Christmas Eve is fast approaching, and with just hours until your loved ones awaken to a glittering green tree surrounded by a mountain range of wrapped presents, you haven’t yet begun your gift buying. You relish this situation. You are about to embark on the greatest last-minute Christmas shopping spree ever accomplished.
Naturally, you didn’t even start to think about buying Christmas gifts until a few minutes ago, upon catching a snippet of a holiday tune on the radio in your armored car. After thinking about how unnecessary it is for you to travel in an armored car when there’s no threat whatsoever against your life, and how really, this is an unspeakable vanity; you are reminded that now, nearly a month after Black Friday, it’s time to go Christmas shopping.
You begin at Martin Greenfield, the tailor in Bushwick — the New York City neighborhood known more for the artists in lofts than word-class eveningwear. Greenfield makes suits for Bill Clinton and Michael Bloomberg, and Frank Sinatra was a loyal client. Naturally, this is the kind of guy who has your measurements on file, and he can sic his well-trained assistants on fabric the moment you walk in as he oversees the entire operation. He’s an old friend. But this time, you’re picking up 15 Martin Greenfield hand-tailored suits for 15 of your closest friends, associates and family members. Don’t have all their measurements? Well, if you had been acting appropriately all these years, your closest friends, associates and family members should have nearly identical measurements to yours. This is how bonds are formed. Get used to it.
Next it’s off to a particular electronics store in Soho, a white-and-silver box done up in glass. You've probably seen it: it's a rather unpleasant place to be, what with customers and blue-shirted employees all jockeying to be the most annoying person in the room. But on the days leading up to Christmas, it is so, so much worse. Luckily, you have a friend who's high up at the company — a business associate (and yes, he has your exact measurements). Use his authority to shut the place down for an hour on Christmas Eve. There's...um, an inspection going on, or something. That doesn’t matter. Stroll on in all by your lonesome, strutting through the glass box as those outside look on in confusion, fear, nausea, and blind rage. Ignore them, and go play with a tablet for a half hour. God, isn’t this new Angry Birds just so insanely addictive? Eventually, you pick out a few laptops and you're on your merry way.
Your twelve-year-old nephew is quite insistent that he get exactly what he wants this Christmas, and what he wants is a certain unbuyable pair of computerized glasses . You could argue as to why a pre-teen would need to walk through the hallways of middle school talking to a computer on his face. And then you realize that, man, this kid is so getting the crap kicked out of him. But he wants the smart glasses, and even if the gadget isn’t on sale yet, he will get the smart glasses. You have a standing invitation to have a drink with a friend of yours — a friend whose height and waistline is suspiciously similar to your own — at his company headquarters, where these particular glasses are made. And when you visit him, he pours you a scotch. You ask: would it be possible to get a pair for your nephew? The friend opens a closet to expose literally thousands of glistening packages, a hoard of the elusive gizmos hidden from the public. “I can’t get rid of the things,” your friend says. This is too easy.
Gifts procured, you have your driver swing back to Bushwick to pick up the identical suits. Mr. Greenfield himself greets you at the door with all 15, made in record time, but you only pick up 14. One is left for a mutual friend of you and the tailor’s who happens to have the exact same build as you. He’ll pick it up when he’s back from Hawaii.
Image by Michael Erazo-Kase