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.
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.