Because a Gift Card Would Limit the Humiliation


I am not exactly looking forward to christmas this year. Everyone assumes it’s because I’m not going home to visit the folks. That so incredibly is not it. You see, my parents got divorced when I was in college, and every time I go back it is a constant tug-of-war on whom I spend time with, to the point that I get called by one parent when I’m with the other. They actually count the hours spent, and I end up exhausted and frustrated. My husband thought I was joking until he came with me once.

Nor is it that I am not visiting my husband’s folks. When we went there one year, all we did was watch about 12 hours of the Home Improvement channel. Straight. Then his mother insisted we try out the new hot tub. But I didn’t bring a bathing suit. So…she “let” me borrow one of hers.* Which was about 6 inches too short and 15 inches too wide. So I simultaneously had a wedgie and was afraid my boobs would float to the surface. I could have died.

No, this year I’m not looking forward to christmas because of a box under the tree. A box, for me, from my mother in law. You see, my husband didn’t send my mother in law my christmas list in time. (I know, I know, first world problem, right?) But the only other time I didn’t have a list ready, she bought me a six pack of Victoria Secret’s sexy thongs. She talked about how she tried to get the sexiest ones with a stretchable crotch. Then she proceeded to parade them in front of the entire family. Eeeew. She bought my husband, her own son, superman boxers with the S symbol right over the junk. Am I the only person that finds that incredibly wrong?! I swear her goal was to make sure we never wanted to have sex again.

The only thing that has topped it is my own sister’s gift a few years ago. Well, every year, actually. One year I got a belt. A rubber belt with a non adjustable car seat buckle. I mean, that could be cool, but I was a size 8 and she gave me an extra large, 48 inch waist belt. WTF? So no, I’m not her skinny, I-eat-nothing size 2, but really? That’s your impression of my size? I got a coffee press one year (I’m allergic) and a broken wine stand another with a $3 clearance sticker on it. All non-refundable. No gift receipts.

Of course, I believe in saying thank you. My parents taught me the importance of that. If someone spent money and effort, you should respect that. But feigning enthusiasm for a gift that says “you’re a fat ass” really sucks up the last of my holiday cheer. My replacement? Holiday booze. I’ll get nice and sloppy drunk and THEN call them.

All joking aside, I do feel lucky that I have in-laws that at least try to include me in a sincere way. I’ve seen the half-assed treatment some friends get from their spouses family, and some of the fucked up stuff I deal with is a walk in the park in comparison. In the end, we’ll see how I do…

*and by let, I mean she nagged me in a Catholic Mother/Martyr voice that raised in octave and level at every refusal until the crystal in the dining room shattered and I finally caved.

14 thoughts on “Because a Gift Card Would Limit the Humiliation

  1. The part about your mother in law showing off the thongs seems almost surreal… I suppose all children find their parents embarrassing sometimes, but that would embarrass almost anyone, including other parents…
    I like your drawings 🙂

    • Snick, snicker. I’ve been throwing all my inappropriate gift ideas at my sister-in-law instead. Every year we’re giving her a new and totally tacky piece of kitchenware in the shape of an animal.

  2. Once as a kid I thought that falling asleep during opening presents time @ the grandparents may be a good strategy to avoid opening presents I would have to force a smile over. Apparently I was a selfish asshole (but in a way, my intention was to not make them feel bad b/c I was bad at faking smiles so I was tryign to be nice).

  3. Even a slightly off kilter family is better than none, I think. Besides, all our families are just a little off. All the weird people in the world are kin to someone.

    Nice to meet your blog

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