Every year I swear I won’t get dragged into the whole Christmas gift buying hoopla.
It’s too stressful; The expectations are too high, both as a giver and a receiver, only for it to all implode in tears and disappointment.
After I apologized and the ex stopped sulking about my dick-head behavior about the socks, I belatedly got very angry about the criticism my Christmas present received. (As I’ve mentioned before, it was roundly panned.)
Over the space over the next 24 hours I worked myself up into a state of sheer fury about every other gift I’d ever given the ex that had been critiqued (I am a woman after all, we remember these things) and it made me so angry I sulked for 2 days.
The ex noticing this retaliation sulk, countered it by coming home after work and asked me if they should change their flight dates and maybe not come to Bombay after all.
I asked the ex why they were so determined to ruin Christmas. (I said this very dramatically. With emotion!)
“If you’re going to be like this, and continue sulking then I don’t want to come to Bombay”
“Well, I’ll just have to get over it, won’t I!”
I probably would too. Of course, I’d never forget it.
“Why can’t you get over it now?”
The ex is far too practical in these kinds of emotional discussions.
This then devolved into a phenomenal row when the ex rounded swiftly, on the first counter attack by a second far more devious one, by saying we wouldn’t exchange gifts this year since the one I’d bought wasn’t up to scratch.
Now I was seriously annoyed. My gift gets panned, that’s just being honest but dare I express accidental disappointment in socks (I thought they were my Christmas gift – They weren’t.), then I am ungrateful.
Besides, I said sorry nearly immediately for saying I didn’t like it. It wasn’t nice. I acknowledge it. I didn’t mean to be. I suppose I was still slightly resentful about my failure present. (It was really nicely wrapped up too!)
To add insult to injury, only after I had given the ex their Christmas present, would we not be exchanging any gifts this year!
So the ex said
“I really don’t know what’s going on in your head. Why are you angry now after all this time?”
Even I don’t know what’s going on in my head but what the heck, I said sorry, why can’t the ex? I’m fairly straight forward. I like a sorry.
“You never say sorry! I always say sorry!”
Look I know. It’s an insane quarrel, but I wanted a sorry. It’s not rational, but I don’t care.
After 5 more minutes of me sulking, the ex then said sorry (about saying they didn’t like my present). As a further palliative the ex then said they did like the present.
What a sweetie. That was a clear lie and we both knew it. But I accepted the olive leaf gratefully.
So the plan now is to find something better or at least more suitable while I’m in Bombay. This time I’ll get it pre-approved and signed off before I buy it. That’s the only way I’ll get it right.
My present was a polka-dotted retro swimsuit (We’re going to Goa for a bit). It was nice.
Goddamnit. Why can’t I ever get gifts right?