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  • Paul Davidson

Is It The Thought That Counts?

If you have parents or grandparents or nuns or foster homes or anyone raising you at any point in your life, you’ve heard the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts” at least once in your life. But really, is it? Isn’t it more like, “It’s the thought that communicates how much said loved one or friend really cares about you?”

Let me put myself in everyone else’s position. I am going out to buy a present for a close friend who just got a new job. Before I even get into my car I probably wonder to myself how much I want to spend. Really, am I that close to this person? My first “thought” centers around where I may find such a gift. Do I go to Bloomingdales? Do I go to the local strip mall? While I’m getting my car washed, do I figure I’ll just get something from their wall of mini-gifts? This first thought definitely “counts.”

And then, once I’ve decided just how important said friend is to me, I drive to the location. I arrive at, let’s say, Bloomingdales. Let’s say it’s a really close friend of mine. Someone I went to school with. Someone who I see and talk to reguarly. I love ’em to death. (Had I said, “I love them to death” it would communicate some kind of “more than platonic love” and that’s why I go with “love ’em.”) But when I arrive at Bloomindales, my next “thought” will also count in that I must decide what to buy.

Will I buy them something for 50 dollars? How about 100 dollars? Or will I reach into that pocket and pull out some change and grab them a collander for $12.99? Once again, a very important “thought-process” that will “count in the end.”

And then, as I wrap said item (no matter it’s cost as it’s already been purchased) I will have to think about what I want to say on that card. Will I write, “Happy Birthday, from Me”? Will I write a long diatribe about how much our friendship means? Will I enclose a thousand cut-up pieces of glitter that will empty into their carpet upon opening it, causing them to find glitter on their feet for a decade to come?

Every thought counts. It’s just a matter of if it counts for good or counts for bad.

So when I’m looking at an unopened package, affixed with a card that has been pre-printed with a basic message, and the present inside is a whoopie cushion for my 30th birthday… Well? I think back to how my mother taught me it was the thought that counts…

And I make sure to understand the reality of that statement to the fullest extent of the law.

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