I Was A Bad Gay Man Secret Santa Participant!
Posted on December 28, 2020
I enjoy buying gifts for family and friends, and even co-workers. We had a much, much smaller group of folks in our office last year and the year before. I’d only been working at the hospital for a couple of months when my first Christmas there rolled around. Did I know folks well enough to necessarily buy them something personalized? No. I didn’t think I knew them well enough to buy them something at all. Silly me. I received gifts that year from the folks, and I vowed the following year would be different. It was, and they each received a personalized gift in 2019. Then, well, COVID hit and our department grew to a massive number. No way could I afford to do again what I did prior. Someone in the office suggested we do Secret Santa this year, and I was in. I was also a bit of a little shit!
Here’s the thing. I honestly had no idea what in the world to suggest when I filled out the Secret Santa sheet. Ralph and I don’t exchange gifts–at his request–and if I need something during the year, I buy it. So, really, what did I want or need? A bit of fun, actually. To make a bit of mischief, which can be a lot to me like breathing…or writing. So, when I sat down to answer the questions on the Secret Santa sheet, I decided to get a little creative. Perhaps a bit too creative. Sort of a mischiefvy creative.
Favorite candy bar? Cadbury Wispa. (Generally found in Canada and the UK, or a somewhat expensive purchase on Amazon.)
Favorite soft drink? Ramune (A Japanese soft drink found–get this–in Japan. Or…because there’s always an or…at a local Asian Market a few miles from where we work. Not that anybody would know that.
Favorite food? Bon Chon Chicken. (Found in NYC, though I read they have one in Chicago.)
Favorite candle scent? Root Beer Float from Bath & Body Works. (Mom bought me a couple of them some years back and I only have one left. Problem? It’s been discontinued.)
That, dear readers, is what I mean by being a little shit. I’m already known as the smart ass and prankster, so, honestly, I’m only living up to the reputation. My honor is at stake. Plus, I figured with all the new folks who started in our area and were eager to make a good impression, they’d get creative. My biggest fear? I have a pregnant co-worker whose bad side is NOT one to trifle with. And at this stage of the pregnancy, filters have gone out the window. I knew if she drew my name, she’d be taking said name in vain and I’d be called every single expletive in the book, and then some. And then a few more.
Last week came around and I eagerly brought in and arranged the Secret Santa gifts I’d picked up for my office mate. That’s the picture at the top of the page here. Hearing her giggle throughout the day made it all worthwhile! So, see? I’m actually not a bad guy. Just a bit of a little shit. I returned a bit later after doing some work tasks and there was a box left for me on the conference room table. The sides were completely taped shut, so I had no easy way of getting the wrapping paper off. I believe someone was incensed. My co-workers stood around whilst I finally got the paper off and opened the box. Another box lie inside, also with its side taped. Then another. Ah, rage! Someone was quite annoyed with me!
Finally, an envelope. Inside? A Target gift card. Actually, a perfect gift because Ralph and I enjoy shopping at Target. But, who could have possibly drawn my name? Remember the pregnant co-worker? Yup. She drew my name, and apparently uttered the word “SHIT” when she opened the sheet without having even ready anything past my name. Did she take my parentally-given name in vain? Oh, yes. Yes, she did. And when she wanted to wrap the box entirely in tape, her husband suggested to her that I surely would get the point with the sides taped.
Yes, I work with a pretty amazing bunch of people, which I’m grateful for. I may show it in unique ways, but I am truly grateful. I also can’t wait for Secret Santa next year!
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.