Well my birthday is coming up. Soon I will officially enter my thirties (being thirty doesn’t mean you are ‘in your thirties’) and the carefree party girl life I had will be over. Not that I ever was much of a party girl (It is not me in those pictures!) and since I have two kids I wouldn’t call my life ‘carefree’ either.
But anyhow. Soon it will be my birthday. And with birthday come gifts. Lot’s and lot’s of gifts. But getting or giving gifts is dangerous territory. A gift which does not please is a real party pooper. And no-one wants to poop a party.
So I made it easy for everyone this year: here is what not to get me:
This was the absolute worst gift I was ever given. Ever!
It happened at Christmas when I was a bright little 15 year-old. The tree was laden with mismatched Christmas decorations. Since my father was in his religious music-phase there was a choir of Russion monks singing in the background. We- being the polite creatures that we were, did not comment on the fact that an obsession for religious music was a bit strange in a man as determindly heathen as my father. Everybody had had their first glass of champagne and the first round of presents was about to begin.
Face it, when you are 15 and you are forced into a family Christmas charade you do this with all the goodwill of a turkey being led to the slaughterhouse the day before Thanksgiving. Presents are the only reason you are there at all and the only reason you will bring your surly self to converse on a polite level with your many aunties and uncles.
The first gift of the evening was destined for me – my family knew from experience (I was the youngest grandchild) that teenagers need a quick fix to appease them in the beginning of the evening and a promise of more wrapping-paper-tearing to get them through the the festivities - and the giver was my grandmother. And being my grandmother she gave me this:
Sloggi. The granny pants edition.
I remember the tension in the room mounting as everyone saw what the gift was, hearts where clutched, knuckles thightend on champange flutes as the bright old-lady voice of my grandmother said“These are really good quality and will last you years and years, also they are good for when you have your period since they are so big, they will not get into your ass like some others do.”
Underwear that doesn’t creep up the ass, every 15 year-old girls dream.
Now I’m sure you have all mentally prepared yourself for the description of the worst teenage meltdown in history and I am deeply sorry to have to dissapoint you. I looked up and saw my grandmothers blue eyes – mirrors of my own – look at me with twinkling lights in them and smiled :”Thank you so very much, these will come in super-handy!”.
Everybody drew a breath and another bottle of champagne was opened. And for the first time my life I was offered a refill.
This episode left me with a deep neurosis about buying my own underwear. I will start to tremble uncontrollably when someone suggest that they’ll get me underwear. The mere thought of opening a gift which may or may not contain underwear that hasn’t been handpicked by me is enough to send me all the way to planet wacko and back in the blink of an eye. Lucky for me my husband wouldn’t dream of getting me underwear. Thinking about buying me underwear sends HIM to planet wacko and it is hard to get him to come off.
I’m pretty sure that there are support groups for my condition. But as it is I prefer not to deal with it.
As for the rest of the whole birthday gift spectrum, knock yourself out. I really don’t care if the weedwhacker I once got for my birthday is actually more of a “family” – utility tool and thus not an item celebrating the greatness of MOI. We needed a weedwhacker and actually I really enjoy that thing. Yes I do! I pretend that the weeds are the heads of idiotic family members or other people who annoy me greatly. It is a really great way to relieve stress and keep the garden clean in one whole destructive swing.
I’m not a difficult person, anything you may think I might find usefull is good. Why? Because if you by me an item that I had to buy anyway I actually save money. Money that can be spend on things I do like. So yeah, by all means buy me that new pan, I have my eye on a cute pair of wedges…