Friday, December 10, 2004

He shoots, he misses

It was Christmas morning, 1980-flibbershlingfing and our house was, in a rare moment, relaxed, warm and inviting. Aromas of the cooking turkey and cooling pie’s wafting through the halls. The family in pj's, strewn about the living room, feverishly eyeing the tree with its prizes spilling out from under the fragrant boughs.

I truly love my parents, even if I want to stuff them into a man-hole now and then, and I am a daddy's girl through-and-through. I've been very fortunate in my life that my parents have always been generous and make sure everyone receives multiple gifts for special occasions, even if there's not a ton of money spent, we try to make sure there are lots of presents under the tree.

My parents have also have a tradition of splitting the gift buying between them, and let’s just say that, on occasion, you have to take a moment and ponder just what the hell they were thinking. This particular Christmas, when I was a junior in high school and a very typical teenage girl, my Dad was in charge of "finishing up" my portion of the holiday haul. And bless his clueless heart, he totally blew it.

I had been sizing up my packages and saving what I thought was the best for last. Hoarding my stash until the end when I'd be the only one left with presents to open in full gloating glory of everyone in the room. They, seething with envy and regret that they had plowed through their red foil wrapping paper and shiny bows in a lightning fury, a graveyard of boxes at their feet. My hasty kin left only with fuzzy slippers and 3-pack's of tighty whities, while I stared at my loot, devilish stars swirling in my eyes. Ah-hah suckas! It’s all about me now!!

My Dad sat across the room, tipped on the edge of his chair looking at me with a catch in his breath, obviously excited to watch his gift-giving triumph unfold. I grabbed a perfectly wrapped small box, gave it a little shake for good measure and listened to the strange sound inside. It didn't make the telltale-muted shuffle of a puzzle. There was no sweet chime of a music box. I ripped the paper across the top and saw a glimpse of color. What could it be? What could it be? My eyes focused on what I was seeing while I let my mind catch up. It was a 3 box set of Bic pens. Huh?

Well, that's ok, I had a big pile to get through of all shapes and sizes, there's got to be something wonderful and exciting to follow. A large smile grew back across my face. I grabbed the next box, tore the paper, and just as I was ready to let out a shout of appreciative glee, I looked down to witness what was actually in my hands. A stapler.

OK now, I'm starting to sense a theme here. This might not be good. Another package, another rip. Calculator. And again, a thesaurus. Pick up box, rip paper, look, repeat. Pencils. Dictionary. Erasers. WTF? I am sorta stunned. Where's my Hunky Men of Southern California calendar? Where's my giant makeup case with 4,000 eye shadows? Where's my Caboodle?

I look up at my father with my big brown blinking eyes, he looks back at me, then quickly up at the ceiling. I turn my gaze to my mother. She's glaring at my father, burning a telepathic hole into the side of his head.

I have one package left. It's heavy. It's sparkly. It's mine. Squee! I haven't given up hope. This will be it. The pièce de résistance. My black porche 911 stuffed into a shoebox.

I heave it onto my lap. The weight of the box sitting heavily on my legs. Slowly slipping the ribbon off the sharp corners, carefully undoing the wrapping this time, letting the anticipation build. Everyone in the room is holding their breath.

Finally, after painstakingly removing the green and red paper, the gift is exposed. My face, drained of color and shrouded with chagrin, my smile fading with lightning speed, gazes upon my last chance at the big Christmas score. My last hope at receiving the perfect present to parade in front of my peers with pride and prejudice. My final chance at my major award.

And in my disappointed and resigned sad little hands electric pencil sharpener.


No_Newz said...

And people ask why Betty is so Bitter.
Poor clueless dad, poor ripped off kid :(
I hope this year is much more merrier!
Lois Lane

whitey said...


Bitter Betty said...

I know! But I do anticipate a better haul this year. ;)

Becka said...

Eh. Nothing like presents from men. So cute, but so clueless.

Betty I love your blog :)

Bitter Betty said...

Thanks Becka!! No shit on the men-present thing. My X once gave me a Thomas Guide for X-mas and nothing else. Thought he was the gift-giving God. Idiot.

I'll figure out this linking thing yet and I'll check out your page too.

Leslie said...

Oh my GOD that was funny. Sad, but really honkin' funny.

Anonymous said...

You have me rolling as usual. This is the Word of Dana...thanks be to god.