I have the best conversations with my grandfather, "Papa" as I've always called him. He is one of the few humans I make an exception for to talk to on the phone. I talked to him a few days ago and he tells me that my Christmas gift has arrived. He buys all of my gifts at least 5 months in advance. He was telling me about how excited he was about the gift he'd chosen for me for my birthday, in April, last year before Thanksgiving. It was already in his hands.
My grandfather says to me, "I want to send you your Christmas gift. It's so weird."
I chuckle and ask, "Weird?" He has fantastic taste, knows me well enough that I've never been disappointed in a gift he's given me. Not that I am ever disappointed in any gift given to me by anyone. I love gift giving. The mere thought of someone spending time trying to select something just for me fills me with farm fuzzies. It's also why I love sending gifts to others, hoping that they'll feel that way to. Considered.
My grandfather says, "I showed it to Doc. She was horrified. She said, 'Oh, Papa! You can't send that to the Duchess!'"
I laugh. He laughs.
He says, "I told her, 'Sure I can, she's going to love it!' You're going to love it. It's right up your alley."
Normally he sends me expensive, meaningful jewelry. Striking the perfect balance between sentimental value and actual monetary value. He could send me river stones from his back yard and I'd love them.
I laugh again and make the same promise I do every year, "You can send it, but I won't open it until Christmas anyway."
He knows this. He once sent me my Christmas gift in June and I took a picture of it atop my night stand everyday, unwrapped, until December 25th. We wrap up the rest of our conversation and I call my mother. I always call my mother after I get off the phone with my grandfather. She talks longer (3 hours longer on average) than he does, so it just makes sense to talk to them in this order.
I joke about how weird Papa says my gift this year is.
She replies, "Oh it is weird! More creepy than weird actually."
I relay the story of what happened when he showed it to my aunt. We laugh together.
"What is he sending me?" I joke, "Body parts?"
I continue fake guessing, "A mummy?"
She says, "Well, you're getting warmer!"
"What!" We're both laughing again, but she doesn't want to spoil it so she says no more. We continue our conversation well into the night. It's 12:00am by the time we hang up, her time. It's only 9:00pm my time.
And thus is born: the mystery of what my grandfather will be giving me for Christmas this year.