Okay, I have to vent a little about this, and god knows I’m not going to say word one to her about it - there’s no point.
Don’t think I’m just still disappointed about my Christmas gifts two weeks later - it’s more than that. It’s systemic.
I mean, I was a bit disappointed, although I did my level best not to show it.
My “main” gifts from her were gift cards. After I told her quite plainly what I thought about giving gift cards to family members with whom you’d actually be with on Christmas morning: When I told her I still had to find something for my brother-in-law, a week before the day, she suggested a gift card, and I told her that for me the ritual of gift giving was about taking the time to show your family & friends that you know them a little, and a gift card says “You’re not important enough to me to bother shopping for.”
Anyway, she gave me a gift card for a book store, which is okay - I used it to buy one of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter novels. I would rather have unwrapped the book, though - I’d told her several times that I was interested in reading them. Or hell, something else - my bookshelf is right there, she can make some inferences about my tastes.
She also gave me a gift card for the game store. This, I’m less thrilled with - partly
because it’s for an amount that’s exactly half the value of the card she knew I gave to my assistant at work, but mainly because it’s approximately half the value of a game. She gave me a geek subsidy.
Anyway, she said she took my comments about gift cards to heart, and so went out to pick out something more personal.
She bought me a facial moisturizing kit. As she has frequently pointed out, I have oily skin; my skin does not in any way cry out to be moisturized. The moisturizing products are also perfumed, and she knows I don’t like scented products. But, I’m obliged to use it (she keeps nagging me to,) and so I have spent a certain amount of time annoyed by my own stinking face - and developed some minor acne. Joy.
She also bought me a bathrobe. She bought me a bathrobe that resembles the bathrobe I already had in every way, except that the new bathrobe is absurdly, ridiculously too large for me. If I stand with my arms at my sides, the sleeves extend a full eight inches past the tips of my fingers. (Yes, the arms are actually a foot too long.) The hem drags on the floor, and the pockets are placed like kneepads. …and I have to wear it. “You can have it altered,” she says. In the meantime, I have to wear it because she’s hurt if I don’t. So right now, I’ve got the sleeves pushed up onto my shoulders, so that I can drink my coffee and type. If I don’t push them all the way up onto my shoulders, the fall back down any time I try to do anything, (like brush my teeth or make coffee,) and I frequently end up with a foot of extra material there that is draggy and soggy. Oh, and the hem gets wet on the floor after a shower if I’m not careful, too. Awesome. After I pay to have it altered, it will be… more or less as good as my old robe, only with pockets on my knees.
She complains that I’m “picky” and “hard to shop for” when it comes to clothes, I don’t think I’m picky or hard to shop for at all - in fact I’ve told her what I like, and it should be obvious from looking at the clothes that I wear. Really, the only thing that I pay attention to when buying a shirt is wear the breast pocket - as long as it is placed high enough (or absent) a “small” shirt can generally be altered to fit me.
It’s true that I don’t often wear clothes that she’s given me, but then I am usually completely baffled by her choices. I’m nearly forty, and my wardrobe is made up of dress shirts & pants, plus jeans & solid tees. (I have one graphic tee, a fading Scanner Darkly crew shirt that is a treasured gift from a Doper.) The clothes she picks out for me are suited for someone I don’t know: somebody who can’t make up their mind whether they are a trailer park Rock & Roll warrior, or a wannabee gang-banger hippity-hoppy cheeseball, and definitely someone with gender issues.
Silver latex print screaming skulls, with “DEATH CHEATER” in elaborate cursive script. Black longsleeve, collarless “rock shirts,” with raised text of party slogans all over it, as if Dr. Bonner was a metal-head. Pink & grey with a print of a 80s style graphic of a long-legged woman posing with an electric guitar, declaring me to be a “GLAM DIVA!!” This sort of thing - you know - totally me. Oh, yeah, I never wore the scarf she bought for me. The one she bought for me at the plus-sized ladieswear store-- tassled, with pink and burgundy accents, and long enough to hang down past my knees. I’m picky about clothes.
God knows I tried to make it easy for her. “Gee,” I said, “I really need some new jeans. I’d like to get down to American Eagle sometime, they have great jeans.” "“Gosh, I really need new pants for the office.” “It’s time for new socks!” What could be easier?
This wouldn’t bother me at all – if she didn’t need constant assurances that I’m happy with her gifts. Still. “Just ‘happy?’ Not more than that?”