Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ch 7 Sly and Doris hit the trifecta of awful gifts

Christmas morning, there is no sleeping late, even though Primo and I did not get back to the house until 2:00 a.m., because Sly and Doris get up at 7:00 a.m. and if they are up, everyone is up. Why should they try to be quiet? Why should they not watch TV? It is their house!

We open gifts after breakfast, a meal of which I partake greatly, eating more than I would usually eat, even though it is not even good food and I hate eating until I feel stuffed, because I know we won’t be eating again for hours and hours and hours.

What IS it with these people? How do they make it from breakfast to 4:00 p.m. without eating? Is there something wrong with me that I can’t do that?

Primo: Mom, these are the same kind of knives Goldie uses at home. I got a set for myself, too. They are really nice. Cooks Illustrated gave them a really high rating. We noticed that you are using some really old knives. I want you to have something new and nice. It’s not safe for you to be using those old, dull knives.

Doris: These are very nice!

A sharp knife is essential for cutting birthday cake. And yes, I made both the jumpsuit and the blouse. Do you like the piping at the cuff? And the D-ring for the belt? I had mad sewing skills. I made almost all of my own clothes. My mom made the cake.

 Sly: We don’t need new knives.

Primo: Dad. You do. The knives you have are dangerous. I do not want Mom to cut off her finger.

Me: They’re dull, and a dull knife is a dangerous knife. Doris, I love these knives. They make all the difference in the world. They are really nice to work with. I think you’ll like them.

She looks at Sly and when he isn’t looking, sneaks a smile at me.

Ha. I win.

Doris hands a flat, smallish box to Primo. Maybe a gift certificate to Williams Sonoma! A cash equivalent so he can get something he wants for a change. No, my mother did not raise me that way, so don’t go blaming her for my tackiness.

It contains a framed 8x10 color photo.

Of Sly and Doris. Grim and glaring at the camera.

Primo: I don’t know what to say.

Well, who would?

Interpreting Primo’s stunned almost silence as hesitance to express a negative opinion about the quality of the frame, Doris hands a second frame to him.

Doris: Here's another frame if you don't like that one.

Primo: Which one do you like, honey?

Me: Oh, you pick.

Primo: No, you!

Me: You should decide. It’s going to be in your apartment. My opinion is not relevant.

Primo: Oh come on. Which frame looks better? The dark one or the light one?

Me: Fine. The dark one.

That's it? That's his Christmas present? After he has spent his vacation time cleaning their garage and cat box?

No! Of course that
isn’t all!

With both hands, Doris reaches under the tree, lifts a box slowly and carefully, and passes it to Primo. This one is the size of a shoebox.

My heart jumps in my chest. Shoes! She does get me! We do have a connection! Shoes!

Maybe they are expensive shoes. I’ve never had really expensive shoes. I’ve never spent more than $150 on a pair of new shoes[1] and that was for a pair of black leather boots that I planned to wear for at least five years. But I have coveted the expensive shoes I see online. Yes, I am a shoe coveter.

Clearly, I am not thinking. What should be going through my mind after the initial joyous thought of “Shoes!” should be, Idiot! Nobody buys shoes for another person unless she is with that person so she can try them on. Size 8 is not universal. There is no such thing as universality in women’s clothing and shoe sizes, which is one of the reasons we love purses most of all. They always fit.

I’m not thinking. I am wondering why it seems heavy, heavier than shoes should be.

Tell me these shoes are not fabulous.
Wait. Why is she giving the box to Primo?


Because it’s for him.

He opens it.

It’s a cast-iron cat.

Let me repeat that in case you don’t believe me.

It. Is. A. Cast. Iron. Cat.

Doris: Primo loves cats.

Point Doris. Primo does love cats.

She hands a box to me. It’s small and light.

Probably not shoes.

I open it.

And – my own stupid fault.

Because I refused to provide a list this year, not wanting to seem like a greedy pig, Doris struck out on her own and got me a vase hand-painted with blue asters and purple butterflies.

Believe me when I tell you there is nothing like that in my house.

[1] Not that I don’t value nice shoes. I get used Ferragamos on eBay. I like nice Italian leather shoes. I just don’t want to pay $500 for them.  

1 comment:

  1. GREAT piping on the cuffs! Truly, you did have mad skills.