My Neighbour Errol- Gifts
When you get to be close friends with someone, you can’t help but want to give some token of your affection for them, to show them how much they mean to you. Friendships are still relationships, after all. It makes sense.
Some friends buy each other gifts. Some write quirky songs. Some make crafts.
Errol…has different ways of showing affection…
One day we were hanging out like we normally do and he said, quite earnestly and with no scarcasm, “I should give you my nose hairs. I’d like you to have them.”
No, I am quite serious.
Why does he want to? I don’t know, it’s Errol.
It’s like a cat that’s leaving a dead mouse for you on your porch. Only one of us thinks it’s a gift.
Is it a man thing? Are men just naturally obsessed with their nose hairs? Is he crazy? (yes) Or just messing with me? (very yes). I don’t understand why he has to keep talking about them.
And why are they a gift? Do they have special powers? Is there some sort of value to them? What makes them so special?
I do not like talking about nose hairs. I do not even like typing the word. I do not want them. I, in a rare instance of drawing boundaries, have told him as much.
But he persists. He tells me he wants to encase them in amber so I might have a piece of him for all time. I tell him that is the creepiest thing I have ever heard.
I would think it was a joke, I really would. Except the other week when I visited, his daughter gleefully giggled “Are we going to give Manpans her GIFT?!”
I thought to myself “What gift?”. Errol quieted his daughter and said “After dinner.” I wondered what it could be. His daughter seemed impossibly excited about this.
Then I realized. And Errol confirmed. Nose hairs. He had actually saved them. I narrowly avoided the grossness. His daughter was very disappointed.
I am quite paranoid now. That at any moment a tupperware container full of black and white nose hairs (white cause…he’s old) will be left in my apartment.
I try to tell him that he is disgusting, that I want nothing to do with anything to do with any part of the innards of his nose.
But then he gets this sad look and says “But I’d save them especially for you…you know, I don’t offer anyone else my nose hairs. You’re the only one.”
…And then I feel guilty.
Yes, I feel guilty, actually guilty for refusing a 42 year old man’s nose hairs. And the thought “You’ve hurt his feelings” ACTUALLY crosses my brain.
Why? What is wrong with me?! I know I’m in the right here! I know that it’s okay to say “No, I do not want your nosehairs, please provide wings instead”.
I know that he is completely and entirely doing this because he knows it grosses me out! And yet STILL, something twinges inside me and I can’t help but feel like a bad friend.
Either something is very wrong with me or he is an evil manipulative genius…I’m going to go with the latter.
At least he doesn’t know I feel guilty…oh wait…now he does…