Friday, April 18, 2008

Oh You Shouldn't Have

My husband likes to say I have bad birthday karma. With that comes bad gift karma. After years of hearing him say it and describe past presents I've received I came to believe it too. The list of bad presents from those who probably mean well has been long. Those "french" plates with pink shoes drawn on them and inscribed with the words, 'Oh la la'? I don't think was meant well at all actually. I don't know what that person was thinking. For the most part I've been told I'm hard to buy for and I've come to believe it now too. Though really? What woman doesn't like a pedicure or a day alone sans kids? Or a shopping spree or good book? I'm always game for those.

The Aunt Myrtle style lipstick case with mirror given to me at age 7?

The ankle length orange winter coat with the $5 price tag still on it?

The huge box of beanie babies when I graduated from college?

What about the surprise party where I didn't get any of my own birthday cake? Oh wait... that wasn't a gift.

The Barbie Dream House? I could go on.

While it might not be the worst there is one gift that stands out as inexplicable. I was turning 18 and it was the time of the Sony Discman. I wanted one but bad. It was all I could think of. So long cassette tapes! Hello shiny disc with superior sound quality! I couldn't wait to unwrap it on my birthday. Except that isn't what happened. Instead, I found myself unwrapping a rather long thin box with a double cassette tape radio thingy inside. Just like the one that was already sitting in my room upstairs. You might be thinking that the gift giver had no idea I owned one. Except they did. This gift was from my parents. I was dumbfounded.

When I asked why I got the same thing I already owned they simply said, "Well, they were all out of Discman's at the store and so..."

I remember thinking, "And so what?! An IOU would have been better! I could have waited a bit for a new shipment! WHY (HUGE INTAKE OF BREATH) BUY (HUGE SIGH)THE SAME THING?! (EXASPERATED SCREAM)

You could say I was ungrateful. If ebay was around maybe I would have hawked it there and gotten a Discman eventually. Instead, I just refused the gift. I was hurt, angry and annoyed. How could they not listen to me? Didn't they know that music to a teen is like air? Stupid double cassette player... I grumbled.

Eventually my Dad decided to return the thing and when we entered the store what did I see? No, not a Discman. The store was still out, but a stereo with a CD player and a double cassette and huge speakers. "Oh Dad..."

I sold that stereo at a yard sale last year for $25. It was 12 years old. It was one of the best gifts ever. My roommates probably still hate me for playing my bagpipes CD (with superior sounod) on early Saturday mornings from that very stereo.

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  1. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Congratulations! I just read through your posts, and my heart goes out to you. First trimester sickness is not fun. It will get better soon.
    Today's post was great. I would however like to defend whoever gave you the French plates with the shoes. They sound adorable. I am going on the defense here because I gave my sister in law similar dessert plates before. They had slices of cake on them, with a cute little saying too. I saw them, and immediatly though that she would love them. I am now starting to question if she really liked them! Next time I visit her, I will make sure those plates are still around.
    Best of luck!!

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