Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Post In Which I Become An Ungrateful Whiner

I grew up dirt poor, and as such, am usually quite grateful for any gift I receive. I never expect anyone to go out and spend their hard earned cash me, and I generally appreciate it when someone actually does. I also love to give gifts. Birthdays, holidays, any occasion at all. I just enjoy giving happiness to others through my carefully selected gifts. See, I'm the kind of person who will really think about the person I'm buying a gift for: their likes, dislikes, personal style, that sort of thing. I try to buy the most thoughtful gift I can on my limited budget, and most people really appreciate the effort. I do this by carefully paying attention to what others say that they need/want and file that information away for later. I also pay attention to the style and decor of my friend's and family's homes, so that I don't buy something they would never use. It's not always easy, but I do my best.

So, considering how much thought and effort I put into selecting gifts for my family and friends, it boggles my mind when they cannot do the same in turn. It's not that I'm hard to buy for, I'm not. I'm a Wal-Mart kind of gal, so I'm extremely low-maintenance, and I don't think that gift cards are chintzy gifts to give. I really do like 95% of the gifts I receive, I promise!

However, the gifts that came (belatedly) in the mail yesterday from my brother-in-law and his wife were not exactly what my husband or I expected. It looks as though we received some random gifts that you would give to someone you don't know well, or hell, I don't know, maybe they thought the gifts were cool. We received: 2 "squishy" small bolster pillows with this soft, fuzzy cover (which are quite comfortable), a 7 in 1 game set that still had the $6.99 price tag on it, a tango themed cutlery set from Buenos Aries (from their South American trip last year), a book light (which I actually liked a lot, since I'm a voracious reader), a ceramic, painted mask (which I hate-masks creep me out, and it looked like it came from the dollar store), and some chocolate Euro-coin shaped candies (which are over a year old-from their trip to Europe last year). It's almost like they looked around their house, found some random stuff from their travels, plus a couple of quickly purchased gifts and shipped them off. I know, I know...I'm being an ungrateful bitch. But this is the millionth time I have taken MONTHS to carefully select and purchase their gifts, while spending more than I should, only to be burned in return. And it's not like they are poor, or struggling. My brother-in-law's salary is three times than what Jake and I make together in a year's time, and he owns several properties, while we only rent a duplex. I know it's supposed to be the thought that counts, but that's just it....I thought about their gifts, and they thought nothing about ours. I think it hurt my hubby's feelings, and he said to me "I told you not to spend money on them!". Jake had me order a custom made hoodie for he and his brother with their last names on them, because he thought it was really cool, and it is. So, for his brother to be so thoughtless stings a bit.

The other thing that annoyed me was that once again, for the millionth time, they misspelled my name. My name is spelled N-A-T-A-L-E-E, not I-E, which I know is the customary spelling, but that's not how my mother chose to spell it. I have been with my husband for over 10 years. In that time, I have sent countless cards and packages with my name spelled properly to my BIL and his wife. You'd think, in all that time, at some point, that they'd notice how my name is spelled. I've even teased it my BIL about it. I mean come on! I'm thinking of deliberately misspelling their names from now on, until they get the hint. Although knowing them, they won't.

Please don't think I don't love my in-laws, I do. Well, to be more honest, I love my BIL like he's my own brother, but my SIL? Eh....she's nice and all, but she gets on my nerves. She's a likeable gal, but do I love her? Not so much. Despite that, because she is married to my beloved BIL, I treat her with the utmost kindness and respect, and spend just as equally on her as I do for him. It's not her fault that she grates on my nerves, that's just her personality, and I'm not going to penalize her for it.

Ok, enough bitching and whining for now. Trust me, this is the only place where I'll be expressing this opinion. I would never say anything to them directly, or to any other family member about it, so as not to hurt their feelings. But damn it, I just had to express it somewhere, and since this is my blog, and no one in my family knows about it, this is where I'll say it! And um, seeing as how no one at all really reads my blog, I'm thinking I'm safe, no?

Well, here's hoping your Christmas was merrier than mine!


erinberry said...

I got a bizarre mish-mash gift like that for our wedding, from a friend. It looked like he cleaned out his junk drawer from home. Seriously, there were small used tools, pieces of candy, and other random crap. It was bizarre.

Kellie said...


I read your blog :) But I'm not family.

I so know what you mean about people getting you stuff that is so utterly bizarre. I got this cat teakettle from my MIL. Now she knows we like cats (we have 3), but this is just an ugly, bizarre piece of pottery.