While everyone else is busy reading this year-end top-10 list and that year-end top-10 list, I’m dishing with my friends about all those inappropriate holiday gifts we got from our parents and in-laws! While God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, (don’t worry gentlemen, rest! We women will take care of handling all things holiday. FYI we’d be merry too if we were resting!) I like to dish the dirt with my girls (and a few boys). Now, although my friends and I have performed this ritual for many years now, I’ve been reluctant to actually put any of it into print because, simply put, I fear the wrath of my mother. However, this year is just too priceless and I have to share! (By the way, if I go missing look for my remains in Hackensack near the jail—my mother knows all the back roads around there.) Okay, here goes.
Does something happen to our parents once they reach a certain age? For the past few holidays, my mother has surrendered getting books and dress shirts for my husband and has opted for more, je nais se quoi, intimate gifts like socks and under-shirts. This year as Jim sat upon her quilted couch unwrapping his gift I could see his face begin to pale and a cold nervous sweat begin to bead his forehead.
“What is it hon?” I queried. “Show us.”
Reluctantly, he pulled a package of underwear from the thin cardboard of the decorated dollar store box. Not just any package of underwear, but tiny briefs. Size small. (Jim is 6’4”.) Now this is bad enough, but when I got home and took them out of the bag they had no opening that briefs are supposed to have, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. The stitching on the front alluded to an opening, but it was just decorative, like crown molding around your ceiling. Based on this gift, I’ve come to the conclusion that my mother thinks that my husband is either a) a Ken doll or, b) ball-less. Considering he said “Thank you so much, Mom!” and kissed her, I’m inclined to go with “b”.
However, it is a step up from last year when she re-gifted a gift my brother’s girlfriend gave to her and, forgetting who gave it to her, wrapped it and gave it back to said girlfriend. (P.S. said girlfriend was not around this year. I’m just saying.)
But stories abound, dear friends, that are better than mine. One friend told me that her mother-in-law sent her an X-rated Christmas card. She didn’t realize it was X-rated until she gave the envelope to her eight-year old to open. After all, it was from “Nana!” It wasn’t until she saw the porno snowman that she fell over herself ripping it out of her daughter’s hand. Let’s just say this snowman had a carrot, but it wasn’t on his nose. Also included with the porno card was a bag of water balloons because, as my friend says, “Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without water balloons!?!” My friend didn’t know if her mother-in-law intended her to fill the balloons and throw them at passer-bys, or fill them and wear them under her sweater.
Then there’s my friend whose mother-in-law knitted her “His” and “Hers” potholders. It wasn’t until she removed them from the box and held them up for her family to see and take pictures of that she realized they were anatomically correct “His” and “Hers.” M-I-L even knitted little fig-leaf flaps. Very considerate.
Then there’s my man friend whose mother-in-law got him the DVD of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” He’s Jewish.
Another friend who has six children, got a package of condoms from her mother-in-law. Along with a flannel nightgown and Dr. Scholl’s Foot Soak. Meahwhile, her mother gave her lingerie from Victoria’s Secret that resembles a French maid uniform along with Isotoner slippers and scratch-off lottery tickets. She thinks there’s a message in there somewhere, but it hurts her brain to think about it.
Sharing all of these stories, I just hope I never do this to my kids or their significant others when I get older. Then again, one has to get their kicks somehow, right? And I suppose we all reach that point where we really don’t care what people think about what we say or do. And being passive-aggressive can be so much fun as long as you’re the one passing the aggression. So I guess I should never say never. Because you just never know.