A Gift In Disguise

A 2008 Version Of The “Gift In Disguise”


Last year, a couple weeks before Christmas and when I was at my ultimate grinchiest, my parents drug my ass out for some holiday “fun”.  Afterwards, sitting at my folks’ house, my mom brought out the lace scarf I had lovingly knit her as a gift the Christmas before.  I’d thought long and hard about what color to use, had hoped that the not-overly-fussy lace would appeal to her, and that the alpaca blend would keep her warm on her walks to the beach.  It had obviously never been worn and the handmade tags I’d attached with care instructions and “Handmade by M-” were still hanging from their ribbon safety-pinned to one corner.  My heart sank.  I already knew what was coming.  It wasn’t anything new.  Hey, Mom says, I just can’t wear this scarfOkay, I say, waiting for the remaining half of my soul to implode.  It’s just too itchy for me.  Can’t you give it to someone else?  No.  I can’t give it to someone else.  I made it for you.  But I don’t say anything except, Sorry it didn’t work for you.  I’ll figure out something to do with it.  Fighting the urge to start blubbering on the spot (What the hell?  You couldn’t hide it in a drawer and forget about it?  You had to rub it in that you wouldn’t be wearing something I’d handmade just for you?  I would never know if you wore it or not!) I took it home and put it away.  There can be no chinks in my armor when dealing with my family, or I’d probably never have survived this long.  Showing weakness or sensitivity is just not acceptable and you’re opening the door for a heap of heartbreak if you do.  Which totally sucks because I am about as sensitive as it gets.

But anyway, this week when Knitting Daily brought up the subject of holiday knitting I thought again and again about this little vignette and the rather lackluster receipt of last year’s Christmas knits made for R. Darling’s family (I used cashmere!  I selected colors so carefully!  I made something I would love to receive! And whoopee – no one gave a crap!!).  And I realized that my mom had unwittingly given me the most wonderful backhanded gift in disguise I could have asked for:  a holiday non-knitting list!  I absolutely refuse to knit anything for anyone this Christmas unless they are R. Darling or someone who I know will truly appreciate the time and love I put into their handknit gift.  This thought warms me from the tip of my grinchy-chin-chin to the cockles of my too-sensitive heart.  Thanks Mom.




P.S.  Though I try to keep things as light and positive around the bloggy as I can, I’m afraid I still have some lingering post-birthday negativity floating around my person which affects everything I think and do lately.  I’m sorry about that, ’cause it can’t be much fun to read, but in the interest of keepin’ it real, I guess I feel that I should stay true to myself and not try to fake it when I’m not feeling down with the cheerfullness.  I hope it goes away soon and thanks for your patience!  Oh, and just in case it sounds like Mom doesn’t love me very much, that’s totally not true.  She’s just practical to a fault and a wee bit on the insensitive side.  I love her anyway ;)


10 thoughts on “A Gift In Disguise

  1. I think we have the same mother – except mine doesn’t wait a year. They don’t change – and you can’t make them pretend. Either a person has empathy or not.

    The scarf is very beautiful, by the way.

  2. This exact same thing happened with my mom and me. This was 3 maybe 4 years ago, when I was just getting the confidence to give my knitting as a gift. Noro multi-directional scarf. She told me on the spot that she didn’t like the colors (despite the fact that they were “her colors” on her damn chart!) I took it back on the spot and gave it to my best friend a day later. She flipped over it and wears it all the time.

    note – My mom has loved most other handmade gifts I’ve given her. She’s just weird about clothes/accessories.

    I LOVE your scarf. What a nice little treat for yourself all around!

  3. I would love to get that gift from my mom. Instead, I get a huge guilt trip if I don’t make her anything & she asks what I made my best friend and Joe with a crazy jealous tone to her voice. So, at least you don’t have to make socks with gritted teeth! And, I love your ‘new’ scarf! :)

  4. Hey I totally know where you’re coming from. I knit 5 purses the first Christmas I learned to knit for all my cousins and aunt. Did they care, nope. When I asked one cousin about it later in the summer, her jaw dropped open, she stares at me and asks – you made that for me? Um, they card, tags and handmade with love from M didn’t give it way? I say, Yes and smile. She freaks out and says she thought I bought it for her. So much for handmade anything for those people! :)

    Hope you enjoy the scarf! I’m sure it will keep you warm this winter while knitting yourself lots of great stuff!!

  5. I so feel where you are coming from! I now only knit for those that love what I give them and use/wear them with pride. And, I LOVE the scarf!

    Don’t worry about the post birthday funk. This too shall pass!

  6. I don’t seem to get a huge response from people for handmade stuff, either.

    That scarf is GORGEOUS, however, and I would be more than happy to wear it :-)

    I know all about funks. I hope yours ends soon!!

  7. The scarf is gorgeous, and now you have a new item to wear this winter. I love the glass half full thing too about thanking your mom for the gift of non-knitting. I tell ya, the lack of pressure and last minute knitting on a deadline really is a gift!

  8. Not everyone has the “gift” of accepting gifts with grace. My mother-in-law routinely gives things back to us–years later of course. Once I started making her socks, she started keeping those and actually wearing them out. She is also a practical woman. We love her anyway as well. If we were all the same, the world would be a boring place. ;-) Take care and maybe you will be wearing the scarf and someone will ooh and ahh over it and you will surprise them by giving it to them on the spot.

  9. Sadly, I guess your Mom just doesn’t know better. That must take a whole lot of strength on your part. I’m so sorry! Not being able to express your sensitivity without feeling worse for it…that to me is the most upsetting aspect :| It’s really admirable that you’re able to put on a happy face & derive something positive out of something painful. Though it’s good to have some outlet for the negative stuff too.

    As one reader of your blog & someone who cares about you, you needn’t keep things light & positive for my sake ;) I most definitely prefer what is actual even if it’s dark or sounds grumpy or is disturbing!

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