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Non-sports zone, Vol. 3

December 17, 2013 - Zach Baker
The year Vivek ruined Christmas

In my life, I've had many acquaintances, but only a few friends.

That is, people I've had over to my house, people who I've had those tough conversations with, people who I trust without question.

Vivek is one of those people. He's been my closest friend since I was about 7, and we've done everything together. He and I have been friends so long our inside jokes have inside jokes.

We spent so much time at each other's houses growing up that we became practically part of each other's families. Vivek was a guest at my brother's wedding, and I assume should I ever get married (HA!) he -- and my brother-- will stand up there with me. Vivek and I probably will be running lines from Naked Gun 2 1/2 to break the tension.

But as close as we are, as much as I consider Vivek a part of my family, there is one indisputable fact that never can be taken back:

Vivek ruined Christmas.

I don't remember how old I was, but I do remember he and I were playing video games, and Vivek took an interest at a poster board hanging on the wall.

The board had my name on it, and my brother's name. Beneath that, there were money totals.

"Hey, Zach," Vivek said. "Your brother is beating you by $50."

I immediately called for my dad, asking what this chart represented.

He swore, tried to erase the board, then finally fessed up.

The board represented our Christmas gift money total.

And my parents had spent $50 more on my brother.

Now, granted, why this was on a board in full view of us has never been explained. I suppose my parents must share the blame for this memory.

But the fact is, I never cared enough to look. Vivek was the one who noticed it.

And it sent me into crisis. Was I not a good enough son? Did my parents love my brother more? I was going to count the gifts.

All because of Vivek.

So, yes, for that year, Vivek ruined Christmas.

Of course, age and wisdom have taught me that the number or cost of gifts aren't as important as getting to spend the holidays with loved ones. Now, as my holidays are condensed to a few days, I appreciate the time I can spend with my family.

But as a kid, all I knew was my brother's gifts were more expensive than mine. And I let everyone know I wasn't happy about it.

And it was all Vivek's fault.

So, yes, Vivek ruined Christmas.


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