It’s the thought that counts.

I do not deny that I am difficult to buy for. If there’s something I want, I get it for myself. But I am learning that when a family member asks for gift ideas, it is in my best interest to pony up. Otherwise, I run the risk of receiving the same kinds of things I have received in past years:

  • A big Pepto-Bismol pink calculator made of flexible plastic that one can roll up like a sleeping bag (or use as a sleeping bag, for that matter). I’m contemplating busting out this bad boy during my Monday morning project status meeting. Palm Pilot, be damned.
  • Three days of the shits (aka a chub of summer sausage). I can now attest that The Burning Ring of Fire has nothing to do with rings or fires.
  • A series of religious novels about a ragtag band of Quakers (at least, this is what I think the books are about, given the cover art). C’mon people. Perhaps I was not clear. I do not read anything that does not feature a de-frocked maiden, assless chaps or a naughty vicar on the cover.
  • A gently used Tupperware container. OK, so I received this for my wedding. But I could not pass up the chance to call this to your attention. It was USED, with scratch marks and everything. It was my “something borrowed.” I don’t know what’s worse — the fact that someone gave me used Tupperware, or the fact that it’s currently in my fridge, filled with sweet potatoes.
  • His and her copies of “The Purpose Driven Life” (one for me, one for untitledhusband). Duly noted, people. Duly noted. But I can assure you that I indeed have a purpose, and right now, it has more to do with the battery-operated device in my bedside table than it does with this shitty-ass tome.
  • A t-shirt with a blurry photo of untitledson ironed onto it that says “I love my Mom.” While I couldn’t bring myself to throw away anything with my son’s face on it, this creation did inspire me to make a t-shirt for untitledhusband — one that features MY face on it. I make him wear it to work on casual Fridays, that is, when I’m not using his lifeless ballsack as a coin purse.
  • A teddy bear wearing what can only be described as a blue doiley, a faux pearl necklace and matching earrings. The creature came perched in a little wicker chair and looked like a crusty old drag queen who’d spent the entire weekend smoking Misties and watching the Bette Davis movie marathon on Turner Classic Movies. And here I thought bears plugged their buttholes with pine needles and hiberated during the winter. Oh wait, that’s me.
  • Enough black soot to soil every wall in our home (aka an industrial-sized box of vanilla scented candles from the dollar store). We use them to light up our jack-o-lanterns during Halloween.

Given my past luck, I left no room for error this year. I was specific. I asked for a set of Lancome makeup brushes (which I got), a giftcard to a specific salon (which I got), a hand blender (did not get), a sports watch (did not get), and any of the Post Secret books (did not get). But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit weepy about not receiving crocheted can coozies or season six of “Murder, She Wrote.”

You don’t buy me flowers.

Let’s hear it for untitledhusband. He surprised me with not one, not two, but three gifts. Three good gifts, at that:

Gift #1: Gourmet Chocolates (interpretation: “I love you at this weight and the weight you’d be if you ate these every day.”). No matter the holiday, you can never go wrong with chocolate. Not with me. Sock lint dipped in chocolate? Sign me up.

Gift #2: Freaks and Geeks DVD (interpretation: “I love you because you have heart.”) I will never understand how this show got shit-canned after one year and “Walker, Texas Ranger” was left to roundhouse his way through the nineties. Which reminds me, if you are down with wasting one hour that’ll you’ll never get back, do it here.

Gift #3: One of these bracelets, which I have been lusting after for quite some time now. (interpretation: “I love you enough to listen, take notes and plan ahead when you ask for something specific.”) Thank god he knows me well enough not to buy me a gold and diamonds heart pendant from Kay’s.

What can I say. I love my boo.