Money, gifts and OCD

I tried to research the origins of money within the human race.  Not because I am that lame to google something so random on a Friday night as opposed to doing something more exciting like, oh, I don’t know, um, um – seriously, I don’t know – but because every year at this time my tenuous relationship with money gets pushed to the limit and beyond.  It then drags me down into a deep crevasse full of a murky blend of soiled cotton and linen that adheres to my skin and eats away at my flesh until I become nothing more than a grovelling, whining mass of cells only capable of weeping and scratching out angst-ridden haikus with a broken pencil.

I tried to research it so that I can make some sense of why money has become so bleeping important to nearly every human on our planet – including me.  I say “nearly” because I have a the desirous hope that out there, somewhere exists humans for whom money is of no consequence and not just because they have tons of it.

At what point did we, as a people, decide what was valuable and what wasn’t?  And when did that value begin to supersede all others to where literally no one can live without at least some of it?  There must have been a point in our evolution when we simply lived and shared our abundance together, right?  If I had slain a great mammoth, surely I would have offered its sustenance to my whole clan without requesting something in return, right?  I wouldn’t have tried to apportion out the heat from a communal fire to only those with shiny objects as a trade, would I?

I am not trying to express my hidden desire to be a bleeding heart socialist or hypocritically deny my materialistic leanings when it comes to handbags, laptops, and all things glittery.  I am attempting to rid myself of the shame-filled connection I seem to have between money, lack of money and my o-c-diferous paralysis around gifting to those I love with whatever amount of money I do have.

It takes me hours, days or even weeks to search and discover just the perfect gift that is both economical and exemplifies the right amount of intuitive sentiment that declares that not only do I know you well enough to get you exactly what your heart desires, but also that I love you to the moon and back.  Imagine how difficult my life becomes when I haven’t even begun to shop for the most important gift giving holiday of the year until two weeks prior to the event!  Couple that with the very real constraints on our family budget due to the previous summer’s fence purchase and impending a/c unit replacement before warm weather returns to North Texas and we have all the components necessary to ignite a fireball within my belly hot enough to melt tiles off of the space shuttle.  Let’s not forget my horrific ability to horde anything from baby food jars to empty toilet paper rolls thereby making the thought of purchasing cheap ass toys that will only break or become too boring for play within weeks and end up having to be given away or worse yet, thrown out, much-too-much for me to bear.

So, I bemoan the human race for evolving the concept of money into our DNA, curl up in a fetal position under mounds of blankets and put off Christmas shopping for one more day.