Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Gift

Why ask for something you'll never use?
Not so many years ago I was a poor, recent college grad. It was all I could do not to sell plasma. OK maybe I wasn't in such dire straits, but I was far from making millions. Regardless of my financial status, or lack thereof, I always tried to make sure that family and friends received decent Christmas gifts.

I'm not that great at always figuring out what people want for gifts. There's just something about gift giving, whether it's for birthdays or Christmas, that makes me realize how little I know about what my family and friends like. Usually every year in my quest to find gifts for others, I am left scratching my head wondering what to get.

Fortunately one particular year, such was not the case for my mother. She specifically said what she wanted - a digital photo frame. Well I scrounged up my few coins and bought it for her. That was at least five year ago. Not ONCE has she used it. NOT. ONE. TIME. I've heard so many excuses, such as, "Oh I don't have an extra memory card," or "I'm going to use it the next time you're home." LIES! ALL LIES! I don't even believe her anymore.

Over the years my feelings about this issue have covered a range from hurt to angry. Now I'm bitter. So bitter in fact that every birthday, Christmas or just randomly I mention she has yet to use the digital photo frame. Usually we end up arguing. For some reason she has the audacity to get mad that I keep bringing it up. Just today we had to end a conversation lest we not speak on Christmas.

I should have known my mother would be unappreciative of my gift. She was never that enthused with any of my childhood art creations. While most mothers proudly displayed their child's macaroni necklaces, mine just looked at the fruits of my labors with disdain. Also other gifts from me, as well as my brother and father, have gone unused, such as that Home Depot gift card (she asked for it), clothes and jewelry.

Gifts to her may not be a big deal, but they are to me. I get as much pleasure from giving them as receiving. Therefore the fact she didn't seem to appreciate my gift enough to even use it once really disturbs me. As a result, I now don't spent more than $25 on any gift for her. I'll drop nearly $600 on my daddy without any question. He appreciates his gifts, which is why I bought him an iPad. I'll even spend money on household gifts for my parents, such as a TV, toaster and soon coming new oven. But my mother will never receive another gift from me that's worth much until she uses that photo frame. And unless I get this bitterness out my heart, I might get to the point where I stop buying her a gift altogether.

How would you feel about someone not using a gift they specifically requested?

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