Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Presence Not Presents (or something. )

Aside from all the woo yeah new stuff grin grin grin, Christmas can be a little bit awkward sometimes.

Like when you get a call telling you that your Boyfriend's mother, who you've met ooh... maybe twice, has got you a Christmas present. And you haven't got one for her.

"Mum! Mum!" you go running into your parents bedroom after a fruitless search under the tree, "Mum! Where are the spare presents?". You yearn for a pile of carefully wrapped, unlabelled boxes of generic joy. Pot pourri, a smelly giftset, bottle of half decent wine, posh liquors; items bought specifically for that awkward moment when someone walks through the door clutching giftage, and you ain't got none in return.

Eventually, in lieu of the Spare Presents Pile, you settle for "re-gifting" the box of Thorntons from the Indian restaurant down the road. You check there aren't any chocolates missing. 'That'll do' you think, reaching for a card. "Dear..." you write, before stopping.

If I've only met her a couple of times, should it be "To"? Would she write "Dear" ? If I write "To" and she wrote "Dear", would I look bad? She got me a present, got to be Dear, right?

"Dear Boyfriend's Mother"

(Just his mother. His dad has long since fled the family nest, so no fear of an Awkward Present Situation from him. We've yet to meet.)

"Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

Leave it there? No. Make it personal. She got you a gift. "Hope you have a nice break from work"

That'll do.

"Love" Ooh, hang on. "Love" might be a bit strong. But just "From" means "Love" is noticeably absent. What if she writes "Love" and I only write "From"? How many times do you have to meet a woman until you can write "Love"? This is complicating things.

"Love from..."

Kiss? No kiss? Hmm. Underline name with loopy line that could be kiss or quirky signature.

You put the token wrapped package in a bag to be passed on later.


The Boyfriend called me last night, he'd just got home after Christmas With Dad. He sounded down. He'd spent a long time choosing what to get his dad, and settled on two steam train tickets for them to use in the new year. Anyone could see that the sentiment behind the gift was less about the journey itself, and more about the two of them spending time together. After thanking him, his dad said they'd have to get another ticket. For his partner. He rightly read the look on my Boyfriend's face as disappointment.

"Don't worry" said his dad, missing the point entirely, "I'll buy it".

My heart broke a little bit.

Infinitely worse than a thoughtless present is a thoughtful one that backfires.

1 comment:

Ellie said...

Yes. That sucks.


Blog Template by YummyLolly.com - RSS icons by ComingUpForAir