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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Worst Christmas Present I Ever Received

Okay, so maybe it is not the worst, but it hurt most to be given this present. This happened in 1980. My ex had moved away to a new church. I was to follow when the house sold. Does anyone remember 1980 when houses sat for months without selling? He came home with gifts on the 23rd of December. On Christmas morning we opened our gifts.

The girls, five- and ten-years-old received real pearl necklaces with 14 ct. gold clasps. They were thrilled. I was, too. The pearls were just fresh-water pearls, but oh, so pretty to my girls and me. Then, I opened my gift.

My gift held....a pump pot. What is a pump pot? It is a thermos that you push on the top to release the liquid instead of having a button or little lever at the level of the spigot. There is a big, soft button, about 2 inches across on the top. Somewhere, I had seen one when he was with me and had remarked that it would be nice for a picnic. He purchased it for me. Idiot! I admire orange or purple things, but that does not mean I want anything orange or purple.

I was totally in shock when he purchased something that confirmed the girls femininity and bought me something so I could serve him. He saw me as utilitarian, not deserving of ornamentation. Obviously, a shit brown gift was good enough. No, I did not appreciate the thought in it's the thought that counts.

Getting an appliance for a gift is great only if it is my idea. Our second Christmas I was pregnant and we were having  a house built. I told him that I only wanted a washer and refrigerator for my gift. I assured him it would be his gift too. We were young and practically penniless, so I was trying to make things better for us. That washer and dryer sat in the living room with a huge red bow around each. So, I am not against utilitarian gifts at all. It was just the disparity in my gift and the girls' gifts that hurt and shocked me so.

Plus, I had to act pleased for the children's sake on Christmas morning. They were thrilled that we got something for a picnic and were very happy.

My  mother gave me a blender one Christmas because I had been wishing I had one. She said she had hoped that getting something to cook with was okay after I squealed with delight when I opened the box. It was a red Hamilton Beach blender with a glass container, not plastic. It still works after 40+ years.

That January, I told him I was divorcing him. I had already decided to, but the gift cinched it.

If you have anything disparaging to say about me, just don't. I plan to have someone else read the comments and delete all that would upset me. This seemingly incidental happening is part of the pattern of abuse he heaped on me in the name of God.

Your turn
Have you ever just been insulted by a gift from a lover/husband/SO/whatever? Did it cut you to the core?

Want to hear more of this evil ex? If I am encouraged, I might start a second blog, open only to people invited who express interest. Of course, it will start after Christmas since I don't want to recount anything until after a joyous Christmas.

28 comments:

  1. What an a******. One year I didn't get any gift at all. Another year I got pots and pans. At least X wasn't giving nice gifts to other people–except probably his girlfriends–and ignoring me. He slighted the entire family.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janie,
      I did not publish this post until after you posted a reply. How did that happen?

      Oh, he got me something junky or took us all out to eat after Christmas. He said I was selfish for not sharing my gift with my children. Now, exactly is a person obligated to share all gifts?

      My ex fought my getting gifts for the children and then accepted the credit. No telling what my ex was giving other women.

      Delete
    2. I see that the post is longer now. I don't know what to tell you about me being able to comment before you were done, but it was in my blog roll. X always took credit for things I did, too. Do you think having a blog about ex will be therapeutic for you, or will it cause you to dwell on unhappy memories? Blogging about X has made me feel better, and I don't blog about him as often now. He's kind of fading away. I'm not saying you should blog about your ex. It might or might now make you feel better, so I hope you keep that in mind.

      Love,
      Janie

      Delete
    3. Here's what my mind typed while my fingers did something else: I'm not saying you shouldn't blog about your ex. It might or might not make you feel better . . .

      Delete
    4. My divorce was a court case that exploded this town. I can tell the truth about lies he still makes up about me and how it has impacted my children. It has been over 30 years and he will not give up with his revenge.

      I had saved the post to draft and finished it later. This is weird.

      Dead wreath. He sounds cheap, probably used it and sent it along!

