As some of you may know, my birthday is coming up at the end of the week. Yes, on Friday I will be 28, an age that means absolutely nothing. It’s not a milestone, it’s got no special significance. It’s just another step closer to 30… a foot in the grave, if you will. Kidding.
Everybody gets presents on their birthday, and hopefully I will too, even though 28 is a stupid age and really shouldn’t even be celebrated. I was thinking about this yesterday, and thought of the array of gifts that I’ve gotten over the years. Since I’ve been with my husband, I’ve gotten a lot of really terrible gifts. Not that he’s bad at gift giving, but he’d rather buy me a CD than a pair of earring that I really wanted and talked about for 6 months. He doesn’t catch on to my hints and a lot of times I end up with something I didn’t really want. Which usually results in a traumatic experience for me. For example:
Last year for my birthday he was really sweet and tried to get me a bunny. I’m a fan of rodent-like animals, as you know, and I really wanted a bunny, because we can’t have dogs where we live, and bunnies are quiet and have tiny poop. On a side note, for my birthday every single year, we go to my camp for the weekend, usually because it’s Memorial Day weekend. Last year friends of ours got married, so we needed lots and lots of money for the weekend. So Ryan showed up after work that Thursday with a bunny cage, food, water bottle, a bunny book… everything EXCEPT the bunny. He spent over a hundred bucks on all this shit, and wanted to go pick out the bunny when we returned from camping. I thought it was sweet, but I was secretly mortified. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but when I worked at Target, we didn’t have a whole lot of money to throw around on things like bunnies. And as much as I appreciated this as a gift, I wondered where we were going to get money for our weekend. And maybe it was a horrible thing to do, but I made him take it all back. So needless to say, all I got for my birthday last year was a CBGB t-shirt. And I more than likely gave him a complex about giving me gifts. I really don’t know what to expect this year, because he hasn’t asked me what I want.
Ok, so Ryan doesn’t give me BAD gifts, per se. I think he thinks about what HE would want, and then goes from there. He’d much rather have a CD or video game than a pedicure or a facial or a maternity store shopping spree. And while CDs and video games have a certain element of fun behind them, I have to remind him that I do, indeed, have a vagina. I like girly things. I’m a girly girl. I’m vain. I like clothes and shoes and looking pretty. It’s not too much to ask.
There are people in his family that do give very VERY bad gifts. Before his mom really knew me, all she knew about me was that at one point in my life (like, my senior year in HIGH SCHOOL) I collected anything that had to do with cows. And, to this day, so does she. So she bought me ANYTHING that had cows. Clocks, dish towels, cookie jars, knick knacks, you name it. At first I thought it was cute, but then it NEVER STOPPED. Finally Ryan had to say to her, “mom, I think you’re over doing it with the cows, because I’m about to puke black and white spots.” And I never got another cow. She’s gotten considerably better at giving me gifts as we’ve gotten to know each other. She used to buy me some TERRIBLE clothes. And she still insists on trying to give me clothes of hers that don’t fit her anymore. She’s in her 50’s, I’m 27. She tried to give me several DENIM JUMPERS (one that even had apples embroidered on it) not 2 weeks ago. I wanted to say, “have you ever seen me in a denim jumper? EVER?” And the knick knacks! This is a woman who collects cows, milk glass (which she always tries to push on me) and stuff with Labrador retrievers on it (because they used to have one). You know what I collect? NOTHING. Nor do I need any more knick knacks than I already have, thanks to gifts from people. I like smelly candles and buddas, and that’s about it.
One of the absolute worst gifts I’ve ever gotten was from Ryan’s uncle. Every Christmas he and his wife INSIST on getting us something. Usually every year they give us Nike sweatshirts. So far I’ve gotten a green one, a blue one, and a gray one. I’ve given every single one away to MEN I know. I don’t own Nike shoes, and I’m certainly not going to wear a Nike sweatshirt, because I don’t wear sweatshirts. The only sweatshirt I wear is my blue Old Navy hoodie, and I wear it at camp when it’s damp and I’m drunk, because it covers my head and doesn’t expose my messy hair. Ryan has a matching one because his aunt gave us them for Christmas 3 years ago along with a matching white turtleneck to go under them (another bad gift idea, but I love that hoodie. I threw away the turtleneck). Anyway, back to the WORST GIFT EVER. So this past Christmas, fully expecting perhaps a maroon Nike sweatshirt that I was planning on giving my dad, I opened my gift to find a Ben Roethlisberger rip off unlicensed t-shirt. Yes, I’m from the Pittsburgh area, and yes, I was rooting for the Steelers last year when they were doing really good, but again, I AM A GIRL. I’ve never played a sport in my life, I hate working out, I don’t like sports brand sweatshirts and I certainly don’t like Steelers paraphernalia that I’m NEVER GOING TO WEAR. To make matters worse, they got Ryan a matching one. To make matters worse than that, they bought me an EXTRA LARGE. I could have belted it and worn it as a dress. They got Ryan a double extra large. We are really not that big. Really. I might be that big in a few months, but last Christmas I was still little, normal sized E-Lo. So not only was I horrified that this was even worse than a Nike sweatshirt, I was horrified that they thought I could actually wear an extra large without it looking like a tent.
I’d really rather get nothing at all than get bad gifts.
There are some people who get it right every single time, like my mom. And I can’t say that Ryan’s mom is totally bad at buying gifts, because she bought me my digital video camera, something that cost 500 bucks and I wanted really really bad. And Ryan has bought me every single diamond that I own, including 2 diamond rings, diamond earrings, and a diamond necklace. I told him that the only acceptable gift for after I give birth to his child is the ipod that I’ve desperately wanted for over a year now.
Think he’ll get the hint, or should I twist his arm? Literally, while I’m screaming bloody murder and life is seemingly erupting from my bottom half? Do you think he’ll regret it if he doesn’t get it for me? Cause I can make him…
All that just to get that huge belly bumped out of my way. God, that picture is INSANE!