This Tarzan-story is based on a real story about my own father. When we in our family say that someone "does a Tarzan", this is what it means.
I opened the Christmas present eagerly. It was obviously something very expensive because it was big. Still I wondered a bit what could be this huge. Knowing my husband I could expect just about anything. I loved him dearly, but lets say he didn´t really have a clue what to get me as a present, no matter what the occasion.
I had learned to take it with good humor - after all, it is the thought that counts, isn´t it?
This time he had really outdone himself. I almost burst out laughing when the secret was revealed - a table hockey game. He looked like a small boy when he rushed to explain to me all the fine details of the game.
- You are so sweet, I kissed him on the cheek, - But this time I am sure you did a Tarzan.
- I did… What? What on earth does that mean? he looked baffled.
- Let me explain, I smiled, - When my father was a small boy, his family was very poor. If ever he managed to get a coin, he ran to the railway station. There was a small newsstand for the travellers. It sold newspapers - but also something very important for a little boy: cheap paperbacks. And not just any paperbacks but stories of the adventures of Tarzan. These were his treasures. He could forget himself in the great adventures for hours on end. He loved them.
- But how do you "do a Tarzan"? my husband wanted to know.
- I´m just getting there. So - then his father´s birthday came. He wanted to buy him a gift but did not have money for it. His mother gave him a small coin when she saw how miserable he was, not being able to buy his father a present. He wondered what he could buy with such a small sum. He wondered around with the coin in his pocket and somehow found himself at the railway station again. There he stood, in front of the little kiosk. He saw a new Tarzan Book had come out. Oh, the agony! He could not buy it and knew it would be gone when he would have money next time. What to do?
My husband started to laugh, he got it.
- Oh yes, I nodded, - My father bought the book as a present to his own father. So when ever we see someone give a present they themselves want, we say he did a Tarzan.
My husband looked a bit funny.
- But this time you succeeded, I smiled, - I´m more than happy to play the table hockey game with you.
The grin that spread to his face proved the old saying right. Men never really grow up. Thank goodness.
Sometimes the gifts children give us seem to be a bit strange. And yes - sometimes they do what my father did and buy to you something they themselves very much want.
If this happens - take it as a compliment. They are willing to give to you something they consider very precious.
Also often other people give us presents that we are not interested in (the famous vases from the aunt go into this category). Still - always remember it is the thought that counts. So never look down on anyone´s gift but thank them and show appreciation that they were thinking of you enough to get you a present.
Sometimes the best present may be your own company. What if you spent a little time thinking about the people and family members around you. Is there anyone you know is lonely? Why don´t you contact them to let them know they are important to you?
Sometimes I write down the dates when I last contacted a friend or family member. It is quite a lesson to notice how quickly time flies - many months may pass without contacting someone.
Try it: write into a
the names of your friends and family and then jot down the date when you talk or write to them or visit them. Decide what is the longest time that can pass before a new contact. And if the date arrives, be the first to call.
There is nothing more valuable in life than your family and friends. Let them know you appreciate them - and I´m sure they´ll appreciate you right back.