      Delete
  2. My husband, John is not a very talented gift giver. He has given me some real doozies in the past. One year he bought me a man's pinkie ring that was shaped like an american flag..Fortunately I was able to return it. Another year he gave me a wheelbarrow. He wanted one. The most outrageously wacky gift was one year he gave me 100 single edged razor blades!!! I used them in box cutters at work and around the house. He had heard me say that they went dull really quickly so he figured a box of 100 would please me. It was after that that I gave him the present of never having to buy me a gift at Christmas again. !!!! This really did take the pressure off him and if I want something I go get it. John wasn't trying to make any sort of a statement when he bought those gifts he was just clueless!

    He collects coins and so on several occasions I have been gifted a nice gold coin. I wear a 1895 $5.00 coin much of the time. The year I turned 40 he gave me a Krugerrand. and the year my Daddy died he bought another coin while we were in New Orleans. Yes I realize HE is actually buying coins for his collection (except for that $5 coin) Thats okay with me!

    Back when I was still maried to Charly I had a little red 1963 VW beetle. When I went to work we bought a more reliable car for my daily driver and I traded in the little bug. I don't know if you have ever had a VW but they really get under your skin. I missed that little car and kept my eyes open hoping to see it again. Months went by and when Christmas arrived It was outside on the back driveway with a giant bow on top! That Chalry was a good gift giver!
    I don't have that little red vw any longer. Now I have a white 1962 Beetle!

    ReplyDelete
  3. John is funny. My ex was not. I was never allowed to have any money because all I did was "cook, clean, take care of the children, make their clothes, do the laundry." Those were his words. If I could have bought my own gift, I would have.

    In the 60s we drove a little VW and I just refused to have it as our only car. We drove it 40 miles one way on a short trip. My bones were rattled to death. It sounds like you are a devoted VW Beetle lover.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not a Christmas story but shortly after my Dad and I moved into his new house my sister and brother-in-law brought me a gift. A set of cheap plastic measuring spoons (the paint with the measurements soon washed off), a set of plastic measuring cups and a set of dish towels that were a thin terry cloth. I was basically told that since I had not married I would never experience having a shower so this would kinda take the place of it.

    And my family wonders why I don't have a lot to do with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. seyrey,
      That was low, insulting, sent a horrid message. Those negative messages are heard loud and clear. I don't blame you for not associating with them much.

      Delete
  5. Why would anyone say anything disparaging about YOU? If buying you a thermos isn't bad enough, buying real pearls for the girls was a deliberate slap in the face.

    We used to buy each other Christmas gifts, but both of us now just don't see the point. Unless I know he really really wants something, I just don't get him anything either.

    I do remember one Christmas years ago when my adult married brother gave my mother a bug zapper. And it was his OLD one that he had repainted. I have no idea why he thought that was a good idea, but I know she was terribly hurt although she didn't show it.

    She imagined it was his wife's idea, but for some odd reason my brother was so proud of the gift he had given her.

    A couple months later I was talking with my mom about it and she was still stinging from what in her mind was a slap in the face. I finally told her that my brother did not give her that to hurt her. For some odd reason, he really thought she would like it. That was when she finally quit hurting over it.

    BUT, I can't say the same about your thermos vs pearls episode. I'm sure that wasn't the first time the jerk deliberately displayed his nastiness.

    Sounds like you made the right decision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was just the culmination of bad gifts, the topper. He always put me down in every way he could. Yeah, a repainted bug zapper is bad. I never have regretted my decision. Thanks for understanding. You can repaint a bug zapper?

      Delete
  6. One year I sent beautiful wreaths to my siblings. I gave my parents something else, I don't remember what. My parents received a box from my brother (now deceased). It was the wreath I had sent to him, no longer green. I guess he didn't want a wreath so he re-gifted it. He was just kind of stupid and cheap. Your ex was truly cruel.

    Love again,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  7. My kids were the recipients of strange gifts from my now departed sister in-law. She had 'personality disorders' let's call it that....and would often go off her medications. During some of those "episodes" she sent my kids xmas or birthday gifts that were strange.....one year she sent my son(who was about 8)a package of sewing needles and a used black portfolio. One year she sent only 2 of them a gift(a gift like described above). You never knew what a box from her would hold.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slugmama,
      That was bizarre. I suppose you had to be present to make sure your children did not open a gift that had to be removed immediately. My ex mil sent my grandson a box of pens, cheap knock-off of BICS, not even ones that worked most of the time. My grandson, about 13, was confused. Last year, I had a store card for $43.56 from Radio Shack. I had nothing to give him, so I sent the card to him when my daughter assured me he would use it. After awhile on Christmas Day, he said to his mother, "Don't you think this is a strange amount?" She explained it and said he understood.

