mnvnjnsn's Diary

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The Gift of the Magi-Indian Giver

Christmas has come and gone and I had a nice time of it. My best gift? Well, it's one I gave myself-- I paid off my student loans. Wahoo!! 12 years later, and I'm finally free. Nevermind the thousands left that I owe to credit card companies and doctors and back taxes, that darn larnin' is all mine.

Anyone want to buy a BA in Literature from an acclaimed Californian university? No? Oh.

As with every gift-giving occasion, we have some new Estelle stories. Last year Trevor Dunnigan got the famed book about county fairs, so we were, perversely, kind of looking forward to this year's gift. As TD tore the wrapping paper, the first words we saw were "not a toy..." Well! This was intriguing! He ripped the rest of the paper off to reveal a box labelled "Wooden Airplane." And that's what it was. No brand, just an... anonymous wooden plane. OK, I will give Estelle a point for being on topic. TD does, in fact, like planes. However, this wooden plane doesn't represent any specific plane, nor does it have any colors or crests that might give away any time period. And so it doesn't do anything but slightly annoy us.

And that is one of the hallmarks of an Estelle gift. She gives so that she may get credit for gift-giving, not because of any interest in whether the gift is fun, or useful or desired. This results in crappy gifts (like the 'free with purchase' gifts I got this year - a "guide to running" pamphlet that came with her Runner's World subscription and a sample of a Lancome perfume), but still makes the recipient look whiny and ungrateful.

When I almost broke up with my mother over the summer, I specifically mentioned the gift-giving. It was better, I suggested, not to exchange gifts at all. Evidently this made its way back to Estelle, and resulted in gifts that were slightly on-topic, yet still puzzlingly useless.

It was in that spirit that I gave Estelle her gifts this year. Sister J was there on Friday for dinner, and this was Estelle's reaction:

I think Emily accidentally gave me a present meant for someone else. I mean, a train calendar? What do I have to do with trains?"


4:00 p.m. - 2003-12-29


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