Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mistaken gifts

The gifts given by those who are obligated to love us, even when they don't know us, are almost always the worst.

I was once in a relationship with a very nice man who had a very nice family. His extended family really cared about me and did their best but, boy, there were some challenging moments.

At Christmas there were usually moments like this:

I'd open a beautifully wrapped small box and find a brooch (or bracelet or necklace) inside. All well and good, you might think, but the brooch (or bracelet or necklace) was invariably well beyond the boundaries of good taste. Covered in rhinestones (and not in any kind of ironic way), festooned with cats with faux emerald eyes, dangling little metal dice, something... it was always absolutely hideous.

The relative in question would look at me, beaming, wearing her own version of the same jewelry and would ask, "Do you like it? I loved it so much I just had to get one for you!"

And I would remind myself not to look at the very nice man I was dating, knowing I would burst out laughing if I did, and tell the relative that it was lovely, thoughtful, considerate. Two out of three isn't bad.

The worst gift, however, came in our second Christmas together. One of the loving relatives was very excited, she said she'd found the perfect gift, ideal for a young lady, something she knew I would love. I opened the package with great trepidation and had to take a deep breath, tears coming to my eyes as I struggled not to laugh at the perfume bottle nestled in satin.

I know this family loved me. And I know she just didn't put two and two together when she gave me, her nephew's girlfriend, this particular perfume.

It was called "Tramp."

(c) 2009 Laura Packer

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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