Some of my friends love to complain about their problems but never do what it takes to solve them. For example, my friend Lulubelle (not her real name) dumped a dilemma in my lap this morning, and when I came up with the perfect solution she flat-out rejected it.
It all started when my phone rang. As soon as I saw Lulubelle on the caller-ID, I put on my thinking cap. She only calls me when she needs help with something.
Her voice was petulant. "I don't know what to get my sister for Christmas."
Since I've never met Lulubelle's sister, who lives in NYC and refuses to visit the Midwest under any circumstances, I suggested the first thing which popped into my head."Give her money."
"I can't afford to give her enough money to make her think it was worth it. Plus, money doesn't fit into the guidelines she makes me follow."
"And what are those?"
"It can't involve the killing of animals, cause her to gain weight, have a large carbon footprint, have anything to do with politics or religion...and it has to be so unique that none of her other friends got anything like it for a gift."
Light bulbs went off over my head. "I have an idea. Give her a subscription to my blog."
"You have a blog?"
"Yup," I said. "I've been posting on it twice a month for over year."
Lulubelle's tone was subdued but interested. "How much does it cost?"
"Great. So how can I get her a subscription?"
"Well, technically you can't get one for her," I said. "She has to get it for herself. "
"Get it for herself?"
"Don't worry: it's super easy. Just tell her to go to nancyrobinson.com/blog, click on the 'Subscribe' button in the upper left corner and follow the instructions on how to sign up."
"I dunno, " Lulubelle said. "My sister is really picky. What if she hates your blog?"
"She might at first, but I'm sure it will grow on her. " I said. "It will be like a stray animal which shows up on her doorstep every couple of weeks, begging her for kindness and love."
Lulubelle was silent for a moment. Then she spoke slowly and cautiously. "No offense, but that's not a very good idea for a Christmas present for my sister."
"Okay. Well good luck and happy holidays." I hung up the phone hard.
I wish she'd stop calling me. I'm tired of her tossing aside my brilliant ideas as if they were ratty old Christmas tinsel, all sparkle but no relevance.