Brother was living about the world then and had no real home base so he tried to leave them with Mom. Nice try. Like she needs three nesting fish plates. We snuck them into his luggage. Little did we know what we had started - though in hindsight, we really should have. Brother is VERY competitive.
The next Christmas, I got a set of plastic fish plates tucked into a box with some other gift. I can’t remember what the other gift was – finding those plates was so amusing. Thus the game of Fish Plate Tag was born. Each Christmas or birthday or random gift giving occasion, one of the three fish plates would wind up in someone’s gift. The challenge; to re-gift them to a family member some inventive way they wouldn’t expect. Since there were three of them, small, medium and large, odds were good that someone would end up with one or more of them any occasion. And, because the year is long, we would often forget that who had them last and relax and then, surprise, FISH PLATE!
Once, Mom bought Brother the big fluffy down quilt he’d requested. She then packed the quilt into a massive box with a fish plate tucked in nicely between the folds. He pulled out the quilt and surprise, FISH PLATE! Tag, he was it.
For my fortieth, Husband took me to Vegas. Sung in our hotel room, I unwrapped the weird octagon shaped jar that rattled given to me by Brother. I thought it was a puzzle. It was not. Surprise, FISH PLATE! Inside was a chopped up fish plate, its tiny pieces crammed tightly into a jam jar. Tag, I was it. The delivery and execution on that one was brilliant! I laughed long and hard over that one.
What did I do to top that? I glued that chopped up sucker back together, put it in a decorative frame, wrapped it up and gave it to Sisinlaw as a house-warming gift. She never saw it coming – mostly because she was new to the game. And bless her heart, she actually put it up on a shelf for all to see!
Sometimes the fish plate wouldn’t even be in a gift. Sometimes, someone would visit the house for the weekend and leave a fish plate somewhere. On one occasion, I found one tucked under the sheets in the guest room. One Thanksgiving, I found a fish plate in the cupboard with the good china.
This game of Fish Plate tag has been going on for years. Until last Friday, I only knew where one of the plates was – the chopped up framed one. The others were in hiding.
When Brother was here a few weeks ago, I mentioned the awesome puffy jacket I almost stole from him last summer. He told me that he seldom wore it and it was mine. I assumed he’d bring it with him next time he came. I was wrong. I got this package on Friday.
Brother has a big birthday Sunday. I have one fish plate with his name on it but I have to get it to San Francisco in some sort of gift and get him to open it. With the quick turn around and the fact that he knows I have the plate, the odds of it being a surprise are slim. I am up for the challenge. Let the games begin!
Any gifting suggestions are welcome. Really. It's not cheating and I am really gonna need help on this one...