Okay – so that sounds harsh. But I figure if teenagers are allowed to say it on the WB, then I’m not in any danger of being labeled a potty mouth. Not that I have anything against potty mouth writing. It’s almost the standard for most popular blogs. But I really don’t swear that much, so I’d feel like too much of a poser if I tried. And you have to be true to yourself – you know?
Okay, so now that my unnecessary disclaimer is out of the way… I’m running a little late on my Friday Confession. Actually – it will look like I have TWO Friday posts since I didn’t actually hit publish on my last one until after midnight last night. But since I was still up, I considered it Thursday. And THIS is my official Friday post.
So where does the swearing come in? Not at all actually. But but when I was trying to come up with a title for my subject, that was the first thing that came to mind. You see – I am terrible at receiving gifts. It’s not that I’m against getting presents – bring it on! – but people really do have a hard time shopping for me. I’m picky. I’m particular. And I’m mercurial when it comes to my likes and dislikes.
To clarify, I might like owls (I don’t – this is just an example – don’t buy me an owl), and I may even collect them. But that doesn’t mean that I like everything having to do with owls. I could even narrow it down and say that I like white ceramic owls with yellow eyes (again – I don’t – just making a point). BUT that doesn’t mean that I will like EVERY white ceramic owl with yellow eyes. Some may be too big, or the quality might not be great, or there might be a greenish cast to the white glaze when I prefer a warmer tone. You get the point. I’m a pain in the ass.
My friend Megan once put this well by saying “all the elements are there, but…” And I blame this entirely on my father. I inherited his fussiness along with his tendency tell people how to solve their problems when they haven’t actually asked. It’s genetic.
But I am a lot better at pretense than my Dad. How many times have I given him a gift, only to receive a noncommittal “huh” or have a flaw or observation pointed out to me (“I sure do have a lot of Hawaiian shirts”). He doesn’t do it on purpose – he’s just not good at pretending. I on the other hand have learned over the years to smile big and exclaim over whatever it is that I DO like about the gift. And if I don’t like anything about it, I marvel over something vague and not necessarily negative or positive (“Wow – this is so unusual. Where did you find it? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before!”).
At the end of the day – I’d be happier just picking out my own gifts. But I’ve gotten better about this, and I’ve even tried to be open minded about things that may not have initially struck my fancy. The fact is, I really need to be less rigid about things because I now have children that will soon be coming home with hideous pantry inspired jewelry. I want to wear that macaroni bracelet and Fruit Loops necklace with pride. Well actually – I don’t think I can do that last one since I can’t stand the smell of fruit scented cereal and I might literally pass out from the stench. But you know what I mean.
I’m not really ungrateful, I’ve just always put a lot of thought into the way things look. I like my hair a certain way, I like my bed made just so, and yes – I like a particular sweater that I circled in the J. Crew catalog – not the one that was ultimately purchased for me. Does this make me a bitch? No – but I definitely walked a fine line when I was first dating Chris would be honest about presents that were a “good try.” My reasoning was that I didn’t want to paint myself into a corner where he thought I really did like tapestry vests (another made up example to illustrate a point) and continue to buy them for me. Instead I thought he could “learn from his mistakes.” Which sounds logical if you ignore the fact that it’s incredibly obnoxious.
Luckily Chris put up with me (and I don’t own any tapestry vests – so there!). We’ve been together for almost ten years and married for eight. He now picks out great gifts for me – when we actually do gifts. I will state for the record that I’m sure he would have developed a better understanding of my preferences over time, regardless of any tough love present buying lessons I gave him. To assume that it was all my doing would make me the worst of know-it-alls. But since this is a confession, I have to be honest. Deep down I really do think that I’m responsible for his finely honed instincts. So I’m an ungrateful know-it-all. What can I say? It’s genetic. Thanks Dad!