May 8, 2005

Giving Thanks

An object can only achieve its meaning by being exchanged.

Allan McCollum

Thanks by Allan McCollum

THANKS by Allan McCollum

You can never compliment the mother of your children enough. Dinners made, fannies wiped, tears softened —the list is endless. And so for my wife, the mother of my two little ones, I have found the perfect Mother’s Day gift: Allan McCollum’s THANKS Visible Markers.

These are a great way to actively demonstrate my appreciation for the often invisible, but major things Mom does for all of us. Family acts of kindness are easily camouflaged in the buzz of daily life. Now I can express my feelings in an active exchange. Whenever I note her contribution I will hand her one of these to “mark” my thanks. Its meaning will resonate longer than the verbal equivalent which often is inconspicuously wedged between “this and that.”

My children wanted to use these in the way they know markers: as felt tipped pens. They were disappointed when they didn’t leave their distinctive marks. Oh, but they do, my little ones! These weighted polyresin “Twinkies” are to be handed to mom 24/7 (since she is on call at all hours) to remind all of us of her important contribution to our family bliss.

I spotted these at the New Museum’s shop on a business trip to New York last week (they can be bought online at At first I thought I’d found the perfect travel gift (I always like to bring home something for everyone). And I couldn’t wait to get home. But then I realized the significance of holding off a week to give them to Susie on this particular day.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom!

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