Thursday, August 8, 2013

In which presents come and we wonder if they could be from -- Satan?

Primo's birthday approaches.

You all know how fraught gift-giving events are with Sly and Doris.

I would rather get nothing at all than get something crummy for which I need to fake gratitude.

Primo is in a tougher position, as Sly and Doris are his parents and will bug him for feedback. Did he like it, did he like it?

I never talk to them, so I just have to write a brief, courteous thank-you note.

Primo's birthday.

Here's what my mom will do: She will send us a check for $100 so we can go out for a nice dinner.

Which we will happily use, as we have a hard time spending that much of our money on a meal. But gift money? That's OK.

We would love another $100 check. There are always concerts and plays and nice dinners that seem too splurgy with our own money but are tailor-made for gift money.

Today, three large envelopes - 11x17" - came in the mail.

Primo waited until I got home from work to open them.

He opened envelope number 1. Slit the letter opener carefully along the edge. Slid out the contents.

An 11x17" photo of a sea turtle.

You guys, I could not make this stuff up if I tried.

An 11x17" photo of a sea turtle. And a certificate of adoption. And a 2013 calendar.

Just what he's always wanted.

He opened the second envelope.

Slid out the contents.

An 11x17" photo of a wolf. And a certificate of adoption. And a 2013 calendar.

But wait there's more.

He opened the third envelope.

An 11x17" photo of a panther. And a certificate of adoption. And a 2013 calendar.

Primo is a new father.

"Why can't your parents just send normal gifts?" I asked. "Why can't they just send a check? Or something you want?"

"We don't know that it's from them," he answered.

"It could be from my mom," I suggested.

Primo rolled his eyes. "Your mom sends us cash. Your sister sends weird stuff, but it's weird stuff she thinks we'll like, like that sampler pack from the bacon place.*"

"Oh right," I said. "It's not like she was trying to impose her beliefs on us. It's not like she sent it to vegetarians."

* It included eight kinds of bacon salt, so we are good on salt for the rest of our lives or at least until we are both on AARP.


  1. On the up side, at least their money went to charity and not some crappy gift that won't get used. I know it's not a $100 check, but it's also not a total waste.

  2. Jennifr is definitely a glass-half-full kind of girl!

    Oh, and congratulations on your growing family. Can't wait to see your Christmas card photo ... actually, that's not such a bad idea. Send it to your mailing list of ... two.


  3. I definitely agree with Jennifer. This gift comes with zero reasons for annoyance (aside from the fact that it isn't a check which it would never be anyway, since gifts from the in-laws seem to be all about control). There is nothing to dust or water, nothing needing any attention at all, and no cleaning out of litter trays is required.

    You have to admire their ingenuity. Happy Birthday Primo!

  4. I am also solidly in the camp of "at least it went to charity." Also, I now want to adopt a Komodo dragon for my birthday.

  5. I'm with the rest of the group in the "at least it went to charity" opinion. All my nephews got those WWF adoptions (I sprung for the stuffed animals) until they started asking for kill-everything-in-the-world video games. However, you and Primo are not children under the age of 10.
    - Long time reader & lurker, first time commenter.