Yankee swap! You don't like your Secret Santa gift? Steal someone else's, or take the risk and open one sitting under the tree: maybe it's good--like an ipod, or maybe it's bunk--like homemade oven mits. It's "Yankee Swap," and Office Manager Michael Scott's ruse ruins Jim's present to Pam: a lime-green teapot replete with Jim & Pam memorabilia and trinkets stuffed inside, amongst the whole host of which are Jim's geeky yearbook picture, a candy wrapper, and a card. Alas, thanks to "Yankee swap," no one is able to give their creative, unique gift to the person chosen for them, and instead of the teapot, Pam takes the $400 ipod (purchased by Michael for Ryan the temp, in an effort to prove his Christmas caliber, exceeding the office standard by only $390.00). Ugh, Michael!
We watched this re-run the other night, and I've always wondered what special words Jim wrote to Pam in the card.... Remember at this point, Pam is still dating the clueless Roy, and Jim and Pam are just friends.
If you have watched the Office over the years, you know that after Michael's "Yankee swap" fiasco, Dwight gets the teapot, and touches the spout to his nostrils in front of Jim in a private lesson showing a "good procedure" to clean one's nasal cavity during the flu season. Disgusted and defeated at the sight of this defilement, Jim slumps his shoulders and saunters away. Dragging his feet, he strolls over to his good friend Pam to make one last jab at hope: perhaps Pam will give up the exquisite ipod for the hapless teapot, and Jim will gain the advantage in showing is affection for her.
To his delight, she has chosen the teapot! "Besides," Pam says with a toss of the head, "Roy says he was going to get me an ipod for Christmas anyway." Yet, one by one, as she pulls out the jewels from within this little, green belly, Pam is thrilled to see all the trinkets, collectibles, and remembrances concealed therein. It's a winner! However, at the same time, we see sly Jim take the unopened card and slip it into his back pocket. Stealth. Perhaps there's too much in there for "mere friends." I wonder what it may have said. I pondered this on my pillow the other night, and decided to write it down. Here it is...
With this teapot, may you enjoy
its refreshing repose
on wintery bluffs
or crisp Autumn eves,
and on cool Spring mornings
that still hold fast
to the cold, dying grasp of Winter's chill.(1)
But in Summer, on those perpetual days
of light and balmy nights
may it rest in its place
awaiting the proper time
...as a reminder
And perhaps I too, shall share
a cup of tea...
1. This line from Grima Wormtongue in his poetic longing for Eowen, niece of King Theoden, ruler of the Riddle Mark in Middle Earth.