I have a good friend, we will call her Benita. Benita and I have been friends since junior high. Like any duo we have had our good times and bad, shared memories, hope dreams and what not. But underneath it all we have always been somewhat competitive, which in my mind is healthy. We started small time though, with who could get better grades or think of the best prank to play on a Saturday night. Eventually the game has just become who can get the most out of life, which again I think is pretty darn healthy. Gotta love a competition where good mental health is a factor. :)
That said there has always been one thing that has been the Battle Royale of sorts for us. This would be the theme gift. Theme gift giving is an art form when down right. It's the perfect balance between the practical and the ridiculous. I think Benita started it way back in the day when I received a whole bucket of things for a movie night, then there was the all leopard Christmas present, the "Always wear sunscreen" graduation gift......the list goes on and on. I got to give it to Benita, she knows how to put together a nice present. This Christmas, however, when I opened my garden gnome (whom I fondly call Alfred because he's riding a frog) with matching gnome pj pants, gnome gum and I think there was even I gnome card, I knew I had to trump her and I had 2 months til her birthday to do it. Battle Theme Gift was on like Donkey Kong!
The Idea: This is the most important part of the theme gift. It must be clever, whitty, useful and somewhat ridiculous. This took days of plotting, surfing the internet for inspiration......then one day on my way home from work it happened. As I sat behind the oldest, slowest driver in all of Napa I glanced over to see a yard covered in PINK FLAMINGOS. "How delightfully tacky" I thought to myself as I studied the flock of plastic birds. Then I was hit with a revolation, a mission handed down from the Gods, I had to buy Benita an entirely Pink Flamingo gift. The theme has been set, let the games begin.
It's hard to find a classy flamingo: OK, I'll admit it, my obsession with lawn art is a bit out of control. But I had never ventured into flamingos before, they were just too......well.......PINK. But for the Benita gift there was no flamingo too pink. My original idea, had work not been ruining my social life was to drive down to her house and COVER HER LAWN IN FLAMINGOS. Nothing like waking up to 75 weird pink plastic birds in your yard. Come on now, that shit's funny! But I digress, back to the hunt for a classy flamingo. I first searched Target, not a flamingo to be found. Then WalMart......nada. Finally I turned to my friend the internet, surely there is some freak out there who sells nothing but flamingos for a living, BINGO! I found a lovely set of 2 pink flamingos for the low low price of just $6 (thank you amazon.com)! Score. I also found a flamingo book, flamingo party lights, a flamingo sign, flamingo grill gear and a mini flamingo set for the office. And that was just what I purchased! They also had a set of holiday flamingo outfits so that one could dress their flamingo according to the season. Why wouldn't a plastic bird need a scarf? It's cold out there in December!
The Presentation: This was very important. For almost two weeks I waited as the flamingo's slowly started to arrive. Each day I would get home and a new box with another piece of crazy flamingo art would appear. Finally when I had it all it was time to wrap and, as we well know, there is only one way toe wrap pink Flamingos........IN BRIGHT PINK PAPER!! So I wrapped each box in the brightest most crazy pink paper I could find (thank you Target) and stacked them in a fashion only to appreciated by the wrapping elves at Harry and David. Finishing it off with a glorious Green ribbon the gift was complete!
The BIG GIVE: I had to wait week before I saw Bentia to give her her gift so for weeks this pink mountain of flamingo boxes sat in my living room. They made for quite the conversation piece to be honest, I got everything from "what the F is that?" to "WOW who's having a baby Martha Stewart?" Finally, the day came. I was so excited and I little scarred, I mean what if Bentia hated the flamingos? Then again who could hate flamingos I mean, they are pink and there for awesome.
When Benita got to the house I ushered her directly to the pink mountain. "OPEN!" I commanded, oozing pride in my gift wrap abilities. Bentia opened the first, tiniest box. A Flamingo Lawn art office set. She laughed, silly girl had no idea what was in store for her. Second box, Flamingo patio lights. Third Flamingo Lounge sign......Fourth Flamingo Lawn Art book....Fifth Flamingo BBQ set and apron......Sixth and final two beautiful Pink Lawn flamingos! Benita just looked at me overwhelmed, "touche, my friend, touche. I tip my theme gift hat to you."
WINNER: ME!! On account of Flamingo Overkill!