This isn’t a rant inspired by the homeless, the poor, the sick, the disabled, the financially challenged or the underprivileged. Its been inspired by Chapelle Corby. Australia’s uncelebrated and unwilling Heroine (no pun intended). Chapelle, as you know has been charged with drug trafficking and is currently resides in an Indonesian jail.
Some may say she’s lucky to have escaped the death penalty. Some may argue, the entire system is corrupt and entirely unjust. Yet others may not even bat an eyelid at the bloated exposure of a convicted drug trafficker whose infamy is due solely to her Australian heritage. Whatever your personal preference, the Corby circus hasn’t gone unnoticed by many. My local newscaster recently informed me that this year marked the second birthday Chapelle has endured behind bars.
Since Chapelle Corby celebrated her birthday in jail, I can’t find justification for splashing out on mine. This year, I’m even turning away presents. Normally I sit in eager anticipation of the little parcels of love to be bestowed upon my greedy self.
So why the sudden change of heart? Has the strong positive relationship between gift giving and amount of affection been finally dissolved? Perhaps.
In actual fact I’m just saturated with stuff. Having spent roughly six weeks off work, I trolled as many shops as my feet could carry me to. I’ve bought five pairs of shoes (gave away five old pairs), a suit (my first one, quite exciting), a pair of pants (you always need one more), a sweater (finally), scarves (totaling a chunky sum) and some random bits and bobs. I really don’t have need or space for more material objects.
Being able to spend so freely has always come at the cost of a loud-mouthed conscience. “What will you do when you don’t have the money to spend?”, she hisses reminding me constantly about the frivolity I regularly indulge in. She tuts every time I shell out dough for another coffee, with a little biscuit, or that magazine I want to read on the way home. Saying “I’m not good with money” has stopped working. I’m now at a stage where buying more doesn’t derive any pleasure. Perhaps my material needs have been satiated. Or perhaps I’ve stopped attributing meaning to my spending.
In light of this realisation I’ve informed my family and friends that I’m not in need or want of any presents they may be painstakingly conjuring up in their imaginations. I am apparently a difficult person to buy for. Can’t imagine why, I gush over anything indulgent and like to be spoiled. I tried to appease their need to shower me with presents by directing their expenditure toward a worthy cause. I even said they could do it in my name. I think i just don’t want the money to be spent on me. It’s unnecessary and the money can actually be used to help someone in need, or even themselves.
I have what I need from my love nest. I get loads of it everyday. Support, love, encouragement and acceptance of my many faults.
As a family we always celebrate each other’s birthdays. We get a cake, make some nice food, light candles, cut the cake, sing the longest birthday song complete with Hip Hoorays at the end, and take silly pictures around the table. And we never dress up for the occasion. If you’re in your jammies and haven’t washed in days, its all the better. Its loads of warm fuzzy fun and I’m grateful.
Birthdays shouldn’t be a painful time for your close circle where they have to spend stressful hours with pen and paper making and then crossing off lists of commercial goods you may appreciate. Especially since you have everything you want! I am grateful to have spent this year with all of you. Your company and interest in me spoils me daily and makes this life fruitful, adventurous, and worth living. Now put that pen and paper down and lets go make some more memories.