and my only asset was a Metallica box set. So my mom drove me to Record City to get the shirt. I came out of the record shop, excitedly holding the shirt I knew was going to be the Valentine's Day gift that rendered chocolates, flowers and cliche ridden poems obsolete. Blood diamonds, or a seminal shoe gazer band's shirt? Ladies I know the answer.
I showed my mother the shirt and my mother, bless her heart, was always one to offer a blend of advice that straddled a line between your garden variety parental advice, and unfiltered questioning of my general mental state that landed somewhere in the vicinity of "are you fucking crazy" a few times. I did ask my mom how I'd go about joining the Black Panthers. I was genuinely interested in becoming one as I thought they had a respectable image while being fully capable of backhanding someone. I had never backhanded someone, nor worn a beret and I was fully interested in pursuing both interests. My mom's response? Are you fucking crazy?
So anyway, I showed my mother the shirt and her response was: "Are you really going to give that to your girlfriend? What kind of girl would want that shirt? And what happened to that man's head? And why is he holding a cleaver? Are you on drugs, Luke? My responses were: Yes I'm going to give this shirt to April, not that I'll ever see her without it or any other shirt on as April had taken a vow of celibacy which didn't sit well with my raging teenage hormones. As for the man's head or the cleaver, there's just no telling. And the drugs? I smoked a heroic amount of weed in the 9th grade, which was a substantial factor in my failed attempt at passing Algebra.
I gave April the shirt and she loved it. She gave me a Rage Against the Machine CD and I loved it as well. We dated for a few more months and then we broke up. Shortly after she began dating an eccentric skateboarder who later knocked her up while she was still in high school. Looking back, if my desire to get laid could have overcome my fear of breaking bones, or road rash requiring more than a band aid, I'd probably have been a decent skate boarder. But I wasn't. And those who were made out like rabbits. Moral of the story? I'm not sure. I suppose you could say that gifts (especially Valentine's Day gifts as the holiday is a farce no one with a set of testicles really fully endorses, they just play the game as it's the path of least resistance to seeing the woman or man of their choice in various states of undress) should be more about feeling and true sentiment and not monetary value. People lose sight of that as they age. See, I wasn't fucking crazy.