Friday Question of the Day

Well, I’m still in a pretty good mood from the Obama victory (despite what you’ll read below).  So it got me thinking about times when I’ve been super happy.  Then I started thinking about great gifts I’ve received in my life and I was trying to think about the gift that made me happiest.  And I thought damn, that’d be a good FQOTD.  Ed. Note: Yes, I’ve had a few beers.  So I’ve been lucky enough to have received lots of great gifts in my life.  Some of the simplest have made me super happy like mix cds.  But when it comes down to the gift that just took me over the top – it was 1983 or 84 and my brother and I got the Atari 2600 for Hanukkah.  Holy shit, I could have gotten a million dollars and wouldn’t have been as happy.

So the FQOTD is – what is the greatest gift you’ve ever received or what was the singular most joyous moment in your life so far?

29 Comment

  • The moment I first held my newborn elder child in my arms. This is closely followed by the moment I first held my newborn younger child, and distantly by the moment my PhD thesis came together.
    Maybe more on topic, the times I actually took possession of my first house and of my second, present, house, both Capitol Hill rowhouses, were pretty cool.

  • About five years ago I started an annual tradition, on my birthday, of thinking about the books I’d read that year and writing a short paragraph about the one that I felt would have the most long term significance in my life. The idea, to a degree, is that it would be a list of books that my grandchildren could someday read as a way of simulating the cycle of my life.

    I didn’t want the list to start at age 23, though, so I spent several days thinking through my youth and filling in the gaps, including a lengthy phone call with my mother to identify the most significant books from my first 5 years of life.

    A few weeks later, I received a belated birthday gift in the mail: my mother and father had sat down together and completed a similar exercise, and had each selected about 5 books from their own lives to send to me, including several that were out of print and very hard to find.

    I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve only read about half of what they sent me, but I still get a huge smile on my face every time I see them on my shelf.

  • I can’t tell you how many hours my brother, dad, and I logged playing the Atari 2600 and the 7800. Duck Hunter my ass – I rocked at Pole Position!

  • SIngle most joyous moment in my life so far – holding my first born son – I am not the birth mother (my partner is) – but I fell in love with him the moment I met him. Second most joyous moment – holding son number two – again, not the birth Mom, but fell in love with him instantaneously

  • when I was 12 we lived on a farm and my parents bought me a horse for my birthday – they gave me a card stuck to a basketball with a note to go to the area near the barn for my present which I assumed was a hoop (which would have been cool, but) – I rounded the corner and there was a horse – classic bait and switch, but in a good way

    don’t tell my daughter

  • really wonderful parents

  • wow, seems like I should have a baby. tick tock. TICK TOCK.

  • I’ve been a mentor/tutor here in Adams Morgan for years and the greatest moment so far was when my first student graduated from high school…the next moment will be this spring when she graduates from college….who needs your own kids when you’ve got that (okay, lots of people do, but this is pretty darn good).

  • I gave my daughter a pony as a surprise Christmas Gift! She had counted her gifts the night before Christmas and said her brother was getting more than she had under the tree! Her last gift was an envelope with clues to a scavenger hunt. Best gift I ever gave… we spent endless hours together at the barn and horse shows. My 28 year old daughter got married last week and I wish she was still 7 years old with a pony.

  • I have never been one to suggest any moment was truly transcendent in my life. I have several memories to pure elation though, such as both my kids talking to me for the first time. Other big memories include receiving both diplomas, completing my first 5k race, paying off my first car, paying off $25,000 in credit card debt, the night Clinton got elected, etc.

    Obama’s election meant nothing to me because I’m old enough now to have studied the numbers and when I saw the trend in October, I knew he won weeks ago, but also I lost 5 digits of retirement savings and 6 digits of home equity the same month, so you know, things are “ok.”

  • Best gift was Christmas 1982 when I received not only an Atari 800 but also electric train set! They thought I might be dying of a rare disease…. 🙂 But as you see I did not!

    Single happiest moment in life is a great, tough question… likely it was a gorgeous day skiing in new snow, or fall in the mountains in New England, or being in Maine with my high school in 11th grade

  • oh I have to agree with Anon 9:47…being adopted this is a big one.

  • I have to agree with PetworthRes that these posts are making my biological clock boom even louder — no pressure! Happy for all of them, but this harshed my Friday mellow.

  • November 4, 2008

    And when the Broncos won the Superbowl the first time

  • The best gift I ever got was actually just a couple of years ago, when my sister gave me a framed photo of my mother, at her college graduation. This was about 10 years after Ma died, and we thought most of the pictures of her from that age had been lost in minor home disaster years ago. Turns out this was a picture Ma had given to her brother and sister-in-law and my cousin found it in my aunt’s attic after she passed away.

