Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting Excited About Christmas?

Christmas is in five days and I still have the majority of my Christmas shopping to do. I'm poor, so I'm only buying my immediate family presents this year, and I'm getting them from thrift stores. My sisters and I all have an appreciation for the odd, unique, generally old things you can find, but the rest of my family won't be so easy. My mom prefers gaudy, new things a la model homes - that kind of gaudy. Everyone else isn't as picky and may not love what I get them, but will deal.

As picky as my mother is about what she wants, she's just as picky about giving us what she thinks we should want. For example, I need new clothes. The last time I went shopping was in September, I bought a (third) pair of black skinny pants, two plaid shirts and a red dress. With the exception of that dress (that I've only worn once) that became my fall uniform. Since winter has arrived I've modified it slightly by wearing tights under my pants and t-shirts under my button-downs. I keep it basic because I can't afford to dress better. My mother hates this, she's always telling me that I need to get some nice "slacks" and to let her know if I'd like anything from Talbot's, Chadwick's, Bowden, etc.

This summer she told me to email her some dresses I'd like, and she'd get me a couple. I sent the email, everything was around $50. She didn't like any of them and in return sent me links to dresses she thought I would like. They were terrible. And I didn't end up with any new dresses. THANKS, MOM!

So, the other day she and my dad were in Richmond and we were all at my sister's house, and when my mom goes to hug me, she very conspicuously looks at my shirt tag, and then makes this face. The corners of her mouth curve up and inward and she squints her eyes, it's terrible, but it's her "I'm up to something face"- because she hadn't already given herself away. I had been warned that my mom was planning on buying me a coral sweater set, so I told her very plainly not to. I would not wear it.

Last year I asked for an oversized, black, merino wool sweater. I got a black Merona (the Target brand) sweater instead. Not the same thing, but at least she tried.

I don't ask for a lot, but I am very specific about what I want. And as my mother has learned, and demonstrated this summer with the dresses, if it's not what I asked for, I would rather go without.

My sister April is smarter about her responses to "What do you want for Christmas?" She asks for practical gifts with very little specifications. This year she told me mom that she wanted a toaster, no particular brand, no specific color or size, just a toaster. Well my mom decided to get an expensive one, since it was all April had asked for. Then this conversation happened:

Mom: What else do you want? Something big? (Big, i.e. more valuable than a toaster)
April: Something that I can use the internet on...
Mom: ...
April: Like a netbook?
Mom: I was thinking a gym membership...

1. April has a gym membership.
2. My mom can be such a bitch.
3. April can fit into her pre-pregnancy clothes.
4. Could my mom be any more passive aggressive?

My mom thinks April is fat, and that I dress terribly. Ohdeargod, Christmas is going to be so much fun.

The presents that I have bought so far aren't great, I've definitely done better (with more money) in the past, but I'm doing my best to be inspired. And as cheesy as that may be I think I'm doing alright so far.

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