My parents will argue I’m the hardest person in the world to shop for. My closest friends will say it’s absolutely the easiest thing to do. When I was younger, the things I most often wanted were not the easiest to muster. Such as: Florence Henderson to adopt me (age 8), world peace (age 9), black baby grand piano (age 11), Barbra Streisand’s home number (age 14- which I eventually got when I interned… it was like Christmas every day), a recording contract with Sony (Age 15), David Letterman to be my prom date (Age 16).
In the past few years, I’ve kept it simple. I ask for what I love, what is cheap and tangible, and takes away the burdens of gift giving and receiving. This list systematically includes: my perfume (sophmoric, but I love Heaven by the Gap scents), Maranatha’s honey almond butter, Bailey’s and Malibu and that cheap Australian Shiraz by Yellowtail, fluffy socks, a new toy for my cat, scarves (because having thirty or more isn’t enough), something vintage, dill pickles, toilet paper (I always include items that I HATE to purchase for myself), and a confetti cake (with the Pilsbury frosting with the balls in it).
This year, instead of sending my parents on a mad chase around town, my mom wanted to buy me an acoustic guitar. For some reason, though we’re currrently arguing the scenario, she thinks I deserve more than my thirty-dollar, eBay guitar purchase with it’s rusty and poorly aligned strings. I argue, that 1. I should learn on something impossible so it will be easy when I play something else (sorta like learning how to drive on a stick-shift first, which I also did), and that 2. I don’t deserve to play something good until I am actually good. But, if my parents DO win this argument, then I’m going to have to accept their kind offer… and go for something purple:
1. I do not want my mother to take any more trips to the hospital for her troublesome lungs, or random accidents where she breaks her leg, or random incidences where she burns her foot with an entire saucepan of boiling gravy (ie this Thanksgiving) or any other surgical procedures to take place. She works in a hospital- that’s enough time spent there.
2. I do not want to spend more than one-year from now in completing my next album. The new Vineyard song will be at www.myspace.com/michellehotaling soon… completing a vision feels so fulfilling.
3. I do not want to ever see any ex-boyfriend or ex-“anything” so long as I live.
4. I do not want my family to spend another year out of shape. It’s time for every one of them to live their lives to the fullest and most active.
5. I do not want to watch another year of war and hate. This includes all those nasty comments people write to each on YouTube, which is my latest pet peeve. How easy it is to hide behind a computer and put random strangers down with typos and bad grammar.
6. I do not want to listen to another random “dude” insult my appearance, my music, or anything else that validates him online or in real life. Egos sicken me.
7. I do not want to spend another dime on dental work.
8. I do not want to pass a day without gratitude. With or without lists, or longings and yearning for the next big thing… my life is awesome. I count my blessings.
But enough about the things I don’t want. What I want most of all… to find success and surround myself with people who are full of light and joie de vivre. I want everyone in the world to own a copy of “Chained by Dreams,” because, well that would help this journey. I want people to celebrate each other’s goodness. Life is too short to dwell on the darkness and people who are run by their demons.