Oh, people, you are going to LOVE this from the Ironed Curtain. What can we possibly come up with for this one???
Mother – in –Law
Salient Information: 61, overweight, closet alcoholic. Passive-aggressive, judgmental, gossipy, very difficult to get along with. Favours her other son and his family over my husband and our daughter and I. Frequently gives out advice to others that she herself should follow. Also loves spouting annoying platitudes.
Also of note: she has 6 housecats. They piss on her carpets.
Interests: herself, soccer (football), cheap white wine, denial.
Gift history: she has a habit of giving dollar-store or discount store gifts to us and lavishes herself with whatever she wants. Last year, she and my father in law bought themselves their 5th laptop computer (they also have 2 desktops at home) and gifted to my daughter (on her very first Christmas), a lead-filled puzzle clearly from the dollar store. After 12 years of her son and I being together (married for 3) she still knows nothing about me and this shows in the presents she gives me. They are cheap, ugly and instantly thrown away the minute she is gone. I want gift-revenge and I want it bad.
This gift will be for her birthday (December 24th) as we have all decided to get Christmas gifts for the children only this year. In the past, she has insisted that her birthday gifts be wrapped in BIRTHDAY wrap, not CHRISTMAS wrap and will have a fit if we do not comply. She gives me my birthday present (December 20th) in X-Mas wrap every year.
Obviously, BMF and I consulted on this one. He is as much a part of Present Clinic as I am, I feel. His take on it was:
"Something innocuous, but that has a real unexpected and nasty kick to it. So I'm thinking something lavish-tastic but that requires the donation of say, an arm or a kidney or a liver maybe. "
Whilst I like his thinking, what with the vital organ removal and all, I am slightly at a loss for how we might achieve this through the medium of a gift. Maybe, the once in a lifetime experience to swim with great white sharks (cage not provided)?
I have a couple of other ideas, but I am warning you, comments box, I'm going to need your help here as I am pretty much a spent husk of a person. My room mate laughed out loud at my shuffling pathetic demeanour today. It didn't help that I had had to borrow her peach mohair cardigan (emphatically not my colour) for warmth. Did it get me a seat on the tram? Did it fuck. Anyway. On with clinic!
1. A GIGANTIC picture of you and your family. Life sized if possible. Or pictures of all of you on coasters, place mats, cups and cat food bowls. Try and ignore us now, witch!
2. Something that you can claim is 'good luck' in another culture. The world is a big place! Testicles set in PVC resin are quite probably good luck somewhere. Or indeed a leprous baby playing with a snail. Be sure to say "as soon as I saw this I thought of you". I feel sure you would enjoy saying that. I can almost hear you.
3. Check out Barbara, my very favourite ink stained wretch, who has been trawling the nether regions of the earth for some of the most disturbing gifts known to man. I was going to say I particularly liked the pregnant torso with detachable foetus, but then I went over today and I must say, the infanticide embroidery is SPECIAL. Mmmm.
4. A delightfully shiny nylon football (soccer) shirt. These are just the thing for ladies in their sixties - flattering and fun at the same time! See how long she can wear it before the halo of static around her lights her up like an advent candle! Ground her with a crackling shock! Fun for all the family. Do ensure you choose an obscure club with a tremendously ugly strip, and if possible an embarassing sponsor. Go here for more inspiration.
That's all I have right now. Internet! Do your worst!
(And anyone who still hasn't sorted out the tricky person in their life, that's what waffle mail is there for. Still time for one more present clinic before Christmas! )