How tacky is it to complain about a gift?
Very, very tacky. I am being tacky here. I know it. I own it. I am ashamed, but not ashamed enought to shut up.
And this isn't even a gift for sure. This is a possibility. This is me using Occam's Razor to come to a conclusion.
1. Doris insists on exchanging gifts, even though we have (Primo has) implored her not to. We don't need more crap and she never heeds our desires for things like theater tickets or a renewal of our subscription to Cooks Illustrated.
2. Doris has very bad taste. Previous gifts have included the hummingbird-painted cheap Chinese stacking tables, the hand-painted vase with butterflies and purple flowers, and the cast-iron cat. None of them returnable for cash. All of them exchangeable for equally odious goods.
3. Doris pesters Primo in the weeks before my birthday by sending him link after link to items he knows - even without asking me - that I would never want in a million years. I know there are women who cherish shirts with lots of different colors and designs and sequins on them, but I am not one of those women. I know there are women who like vases hand-painted with butterflies and purple flowers ($68). I am not one of them. I know there are women who like cast-iron cats. I am not one of them.
Nor do I want to weird scarf from the National Geographic society or the funky sweater from the Metropolitan Museum gift store. I want to buy my own clothes. I no longer do third-world chic: I stopped that after the Peace Corps.
4. Primo has made gentle suggestions that what I would really like is tickets to see the Johnny Cash musical next spring or that Julia Child cookbook Doris has that she has never used and even told me I could have.
5. Doris ignores all suggestions.
6. I got a pamphlet for Heifer International in the mail today. Years and years ago, in a moment of misguided do-gooderness, I made donations in my family's name to this organization for Christmas. This was over 20 years ago. I have moved many times since then and I have come to see the annoying smugness involved in donating to charity in someone else's name AS A GIFT.
7. I have spent the past three years getting us (mostly Primo) off junk mail lists. Our junk mail is next to nothing. Then, out of the blue, this pamphlet.
8. My birthday, she approaches. I suspect that Doris made a donation in my name because she couldn't think of anything else to do that didn't involve giving me nothing (which is what I really want) or what Primo has told her I want (which is my second choice - but really, I just want to stop the madness completely).
What do you think?