I’m not a particularly good gift giver.
A couple of years ago, I noticed that my family was merely FEIGNING delight at the gifts I was thoughtfully bestowing upon them at Christmas. Now, maybe it’s because I shopped on Christmas Eve at 11PM at Walgreens and bought my brother, Uncle Aunt Becky, who is ten years my senior and a raging yuppie this gem:
(he’s not a mother)
and my father a pair of these:
(he doesn’t have pierced ears)
And everyone else cans of mixed nuts (2 for $6!) or discounted boxes of birthday cards OR sympathy cards that had been beaten up so badly that I had to tape the sides shut so their contents didn’t spill out onto the floor. I mean, EVERYONE likes cards and nuts…right?
So. I started ASKING people what they wanted for Christmas rather than trying to guess the night before at a crappy pharmacy chain while strung out on too many cups of coffee. It’s a lot MORE boring and LESS (motherfucking) jolly that way.
If you’ve read my blog or my The Twitter stream you know that I’m a little, uh, well obsessive about my habits.
I’m compulsive, okay? It’s charming, really, if you like people who will stay up all night for weeks on end learning about something new because they have no other choice. It’s like an itch in my brain that I have to scratch because I simply can’t ignore it. It’s always there, tapping at the side of my skull until I give in and just DO IT.
I’d make an excellent alcoholic, if only I actually liked to drink. Alas, I do not.
I also grow orchids. In Chicago. In the dead of winter.
That’s my kitchen table, by the by. Most of those orchids were bought as tiny wee babies and lovingly grown by Your Aunt Becky to the monsters that they are. They’re also blooming out of season right now which makes me BEYOND happy in the pants but that is neither here nor there.
On my mother’s birthday in September, I happened to be in Lowe’s Hardware store buying something or another to combat the black spot on my roses when I happened to walk by their orchid table. Normally, Lowe’s orchids suck. Their grower is terrible. I know this because I am obsessive and have nursed orchids I’ve bought from there back to health.
But this was a NEW grower. And it was my mother’s birthday. And she is singularly the WORST person to buy for. She has everything and wants nothing. She hates crap.
So I was all, I SHOULD BUY HER AN ORCHID, BWAHAHAHAHA, SHE’LL NEVER WANT THAT BUT IT’S BETTER THAN THE FUCK-NOTHING I HAVE FOR HER.
And I did.
And she loves it.
So for Christmas, I was all, “Okay Mom, what the fuck do you want, because you suck to buy for and I don’t even want to GUESS what you want.”
And she was all, “I want another motherfucking orchid, yo.”
Except maybe we didn’t use those words. Except maybe we did. You never know in my family.
On Sunday, I was all, “Hey Dana, Imma get my Mom an orchid at Lowe’s. It’s gonna be wicked. Wanna go?”
She was all, “SURE.”
So we went. Because when you need an orchid, you need an orchid.
First things first, we saw this gem and I HAD to buy it.
The ugliest wreath on the planet.
Then we headed to the orchids. I didn’t immediately see anything besides poinsettias (UGH) in the plant area, which made me a little nervous. My heart rate quickened as I frantically combed the shelves. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
Until I saw the, “these are the plants we don’t care about and are selling for a dollar” area. THAT’S where they were hiding the orchids.
Dana took a look at them and said, “Uh, Becky, those look dead.”
I responded, “Um, they’re not dead. Just not blooming.” Which does not a Christmas gift make. Luckily, they’re just fine with me. I bought four. For a dollar. That’s BEYOND a deal. I went home and Mr. Burns-like cackled over my deal.
I’m still sadly out a Christmas gift for my mother. Maybe I can just frame one of my epic soul portraits for her in a couple of weeks.
BETTER YET, I could get one made for her. I bet she’d LOVE it. Or disown me.
Let’s do another blog carnival, yo because that was fun as hell (I’m going to neglect my baking to read it all later). I put another link widget below. Or you can answer in the comments if you want. Or not at all.
Are you a good gift-giver – holidays or not? OR MAYBE: what’s the worst gift you’ve ever gotten?