Saturday, December 27, 2008

Interrupting the daily uncertainty for important information - WTF?

Yes, I would like to discuss the WTF-ness of some of my Christmas gifts.

Allow me to begin by saying clearly - I am grateful for the gifts I received. I am thankful that people took the time and effort and expense to get me anything, especially in this economy. It is generous of people (especially people like my in-laws who don't particularly like me) to give me a gift.

So, the following in all submitted in a spirit of gratitude. Just remember gratitude doesn't cover up utter confusion.

First, why did we receive three decorative crosses? Ok, well, one was from DH's parents, who have taken to giving those to all the kids each year. But two more? We believe in God, and in Christ, but we are not overly religious. We don't attend church regularly, we don't exhibit many signs of religiousity. We do have a couple of crosses up in our home. But three more? What the bloody hell? I'm just sort of at a loss as to why someone would be sitting around wondering what we would like and that is what they stumbled across, you know?

Second, who the fuck told my in-laws that I liked or did scrapbooking? Because I don't. At all. I think I once said to my husband that it looked interesting and neat. But that shit requires a ton of time, patience and materials that take up space. I already have 5 gazillion failed projects, you dig? Why I would take up another is beyond me. But somehow (dh cagily admits he may or may not have once mentioned that I was interested) they have decided that I am totally into scrapbooking, so most my gifts from my mother in law center around scrapbooking materials. It's just weird. And annoying, because I don't scrapbook. But I still have all this shit. Oh, and because my MIL is the queen of dollar store specials, it's mostly crap.

*Please note - I am well aware of the number of bargains and fine items that may be purchased at a dollar store. I myself am the proud owner of many a kitchen towel purchased for a mere dollar. But this is really crappy stuff that I probably wouldn't use even if I did scrapbook*

So yeah, I have all this shit and no idea what to do with it. Fortunately, we live far, far away, so I don't have to make scrapbooks to fake interest and use of this shit.

Third, matching pajama pants. I'm doubtful that my size (24-26) can be found in the stores in which my MIL shops. Even if they could . . . matching? For reals?

Fourth, a random gift from my brother. He works in chemical defense in the Army. I am the proud owner of a yellow teddy bear sporting a yellow t-shirt that says chemical defense. I was sort of appalled that I got the random ass teddy bear and my husband got the $50 dvd collection of the first season of Rome. I mean, disparity much? I felt way better when he explained it was infact for both of us and the Star Wars (doll!) figure was just for him. I dig Rome, so getting it is cool. Also - my brother attempted to wrap gifts in something other than the plastic store bags for the first time ever. Awesome. He wrote personalized message on copy paper and stapled it around the gifts. I got a mad lib about the awesome wrapping job, DH got a poem about gift wrapping. It was awesome. The best though, was the plain white envelope to my mother containing a gift card. DH made a crack about not accepting white envelopes from people who work in chemical defense and we all had a good laugh.

Fifth, from my dear husband. He actually did really well this year. But I had found two items of clothing I wanted at a particular store. I bought a pair of gray pants and there were brown pants I wanted as well on sale the day after Thanksgiving. Knowing he has difficulty shopping for me, I insisted he go back with my mother (who was going there anyway) and buy them on sale. Imagine my surprise when I opened up clothes that were completely different than what I'd pointed out as what I wanted. Grayish brown slacks . . . a black maternity shirt? . . . a pale pink maternity hoodie. . . ok, I kept the last one. I tried really hard to be enthusiastic, but instead, he just handed me the receipts in defeat. I bought a set of green sheets on sale instead. I'm enthused about those. I just don't understand why he bought those items unless he utterly forgot what I pointed out.

And finally, the best for last: From my dad.

Ah, a moment to explain about my dad and gifts. My dad does try sometimes, but usually doesn't nail it. For instance, a few years ago he asked what I wanted. I said a black wool peacoat. I told him where he could buy said coat in my size and on sale because I'd been planning on buying it myself (but didn't now). So I was unsurprised to get a big soft package in my lap on Christmas morning. I was, however, horrified to open up the package and not see my beautiful black coat. No, there was the most hideous garment I've seen (though the coat he randomly gave Jason this year is up there). It's a fleece. It's baby shit brown (which is to say, green-brown). It is simply frightening and awful. And he is so pleased with himself for this purchase. It is waterproof after all!

Last year he gave me a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings. Which was more expensive than strictly necessary, very nice because he was trying to match my wedding set of blue and white sapphires. The sapphires were even emerald cut to better match my square cut blue sapphires. I mean, a lot of thought went into it. I was so touched, I have tears in my eyes now thinking about it. It's a shame they are so freaking ugly. Because, dude, they are. Clunky, heavy, not a particularly pleasing pattern or anything. Nothing I would ever, ever wear. In fact, I frequently don't wear earrings, or if I do, they are simple gold balls or hoops that I leave in all the time. Which he would know if he talked more to me. Still, the thought that counts, right?

One final note about my dad's gifts before I tell you what this year is, because I'm fairly certain this year falls into that group. My dad is a well-known bargain hunter. He cannot turn down a good bargain. In fact, I've seen him buy something because it was too good to pass up, only to have no idea what to do with it. That is not to say he's an impulse shopper or anything - he's very careful with money. But it's how I have an extra set of daily use dishes and why my husband has three pocket knives. He tends to buy things and later think of how to distribute them instead of thinking of what a person needs or wants and buying for them.

So what did he get me? Luggage. A four piece luggage set. It's red, because I loved the red purse my step-mom got me last year. It has wheels. It's a name brand, pricey, and as they informed me a million times, has a 10-year warranty. The luggage is actually pretty nice.

I'm just baffled because I already have a perfectly nice luggage set. I've never expressed an interest in or desire for new luggage. I just . . . huh? That is kind of a lot of money to spend on something I don't need at all. I'd have been really happy with a $20 gift card to Border's, you know? I felt bad that all I gave him was mixed nuts, because I always give him mixed nuts and he said three times at Thanksgiving that we shouldn't get him anything. UGH. So I had to fake utter delight at this totally random gift while thinking "How the fuck am I supposed to fit this in the car with everything else?" I think my reaction underwhelmed him. But, uh, luggage? What?

So that was my Christmas. Random. But nice. A good time was had by all, and we had 4 lovely meals. And my BIL taught his 2 year old son to say "Merry Christmas, accident!" when his brother called to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Lovely, really.

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