Ungrateful Bitch

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!

16 thoughts on “Ungrateful Bitch

  1. Cyndy

    I totally know what you mean. I am in a state of constant fear and dread that I will be receiving a bunch of really thoughtful and beautiful presents to decorate my new house with when the truth is, I don’t want to decorate my house with anything that I haven’t personally selected. I can’t even tell you how many offers of decent quality used furniture I’ve turned down because I’m just an “Ungrateful Bitch.”

  2. Chris

    Oh yeah right… Kate, it’s not hard to buy you things. Its easy in fact. The presents just have to be shiny, sparkly and expensive. Ungrateful b^%$#. Love u!

  3. AnastasiaSpeaks

    Great post!!

    I love the title…I was dying to find out who you were talking about and then saw that you were referring to YOURSELF! Wow, you’re seriously a hoot. Also, the owl thing made me laugh out loud and the about the tapestry vest…don’t knock it sister, I had a great one in the 80s!

    Big hug!

  4. Kate Coveny Hood

    Cyndy – We were separated at birth.

    Chris – That’s ridiculous. I like plenty of expensive things that aren’t shiny and sparkly.

    Anastasia – I’m sure you were fabulous in your tapestry vest.

  5. Christy

    I am really hard to buy for too. Sometimes I feel sorry for my husband.

    Buying for him is a no brainer. He is the easiest person in the world to buy for – a video game, movie, or CD.

  6. Cyndy

    I’m sorry to do this, but I was tagged and now, so are you. But I don’t know how to make a link to my post in which I announce that you’ve been tagged, so maybe you are off the hook!

  7. Mandy @ Adventures of a Millennium Mom

    You are definitely not a bitch! I’m the same way w/ my husband. For a couple of years I had to sort of explain what were appropriate Christmas gifts and what were not. Now he just sort of knows what to get me!

  8. butwhymommy

    I too am hard to buy for but Bubs still tries (he has learned not to buy me jewelry unless it really sparkles). My parents just give me cash or gift certificates which I appreciate so much more.

    Wow after reading that I think I sound like an ungreatful bitch.

  9. Mike

    You are not an ungrateful bitch. This year my wife and I pleased both of us by buying her a fancy camera. She loved it, and I didn’t have to shop!

  10. Anna See

    I am with you, sister. BTW, The first Christmas Tom and I were together he bought me a white turtleneck from Britches. Oh well.

  11. Stimey

    Your paragraph about the specific kind of owl you might like if you liked owls. Um. Are you related to Quinn? Because that’s exactly how he is about his yellow shirts.

  12. Midwest Mommy

    I am so not good at faking it either. People can always tell when I am like, oh that’s great, in my fake tone.
    It is really bad now when people buy my kids clothes. I like specific kinds of kids clothes. If you get my baby boy pastels with animals you are for sure going to get a, oh that’s great, from me.

  13. bejewell

    If I knew you in rea life I would totally buy you a white ceramic owl with yellow eyes for Christmas and watch you squirm.

    Hee hee

  14. Pregalicious

    your dad is nicer than mine…mine doesn’t even try….he’ll hold up the shirt and say “did you think i gained weight?” or “i think you mixed up my gift with someone elses”….i think it’s hillarious and i crack up….other people take it personally. i’m the same way as you and i think part of it for me is i love the thrill of the hunt. bryan has accepted that i buy my birthday and christmas gifts and i give them to him to wrap and i dont open until the day!

  15. BananaBlueberry

    People just buy me gift cards now :)

    I am totally going to laugh at the next owl picture/ornament/decoration I see… and I’ll buy it for you.


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