      He probably thinks grandmothers give strange gifts.

      LOL...poor kid left out! I wonder what was with that.

      Delete
  8. Now my other sister in-law sends me slippers every Christmas, slippers that are 2 sizes too small which I send to Salvation Army....lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mil always send me clothes sizes too big, and I was never allowed to exchange them. She had just bought on sale and really did not care what she got. Maybe you sil could not find your size and found slippers on sale. "It's a gift!" mentality took over.

      Delete
  9. Can't say I've ever received a particularly AWFUL gift. My aunt and grandma always over-estimate my size. Their intentions are good (I do love fashion AND wish I was curvier lol!), they just don't realize how petite I really am lol. My grandpa on my Mom's side quit giving birthday and Christmas gifts at 18, too many step-grandchildren (I'm my grandpa's only blood grandchild). My other grandma gives cash, as does my Dad. After Mom died, the actual "presents" and stocking stopped.. just not Dad's thing I guess. I really am grateful with what I receive, but I do miss the traditional gift-opening. Pretty excited to share my first Christmas with my BF. I have a small pile of gifts and stocking for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tlc,
      I told my mil my size. You are petite! You should reinstate what family traditions you can with/for your father. He has never sounded like the person who handled some things that were your mother's domain. I remember things from you other blog. This will be a special Christmas even if you two do not stay together. Enjoy it!

      Delete
  10. Oh gods...this brought back memories about my ex! One Christmas when I was pregnant, I desperately needed a new winter coat. My then hubby and I went to several stores and I tried on coat after coat. Finally, I found it! Soft heathery gray wool, with a nice belt tie...it accommodated my baby bump , felt wonderful and looked nice on me. I was head over heels for that coat! And the price was right! Right on spot for our budget.
    Christmas morning, I ripped open the package, expecting to find *the* coat...I had told him over and over that it was my favorite.
    Nope.
    What was in the box was a HIDEOUS green and brown plaid coat with ugly over-sized faux tortoise shell buttons. It was the one coat I had tried on and said "Uck...nasty looking coat".
    I looked at him with disbelief and said "I HATE this coat...it is HORRIBLE." He said "I know. Be thankful you got that!"
    I danced in the courtroom the day we got the divorce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how horrible. Tears came to my eyes. My husband would deny me things just as yours did.

      "Grateful"?

      "I know"!

      I do know he was verbally and emotionally abusive. I hope you are okay now. I was denied a coat for 14 years, even when we lived in the mountains with lots of snow.

      Delete
    2. That breaks my heart. No coat in snow. Wow.

      Delete
    3. He was cruel. Then, he would berate me because I would not go out in the beautiful snow. He had boots while I only had low cut shoes.

      Delete
  11. A deep fat fryer because he loved french fries. A watch when I already had three. A gift card from the hardware store. A steering wheel cover that didn't fit my car, but wow, it fit his truck. My ex never ever got me anything that was really for me. You know, in ten years of marriage, he never even remember how I took my tea, my coffee or what I liked on my burgers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. El Fielding,
      Well, he kept himself in gifts all wrapped for you. I think I would have started buying things for me and wrapping them for him! I cried when mine did not remember how I liked my burger. He did volunteer to eat it for me. So, I had nothing to eat.

      He did get a chicken breast for me when he fixed my plate at church, but all the little old ladies were telling me how nice he was to me. You guessed it, he did nice things only when someone witnessed it.

      By the way, I am older than those "little old ladies" were!

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "She's" at least anonymous. Jerk.

      Delete
    2. Rita,
      She is clueless and not my ex...lol. Thank you Rita. She is a jerk for sure. Ordinarily, I would delete such a stupid. mean, clueless response. I won't even dignify her words with a response.

      Delete

For the present, I am taking comment moderation off the blog.