Thursday, December 24, 2009

How to: Cause your dearest kin to hate you

My husband and I just returned from Wal-Mart -- which was much less arduous an outing than you might have imagined -- where we purchased, at his urgent insistence, a toy for Dayden that I am certain is going to cause Pat and Angie to want to completely sever all ties with us.

I was looking at the Star Wars action figures, a safe bet, to be sure, but a pleaser nonetheless, unlike the jeans feckless Nanny bought for him last year, when my husband erupted around a corner, brandishing a large and colorful box.

"We have to get this," he said excitedly. "HE'LL LOVE IT!"

I examined the toy, which featured words on the front like SUPER-ACTION and RANGE OF TWENTY FEET and SOUND BLASTER. "Yes, I can see that Dayden will greatly enjoy this gift, but tell me....what do you have against Pat and Angie?"

"They won't mind," he said dismissively.

I thought about my brother, how under his growly exterior he hides a butter-soft heart, how he'll drop everything at a moment's notice to lend me a hand with computer or whatever; how comforting it is, somehow, to know that every work day, he's just a few blocks away at the bank, even though I really only see him once a month or so. And I thought about Angie, what a good wife and mother she is, how I don't think I could have chosen a better sister-in-law if I ordered her from Spiegel. How she can always be counted on to make you laugh or give you a hug at just the right time. And then I thought about the three kids and how I love them like my own and how perhaps a court-mandated restraining order might figure largely in our future relationship....

"There's NOTHING ELSE in this WHOLE STORE that I want to get him," my husband stated with finality. And he put the toy reverently into our cart. I hung my head and sighed.

Pat, Angie.....It was so nice knowing you. If we're still speaking next Christmas, I'll understand if you buy Meelyn and Aisling condoms and crystal meth for their holiday gifts.

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