I used to think that we didn’t have any holiday family traditions, but today I realized that I was wrong. I sat with my sister, opening gifts from my mom.
She said mom had shown her my gifts earlier and she couldn’t wait for me to see them. They are the most hilarious items of clothing you have ever seen, she told me. Since the last time I got clothes from mom anyway, I thought.
“I didn’t even know they made clothes like that.”
I was holding up a jacket, or maybe a blazer. It had collars nearly as big as the jacket itself and several rows of huge metal buttons in what I could only call the upper left quadrant. They didn’t actual button anywhere. They brought military style to balance out the hippie factor of the bell bottom sleeves which ended in romantic-era ruffles. The whole thing was held together by a large belt and a metal buckle. Metal which in no way matched the buttons.
“What are you going to do with it? I always wonder what I”m supposed to do with these things.”
“I throw it all away”, I told her.
“You could at least give it to Goodwill.”
“I don’t want to curse anyone else with this. Can you imagine if some other mother bought it for her poor daughter?”
The next gift was nearly as good.
Black shirt. Completely covered in large bright yellow lightning bolts. With sparkly hot pink dropshadows. It looked like a web site in 1995 when people were first discovering fonts and the blink tag.
We looked at her gift.
“I think it’s a sweatshirt. An off-the-shoulder sweatshirt.”
“No, it’s a dress.”
“It can’t possibly be a dress.”
“Look at the skirt part.”
“That’s a skirt?”
“I don’t know.”
“What’s that one? A coat with short sleeves? Do arms not get cold?”
Later, I talked to my mom on the phone.
“Did you like the clothes I got you? Your sister really loved them when I showed her, but I know you guys don’t always have the same taste.”
Oh we have the same taste. It’s called non-crazy. We prefer our buttons to be matched with buttonholes, our coats to have sleeves, and our sweatshirts to be skirt-free. And we rarely are in the mood to wear hot pink lightning bolts.
Well, maybe that one time.