8:16 p.m. - December 17, 2006
You know what's funny? I have a hard time giving gifts to people I know - I worry that it's inappropriate, or maybe I've misinterpreted things and the person thinks, Why the hell is he giving me this?, or maybe it's just dumb. So I give books to a small number of people and put a lot of thought into the selection and hope for the best. That is my Christmas season and an unfulfilling one, so I trot off to the Angel Tree and select wishes to buy for people I don't know. Busywork. It makes me feel important almost, or purposed, makes me feel good to think I have so many people to get things for, things they want and that will be welcomed, becoming my own foster family in a way. And it gets me through Christmas.
Sometimes I say to myself, You may be ugly on the outside, but it's the inside that counts and I feel buoyed, pat myself on the back for the money I give to charities, the scholarships I've set up, or the children I'm sending to school in Cambodia and South Africa. I'm a good person. I'd like to think that I'd still support these programs even if it didn't lessen my tax obligations, but like the Angel Tree at Christmastime, the motivating factor is purely selfish and therefore bad. Ugly. Great. So now I'm ugly on the outside and inside after all! Consistency is a motherfucker.