For Christmas one year I was given a Hershey’s Kiss 3D puzzle and another puzzle. The Hershey’s Kiss puzzle was little plastic chocolate colored pieces with pegs and holes… it didn’t have many pieces so I solved it quickly and wondered what possessed my mother to buy me a puzzle.

It occurred to me that it was likely someone providing gifts to needy children. Mom wanted us to have a good Christmas so she signed us up for a charity. That was rather forward thinking of her – she was very self centered.

The other puzzle I can’t remember except it was solved easily too – a chain comes to mind. Soon I was finished with my Christmas presents and wondered what I’d do now for entertainment.

A few years later, again at Christmas, I received a Rubik’s Cube. This was a pretty big deal they were big at the time. I was so excited because I was going to finally have a toy that other kids had. “Santa” got it for me so I’m not sure if it was Mom or one of my uncles, aunts or even Grandma & Grampa… damn Santa anyway.

My uncles immediately took it from my hands, opened up the box and mixed it up. There were instructions on the inside of the box it came in which I planned to read before constructing a solution to the cube, regardless of how it was scrambled. I begged for them to give them both back and instead they said something like “you don’t need to be such a smarty all the time, it’s just a toy”. I think they played with it the rest of the day.

I don’t remember the rest of that Xmas – people probably got drunk and cried, that’s what usually happens. I lost my interest in the Rubik’s Cube and in being smart… it’s one things to be picked on in school for being a geek and another to be treated that way by family.

I experienced large jigsaw puzzles – like over 1000 pieces – at my Ma and Pa’s. Candy stores, balloons or other crazy things that all seemed to run together. It was frustrating at times but mostly calming to sit for hours in front of those pieces and try to put them in the right spot. I really liked it.

Never really took up jigsaw puzzles in my spare time as an adult – seemed to never have a large surface for it or time or sobriety lol

I’ve tried a few jigsaw puzzles on my iPad but it doesn’t seem to give me as much focus as I’d like.

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