to Find a Gift Bow the Size of the Moon
The moon is a unique piece of real estate. From time eternal, lovers
have promised the moon to each other, bringing the pool of disputed owners
to a size exceeding even the number of people who have eaten a
Giving away the moon involves some serious considerations. First
off, it would be nearly impossible to wrap. I have discovered that
presents wrapped in a brown grocery bag and sealed with a staple generate
fewer ohs and ahs than a gift dressed in wrapping paper that feels good to
the touch and is tied with thick gold ribbon. The bow for the moon
alone could link Los Angeles and New York with a satin bridge. Theres
also the question of where you store a heavenly body 2,160 miles in
diameter when youre tired of having it take up most of the living room.
I wont even start into what would happen to the tides or the series of
cataclismic and worldwide natural disasters that would follow.
What is our fascination with the moon? Why do we want to give it to
the ones we love? It doesnt really work as a metaphor for wanting
to help make wonderful dreams come true because even after all of these
centuries, no one has yet managed to actually give the moon. Its
a promise doomed to failure from the start. And this is the metaphor
While Ive never worked up the ambition to offer Rebecca the moon, even
in times of desperation, I have succumbed to promising only slightly more
realistic offers of happiness, like saying Ill keep the floor in my
Think Tank picked up. With all the success I have though, I might as
well offer the moon.
Recently, Rebecca has grown tired of my na´ve lovers promises, or even
worse, thoughtful intentions of things possible which never come to be.
I really wanted to have installed that shelf in your closet before you
came home, I told her once when she had been gone for the day.
You know, she said, and I knew right then that we had had very
different kinds of days, your saying that only makes me sad.
There was more, words that turned my ears red like, what value do
intentions have other than to say, in so many words, that I thought doing
something else was more important than making her happy?
I guess I didnt have to read a magazine for a few hours.
Certainly it was a luxurious indulgence when I could have been crammed in
a tiny closet with a hammer and a big piece of wood. I had worked
extra hours that week and spent a solid chunk of time preparing for the
holidays by clearing out the attic and putting up lights. Just
little stuff. Doing ten loads of laundry and loading the dishwasher.
Taking the dogs across the street to the park. Vacuuming.
Heck, whats a few more hours of work once youve already put in that
Try as I might, though, I couldnt shake her words. They hung in
my brain like tiny mosquitoes, annoying and not letting me think about
something important like genuinely inquiring into how Rebeccas day
went. I conducted a personal inventory, then checked and rechecked,
only to confirm without a doubt that my feelings had been hurt.
As a lover, I want to give Rebecca everything I can and even everything I
know I cant. I dont quite understand it, but I find myself, as
a man, constantly facing my limitations as I think of even more outrageous
intentions to offer her, like never fighting or yelling. Sometimes
these intentions are really my frustrations. Offering the mundane,
the daily grind, just isnt romantic. To say Honey, I worked
overtime for you this week, cleaned up dog poop, restocked toilet paper
throughout the house, broke down all the cardboard for recycling, scrubbed
the slippery moss off of the brick steps, and made an honest effort to
pick up my room, is to say, I spent another day with you and ran out
of time to do anything special.
Whats wrong with intentions?
Sometimes, at the end of a crazy day, theyre all I have to offer.
So to all of you other lovers out there, I just want to make it perfectly
clear that the moon is taken. I offer it to my best friend in the
tradition of generations before ours: with the best of intentions that
will never be realized.