Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vulcanized...by Gina Waite

To say I’m a huge Star Trek fan would be a gross overstatement.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Star Trek and I especially feel grateful for the story lines that allowed my Mom’s mind to travel to “Space…the final frontier!”  But most recently I am happy that my lack of Star Trek movie folklore, my Mom’s love of Trek memorabilia, created a situation that prompted a wonderful expression of love that I will remember for the rest of my life!

Mother’s Day 2012 was just around the corner!  I wanted so desperately to find something perfect for Mom.  I started scouring through magazines containing Mother’s Day gift ideas: An amazing home-foot-spa…hmm…that would probably never be used because my Mom would actually have to sit down to properly use such an item; Beautiful books with poems about Mother’s…my Mom could write better than the poems I found showcased in those books; the heart-shaped jewelry with stones representing the birth month of each child…couldn't find a necklace that would contain more than six stones, my Mom needed eight!
   
 My mom had so many wonderful passions, finding a gift for my Mom, was usually very easy for me.  For some strange reason finding a fun, affordable gift was more difficult than usual  for me…that was until I typed in "Star Trek memorabilia!"  I spotted a white, vinyl, symbol (after reading the description I noted that it was the Starfleet symbol!)  The description of this item also told me, “place it anywhere your Starfleet-loving-heart would like it to go, safe for all surfaces!”  …Really...Anywhere????   Visions of Trekkie’s across the country sporting white vinyl Starfleet insignia’s across their foreheads, with pointy, Spock-inspired ears made me laugh condescendingly to myself.  The thought was quickly replaced with the joy I most assuredly would feel in giving my Mom such a fun, customized gift!  After all, she could put it on the back lower-left window of her car and drive around at “warp-speed” all she wanted!  I had to get it…I couldn't type in “quantity, purchase or pay” fast enough!

The day my Mother’s Day gift arrived in the mail, I will never forget.  As I reached in my mailbox and pulled out the usual white-enveloped financial reminders and colorful credit card applications, I quickly noticed a plain white envelope that had an Oregon return address.  I started to think of the people I knew from Oregon...my sister lived in Oregon, but not the city this envelope had traveled from.  I took my car key and used it as an letter opener (a wonderful skill my Mother taught me) and was surprised to find that the piece of postage contained in the dull-white envelope was a receipt from my Starfleet purchase with the small vinyl sticker ready to be placed wherever my Mom’s “Starfleet-loving-heart” would like it to go!  I suppose the anticlimactic arrival of the Starfleet Symbol seemed wrong…"Damn-it Jim"...this was a Star Trek Symbol.  Surely the people who would sell such an item would be sending it in envelope mapping out the universe of the Star Trek World.  Where was all the fanfare an item like this should be accompanied with?  I truly was shocked at the lack luster way my Mom’s gift arrived.

With Mother’s Day only about a week away, I was elated that my mom would be coming to my house for a visit!  I had planned to execute the presentation of her Mother’s Day gift with great precision.  While she was in my house, hugging and doting on her precious grandchildren, I would sneak out of the house, clean her back car window and apply the vinyl treasure!  Then I would take her to the car (blind folded, of course) only to reveal her newly-acquired acceptance into the Starfleet family then drive her off to the lunch of her choosing, at warp speed!  Everything went according to plan except, when I removed the blind fold my Mother’s sweet and loving expression wasn't quite the reaction I had in my mind.  She was happy and loved it, but something kept her from the overly zealous reaction I knew would be more typical of the “Trekkie” I knew my Mom to be!  What was it????  Perhaps she wanted a BIGGER Starfleet emblem, or maybe the color wasn't quite the shade she would like it to be?  Thoughts started pouring through my mind but in that instant, my Mom grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “I love it!  Thank you Geenie!”  The reassuring hug and quick takeoff for our lunch destination persuaded me not to think about it again … that is until my sweet brother-in-law kindly pointed out that my Mother was driving around with the Starfleet emblem upside down!

Blonde qualities are not limited to people with blonde hair…in this case my hair color guided me in my extensive planning and plotting about the presentation of the gift,  and complete inattention to how the gift should be placed.  Imagine the wave of heat my body experienced at the realization of my mistake when my Brother-in-law, who is a very detail-oriented person, chuckled under his breath and noted my Mom had put her Starfleet symbol upside down.  My gracious Mother had known of my blonde blunder and didn't say a thing to me!  In my defense, I thought the symbol was supposed to be an artistic expression of the letter “V"…for "Vulcan" or "Victory" over the Klingon's!  I thought christening my Mom's vehicle with that type of emblem would be to admit our love of the Vulcans...her car had been Vulcanized.  Obviously my Star Trek knowledge was limited...that, coupled with my love for my Mom and enthusiasm for her gift completely overruled any forethought that there may be a specific way the Starfleet symbol should be pointing...perhaps it shouldn't be headed toward the bumper of my Mother's car!

I wondered why, when I removed the blind fold from my Mother's eyes, her head tilted slightly to one side to get a good view of her vinyl surprise...it all made sense now! What also made sense was my Mother, trying so hard not to ruin my excitement, was gracious and kind all while the veins in her body (that most assuredly carried part-Vulcan blood) were working twice as hard as usual!  That white vinyl Starfleet emblem, which thanks to a loving and gracious brother, now graces all of my Mom's children's (and grandchildren's) vehicles...and to my urging, ALL emblems have been placed upside down.  We have ALL been Vulcanized (okay at least that's what I'm calling it!)

What does the Starfleet emblem mean, you may ask?  As a sweet sister recently looked it up to educate me in Star Trekkism, it is representative of the Starfleet Commanding Officer who embodies leadership and honor.  Leadership and honor...in the face of trial and frustration for challenges untold (or Starfleet symbols placed upside down by mistake) a gracious and dignified way of handling things.  I find this quite a fitting emblem to be associated with my Mom!  So Mom, if you see any of us driving around with those Starfleet emblems upside down on the back window of our cars...Remember, "We have been...and always shall be...your friend!" \V/