In 1984, my mom woke me up early Christmas morning. Sitting next to my bed was the unopened box of an Apple //c computer and monitor. My uncle owned one of those, and I’d spent time at his house hacking with it. He’d once promised he’d bring it over to my house so I could have more time with it. Even in my sleepy state, when I saw the box, my initial shot of excitement was quickly replaced with cold logic: “what’s my uncle’s computer doing here?” I asked.
I was told nope, it’s not your uncle’s, it’s yours, and it’s your Christmas gift.
I believe the ceiling still has an imprint of my head, and the floor a dent from my jaw, as I reacted joyously to the extremely unexpected present.
Today, THW sent me an email.
In today? What time can I stop by to say hi? I’m leaving… tomorrow and won’t be back until just before New Years. /thw
Stop on by, I told him. I figured we’d BS for a few minutes, catch up on what’s been going on the last couple of days, chat about plans for the holiday break we’re about to start. You know, typical friend stuff before you don’t see each other for two weeks or so.
In he walks. We chat about two minutes before he steps back outside my office, and I hear some rustling of plastic. He steps back in and hands me a white box with “Wii” written on it in huge letters.
Let me go through my thought process here.
- On seeing it: Fucker! You got a me a gift and put it in a Wii box? That’s cold.
- On holding it: It’s heavy…. Oh! You’re loaning me your Wii for the week you’ll be away. That’s fucking sweet. What a good friend.
I thanked him for loaning it to me, and he says, nope, that’s yours. That’s your Christmas gift.
I couldn’t quite get my mind around it. You’re giving me your Wii?
No, he says (silently adding “you idiot“, I imagine), it’s yours.
Through a series of circumstances, he had an extra one. When he read my entry about waking up at 5:30 to stand in line, and coming back empty-handed, he made his decision: as his Christmas gift to me, he would sell me his extra Wii. I guess he decided that getting up that early to buy one was a worthy endeavor, and instead of making beaucoup bucks scalping it on eBay (as he rightly could), he decided to sell it to me.
Last Saturday, when Y and I had decided to wake up early the next day, I called E, and offered him the chance to buy a Wii, should we find ourselves lucky enough to find two. He declined, but was touched that I would give up a potential financial benefit for him. I didn’t quite understand it at the time. He’s my friend, and of course if I’m buying a Wii I’ll pick up a second one for him. It didn’t even cross my mind that I’d pick up a second one and sell it on eBay.
Now, I get it. What THW did was a selfless act. Not in the same realm of giving up a kidney or the last taco, but still remarkable. He passed up the chance to make money so his friend could have a Wii-filled vacation. I was actually tearing up a bit when he gave it to me.
This is going to become a story of legend, destined to be told over and over. Anytime someone asks how I got a Wii, or wonders if I enjoy playing, I’ll be telling this story.
Thanks, THW. You’re a good friend.
By-the-way, I did an unboxing of the Wii. Stay tuned for pictures.