You cannot answer one of Mother’s type of people with, “I don’t want anything for the holidays. No gifts. I’m not being polite; I am never polite. I-really-don’t-want-anything.” This is because people like Mother buy crap for you whether you want it or not. They mull and sulk and get their hair done daily to buck themselves up, chatting to the wife of the son of the sheriff about you and how you mistreat them. If you say nothing, nothing, nothing, she still buys something like panda-logoed short-sleeved shirts, three reels of nylon fishing line and a year’s subscription to the large print edition of Reader’s Digest, like she did Father.
Posted December 20, 1999