Monday, December 26, 2005

How much should I write the check for again?

My family is much more a potluck and chinet type when it comes to holidays. We usually have around 30-40 in attendance for holiday meals, and to be honest, no one wants the hassle of cleaning up the dishes from that many people eating. Oh sure, there's the odd anomaly - such as last Thanksgiving, when my grandmother's silver is brought out along with an extra two dining tables with full leaves in my Aunt's house, but for the most part - we're very casual when it comes to holidays.

Michael's family is much different. Dinners at his mom's house are dressed up affairs - the King Richard silver and one of at least five different china and crystal options are put on the table. So I was a bit shocked when she called and told us that "jeans were fine this year."

When it comes to gifts, they're also much different. My family doesn't typically do much giftwise - but what is given is showered with love. This Christmas though, his mom went waaaay over the top.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying using my new Calphalon contemporary nonstick 12 piece set of pots, and the sweet Cuisinart heavy duty stainless steel blender. I'll love using the new additions to my Waterford Aurora stemware collection, and the Waterford Colleen perfume bottle will look lovely on my vanity. And yes, the thick plush Lauren sweaters were beautiful, and the new cashmere gloves and funky muffler will be quite warm, and I even like the black spangly purse - even though it's not my usual style. And the Empress Swaorvski crystal keychain and business card holder, and the set of four beautifully colored Waterford paisely ornaments... and the pearl and diamond earrings are all lovely - as well as the rest of the rest of the gifts that she showered on me.

And Michael's gifts... good lord. It was really obscene how much she spent on us. O-B-S-C-E-N-E.

But you know - the entire time, I just felt like she was trying to buy our love.

And as much as I honestly do appreciate the gifts, it doesn't mean a single bit more to me than the much more reasonable gifts my family sent. Love shouldn't be a competition.

If she spent half as much time as she does money on us, it would mean so much more. I feel badly for bitching about receiving such wonderful gifts, but it's not what the holiday is about. I wish she understood that. And considering she grew up poor, you would think she would - but no. It's as if she is overcompensating now...

Now for what you want to know: Still no real news on anything else. Today is now day 37. A tiny brownish spot two days ago, but nothing else to speak of... no cramps, no spotting... and no - I haven't tested at home. I don't see the point in wasting the $$, but at the same time I'm starting to freak out and wonder if I should start my prometrium again (as I haven't).

This is now officially by far the longest cycle I've had while not pregnant, but then again - I'm not expecting anything. And now I'm freaking out because I was so sure that I wasn't that I *imbibed* through the last two weeks (not to great excess, mind you - but I was perhaps a bit more festive than I would have been otherwise). I don't honestly feel like I am, as there are no symptoms to speak of. I'm just pissed now because I won't be able to cycle now before the end of the year (and my insurance deductible is finally met - and of course turns over next Mon.)

So ho hum. Nothing to see here, move along...

Updated: I'm cancelling the appointment today - as I just can't handle the negative phone call right now. The bottom line is my body loves to screw with me - end of story.


At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad is like your MIL. He just doesn't do well with the love, attention, and affection part but he thinks that by being extravagant and generous it makes up for his aloofness.

It doesn't. I know he loves me, and this is the only way he knows how to show it. I'll take it.

AF is a whore. She is always showing up when she isn't wanted, and then doesn't bother showing when she is needed.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Nico said...

My MIL is just like yours. I actually really detest going there for Christmas Eve, because it's so different from what I think Christmas should be all about. They've totally lost the spirit in the excess of gift-giving. Bleach.

Sorry that C. Bitch is being so recalcitrant. Although I'm still hoping that she's not showing for the right reason... however slim that chance is.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Vacant Uterus said...

April, the top of your post could have been written about my in-laws. My family is a lot like yours; a few gifts from the heart with lots of thought. My in-laws, well let's just say that I'm listening to a brand-new iPod nano right now, among the many other expensive and beautiful gifts I got. I love the gifts and I love my in-laws. But somehow the two and a half hours spent on the couch talking with my mother meant more.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger DD said...

My MIL/FIL have this tradition: they send all the children and adult grandchilren an O.B.S.C.E.N.E. check right after Thanksgiving. We are then to buy OURSELVES gifts, wrap them and open them at their house so they can see what they bought us!

I didn't know how to wrap up the cooter cam, embryos, drug vials and related assorted sundry. Is that whacked or what!? I'd love to post about it but I'm still not sure if I've been able to ditch the in-laws when I changed my URL because someone's feeling were hurt (boo-hoo!)

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Orodemniades said...

Holy heck! That's some giftage.

But, I agree, when it's not truly with love, gifts just become...things.

Good luck with the AF thing. (you know what I mean)

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous wessel said...

Hey, I didn't get anything (traditional religious people don't give gifts on Chanukkah) so I was drooling over your list! :-) But seriously, is it possible that your MIL really does love you, and this is just how she shows it? Is she a good, kind person? I'd have a hard time enjoying elaborate gifts from someone if I didn't like them or there was bad blood between us, but if we had a good relationship, that would be different. I do think that sometimes when people achieve financial success after living through deprived, poor childhoods, they really do put more stock in material things, and especially want to shower their children with all the things they never had themselves.

I'm sorry that your Menstrual Bitch is being a no show. It's terrible that your deductible starts over in a few days. ACK! Maddening.

At 2:31 PM, Blogger April said...

My mother in law and I actually get along very well - but she's very into showing off money - whereas Michael and I are much more humble people.

Don't get me wrong, the items are beautiful - but I certainly wouldn't have splurged like that on myself. It just felt rather contrived. As if she was showing how much better she was than my parents by showering us with gifts.

At 4:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find gift giving is the worst part about Christmas. I find all it does is demonstrate how little iur family knows about us. I usually get gifts that my 17 year old hippy self would have loved, but I have no real place for anymore. It makes me sad.


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