I’ve written before about choosing birthday gifts. In those posts, I wrote about gifts for my youngest niece and nephews. I want to buy them every toy in the toy store and luckily, they want ever toy in the toy store. They also aren’t shy about telling you what they want in the most direct of ways.
Buying for adults, though, is harder. Adults come pre-conditioned to utter completely useless phrases like, “I don’t need much.” or “Just something small.” or ” Whatever you get me will be fine. Don’t go to any trouble.” And of course the topper, “Surprise me!” None of these suggestions will lead to less aimless wandering of the store. Worse, they might cause buying paralysis or panic buying.
Most recently, I bought my girlfriend some watercolours, a book on how to paint using watercolours with exercises in it, and some brushes. I thought it was a good gift, but at times my confidence waivered. I worried that she wouldn’t have time to do it. I also worried that while it came up as a want when we were watching some British painting show on YouTube, whether or not the desire still there.
I should also point out that visual art is not something I really gravitate to. I have been to a couple of big art galleries in Europe and enjoyed them. I have enjoyed some aspects of pop art. I have enjoyed comic books and Japanese animation. However, I still prefer rhythm of words to colours and images.
That also means I don’t know a lot about art and what constitutes good art material. I was concerned as to whether or not the paints I chose were adequate. I also wondered if you could actually learn something like this from a book–but being a man of words, I quickly pushed that concern off to the side.
On the day of the big opening she was quite happy and I felt pretty good that I had made the right choice.
Blast forward a few days, and we come to Today’s Perfect Moment. My girlfriend confided in me that she had started reading the book and had watched some videos on YouTube. She is rather busy with work. so I didn’t expect her to have any time in the near future for this. However, I could see a glint of enthusiasm in her eye.
Earlier today, she had the opportunity to visit the art store where I picked up the material. They had set up a display of watercolours so that people could try them out. I encouraged her to go and check it out–if only to ask some questions. It also didn’t seem like a bad idea to do some practice on other people’s materials first.
When we talked about it later, she had an enthusiasm I hadn’t seen for a few weeks…maybe longer. It wasn’t just a glint in her eye, but something that seemed to envelop her. It wasn’t that edgy kind of excitement that some people get when they’re getting ready for a vacation. It wasn’t that edgy feeling you get when a concert is about to start. It was something deeper.
It was so great to see. It was infectious. It was Today’s Perfect Moment.