Although my family appears to be normal we do not fit anywhere near that category.
When we were together for Thanksgiving (No children for the first time we could remember!) I cut strips of paper for us to write upon what we were thankful for. I wrote the first one. “I am thankful for my sweet daughter-in-law,” curled it up, and placed it in a bowl. Everyone followed my lead with the curling and such. Then at dinner we passed the bowl around, drew one out and read it to the group and then everyone guessed who wrote it. Doesn’t that sound sweet?
I cannot even repeat many of the writings here. This family is too wisecracking and irreverent to be allowed in public. Every occasion is a roast. Clearly we all think we are comedians.
This makes Christmas shopping a bit out of the ordinary. What this means is that the Whitmore General Store may not carry the items that I might need to purchase for them. I may need to make a trip to some big city.
The motivation for Christmas gifts around here is more of the “Will this make everybody laugh” type rather than the “Mom needs a new robe, and I think she’ll like this pink fuzzy one” idea.
For a simple example, if someone is decorating their new bathroom in the Yellow Rubber Ducky motif, they will receive red ducks with devil horns, or worse.
My sister, Barbie, has opened several obnoxious Barbie doll items, as you might expect. The best one was the Christmas following a sibling houseboat trip at Lake Shasta several years ago. One night on the boat, we decided to decorate ourselves and each other with glow in the dark paint and dance around with reckless abandon. Adult beverages were involved, naturally. (There is a video of this event somewhere, but no one will admit to having it.) The next morning, Barb had permanent day-glo pink dots all over her legs. It took several days of swimming and soapy showers to remove them. Her Christmas Barbie, you guessed it, had pink dots up and down her long Barbie Doll legs. This sent all of us into uproarious laughter.
On a Christmas spent in San Francisco, well first I’d better let you in on a family fact. We are football fans. Rabid football fans. Unlike most closely knit families everyone here cheers for different teams. Rob loves the Forty- Niners, Pegi loves the Dallas Cowboys, Martie loves the Green Bay Packers, to name a few. Whenever any combination of these teams is playing the phone calls go back and forth delivering creative sarcastic remarks. (A $5.00 bet was once paid off with five hundred pennies dumped all over the floor.
One year, Rob took Pegi’s action figure of Troy Aikman off of her rear view mirror and bought it a tiny pink tutu and a feather boa and hung it on the tree. On another Christmas, he bought a Forty-Niner cheerleading outfit for Martie’s four year old daughter and taught her to say, “Brett Favre is a pill-popping, crybaby monkey.” Rob always wins the Sarcasm Award. I taught him everything I know.
Martie received a practical gift one year after she had a slight altercation with our neighbors in “Darn Near Mexico” (Southern California). See, these neighbors ran a swimming school in their back yard and sometimes they had reluctant students who sounded as if they were being pinched, bitten, and then drowned. One morning Martie wasn’t in the mood for this, due to a slight case of PMS, and let them have some of their own medicine right back in the form of a radio station that specialized in Rap.
This occurrence prompted Barb to find the perfect gift for her. It was a CD with a wide variety of obnoxious noises for the purpose of annoying one’s neighbor. It contained crying babies, arguing adults, and thunderous snoring and the like. The best was two people engaging in a bit of noisy, amorous passion. Upon hearing it, my three-year-old grandson said, “I know what they’re doing!” Our surprised, gasping faces turned to him and he confidently said, “Pooping!”
Now what did I do with that catalog, “Gifts For The Inappropriate?”