Sunday, June 09, 2013

Charisma For Hire

charisma: \kǝ-’riz-mǝ\ n. 1. a special magnetic charm or appeal magically arousing enthusiasm for a person 2. Caleb

A taste of several gifts given to Caleb by complete strangers.

Our son regularly returns home from an afternoon in our neighborhood laden with gifts. And not just small trinkets and throw away junk. Everything from a 4-person inflatable raft freshly out of its package to a metal lock box have found their way into our home. Why? Because Caleb has a level of charisma not often seen in someone outside of the White House. He gets paid $10 to wash a car that wasn't really dirty and whose owner wasn't really looking to get it clean in the first place. Then he gets offered $10 more from the same people to wash their Jeep - just because. The neighbor who drives every deal to its final penny during his garage sale offers to give Caleb whatever he would like. He mentions fishing and suddenly a fishing pole surfaces from someone's back room, in mint condition. Then freshly caught fish emerges from their freezer. He has sisters, so beautiful china dolls in full costumes are unwrapped and tucked into his arms. While chatting with several college students at church he is warmly invited to join them at the beach later that day. The list goes on...


In the beginning we were convinced he was begging off of people for their scraps. He must be telling our neighbors that his family is too poor to afford any toys. He must be blackmailing them, holding their mail hostage and extracting one gift for each registered letter containing the specifications of their rich uncle's final will and testament. There had to be an answer for the seemingly endless stream of goodies parading towards our address.

So we did what all sensible parents would do. We threatened. We doubted. We refused to take his word that these were gifts given from honest generosity. We sent Caleb out to return the gifts.

He came home with more.

We finally decided it was time to investigate this ourselves. It just so happened that one of the gifters stopped by that very afternoon. He was dropping off an entire golf caddy with accompanying clubs to finish outfitting our son after the putter he bestowed upon Caleb the week before. He apologized that it had taken him so long. He explained that the clubs were in the back of his storage unit and took some time to get. He handed over his only child's prized jr. golf set with a broad smile.

Was he sure? Absolutely.

He warmly explained how enjoyable it was to chat with Caleb in his driveway each weekend. He chuckled at the numerous schemes Caleb shared with him. He assured us that it was his pleasure to give the clubs to him.


We thanked him for his kind words and chuckled under our breath. Obviously our son had a special gift to enchant and charm. His easy going personality and conversational prowess allowed him to fit into just about any situation. We finally accepted it.

Now we're working on an angle to make a profit off of him.

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