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 scarf. Okay, 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 ;)