    The best moment in my life – the second performance of the musical Finian’s Rainbow my Junior year of high school. I was playing Senator Billboard Rawkins, a bigoted white man who is shown the error of his ways when he is turned into an African-American by the magic of a leprechaun’s pot of Gold (this is not Rogers and Hammerstein we are talking about). Apparently I was really good, because the second night my entrance was applauded by the audience like I was a big star or something. It was the beginning of my 15 minutes of fame, when people recognized me in shopping malls, my mother got a standing ovation in the bank, that sort of thing.

  • I was six or seven years old and got 2-XL, the Smartest Toy Robot in the World. You popped in an eight track tape into to him and he told corny jokes and quizzed you on trivia. I think that was the toy to have in 1977…just a few short years before Atari.

  • In sequential order:

    August 25, 2006: when my (now) husband asked me to marry him – the very first time we walked into our house together as owners.
    August 11, 2007: the day we got married.
    August 11, 2008: telling him I was pregnant!

  • Best Present Ever: The frosty beer you buy me at PoP’s 2 Year Anniverery Party @ Wonderland Ballroom next thursday November 13.

  • Best material gift ever was a red kitchen-aid mixer. I’d wanted one since I was in 8th grade and taken a cake decorating class. I asked for one for every birthday, Christmas etc, but everyone always gave me the “you don’t really want one, they take up too much room, you’ll never use it” etc lines. No one ever took me seriously that I really, REALLY wanted one.

    Fast forward to me being a 26 year old barely scraping by, living in a 400 square foot studio with a tiny kitchen. My then-boyfriend got me the mixer for Christmas. It took up the entire kitchen, but I used it all the time and still love it. Best gift ever*.

    Of course I had to marry him.

    *disclaimer: men, please be advised that kitchen appliances generally are not so well received as gifts. This one just had special meaning.

    These pony stories are killing me!!! I have to admit, my heart still aches for a pony- the other gift everyone said I wouldn’t really want, would lose interest in, wouldn’t take care of etc (even though I ended up riding competitively until college… never had my own horse). Some day… Would it be weird for someone in her 30’s to get a pony for Christmas??

  • Parkwood Person: Pony’s can get pretty tall (one actually competed in the Olympics this year), but I’m thinking that a person in their 30s may actually get a horse…and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Tell that husband of yours that the mixer was great, but if he really loves you, he’ll get you a horse….

  • Good idea Adams Morgan!

    I think that this point though, I’ll wait it out. If we have kids, I can live vicariously through them (every kid needs a little of that, no?) And get them a pony even if they’re ambivalent pets. Cause then I’d end up getting to take care of it 🙂

  • Parkwood person, are there any stables up there on Parkwood?

  • kalia i was adopted too and my 2 sisters .we all have different biological parents. very proud of my parents.

  • It is way too cool that Kalia and Anon 9:47 spotted each other from a seemingly sweet comment.

  • I have a 4 year old nephew that lives WAY too far away from me, so I only see him a few times a year. But ever since he could talk (which was at about a year, precocious bugger), when I first seem him I get a delighted scream of “AUNTY SHEEPY!!!” (well, you know) and I’m equally delighted every time.

    Of course, then he wears me the heck out shortly afterwards.

    Best gift? I don’t know. I think the best things that are “given” to me that I appreciate the most are words of encouragement. I have some of the most friggin’ supportive friends in the world and I don’t know where I would be without them.

    On the slightly less corny front, but only slightly… My family has a tradition that the kids get to open their stockings on Christmas morning before the grownups get up, but they have to wait for presents. When I was a wee one, I got up one Christmas expecting to do just that.. and was greeted by a Fieval (from An American Tail) plushie bigger than me sitting in a little chair. Holy cow, I exploded. My first PC from my eldest brother was obviously pretty rad and momentous, too.

  • One year for my birthday, my husband totally surprised me with a painting of myself and my first born daughter. He had our friend paint the picture from one of my favorite photos. It was a huge surprise and incredibly touching. Hopefully, a painting of my husband and second born daughter will be finished soon!

  • Several years ago, I took my last math requirement during summer school. Throughout school, I had always hated math and suffered from math anxiety, especially since my father was a physicist (a word I had to learn to spell in elementary school). When the class ended in August, it was as if my soul left for joy. I realized I would never have to take another math class in my life, that I was free.

  • Holding my nephew for the first time! He was the first grandbaby of the family, and as I have no kids of my own yet that is the closest I’ve come to experiencing the true joys of parenthood. It was such an amazing feeling!…until he pooped on me.

    And while this isn’t the single greatest moment of my life, it ranks up there…a professor told me that he thought I am PhD material. Never in my life did I expect to hear that!

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