Friday, 12 December 2008

Present Clinic - the return!

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! )


Ali said...

A pooping man or "el caganer"?

I actually own a rather lovely little one of these and posted about it the other day prompting someone to hunt down and share this site, which sells a variety of lovely ones.She sounds like she may be suitably offended by it.

peevish said...

If only you could find some gift wrap printed "Happy Birthday" in red & green ink with little baby Jesus's all over.

I like the idea of the giant family photos. Or maybe a large box of wine or giant economy bottle of her alcoholic beverage of choice. With a simple bow. Christmas-themed, of course.

My birthday is January 1, and I've always had it lumped in with x-mas. But what the hell, a gift is a gift, right? Last year, my Mother-in-Law remembered my birthday just before dashing out to catch her flight home, and hastily shoved a smallish amount of cash into my hand. Had it been more cash, I could have overlooked the lack of thought behind the gift. As it was, I found it to be the worst gift EVER. I felt like I'd just valet-parked her car. Without even getting a chance to dent it.

Persephone said...

In Canada, we can give Gifts of Magic via Unicef. You choose your "gift" (water purification tablets, notebooks for a school, etc.), according to what you can afford and Unicef sends you a rather nice card which you give to the recipient, showing what has been funded in their honour. The beauty of this is that it is very difficult for the recipient to complain about this gift without looking and sounding like a total git. I give these as presents to my younger daughter's teaching team each year. They really sound happy about it, but then, what else can they say? I'm sure something similar is available outside Canada (or you could simply send the money to Unicef Canada; I'm sure they'd give you the cards....)

My word verification is "petswals" which also sounds like a perfect gift for this particular mother-in-law.

littleanomaly said...

a flashlight and a tire gauge, animal infested with some pests, government publication on animal welfare, a child from a third-world country, one of those free bibles people like to hand out, a random volume from an encyclopedia (bonus points for odd topics), world almanac/something equally boring from the year she was born (OR say, if she was born c. 1940, try to find one from earlier. "Oh? You weren't born in 1906???", various objects from dollar store, the change from your couch (wrapped in a Crown Royal bag), have the kids make her a really tacky shirt, with gems and glitter glue, a subscription to an awful magazine. BUT you order the first free one in HER name and then after the first one she gets billed, novelty items from pornstore/tourist trap, jumbo poster of baby animal/rodent/starving people, deodorant, expired food items, objects from goodwill...

Hmm.. one year my dad (who knows nothing about me) gave me duct tape and wd40. His wife made a cute little print out from the computer that said "if it moves and it shouldn't use the duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD40" Worst gift for 20 year old girl ever.

Anonymous said...

I like the photo fo the family idea. A poster sized one would be good. In a really ugly frame.

justme said...

DEFINATELY a family photo on place mats and coasters! That is SUCH a good Plan! Or possibly, same photo, but as a jigsaw puzzle..........yes!
Or some really nasty, cheap, scented candles (to disguise the cat smell) and wrapped in tinfoil.....

Trooper Thorn said...

Make a donation in her name to the United Negro College Fund. It's a good cause, and she can't complain without sounding like a racist.

La Belette Rouge said...

The life size pictures, coasters and place mats are a priceless idea and may be used by me. Is it okay to take gift ideas that weren't prescribed to me?

vegan mum said...

I have to say that I am VERY impressed with all of these suggestions. The UNICEF idea is lovely and it is something we do for some friends and family members but it is,I think, simply too nice of a gesture for my MIL. I have narrowed it down to a grab bag (possibly one decorated in red and green with Happy Birthday and baby Jesus on it) of a few things: cat bowls with our family pictures on them, a free bible, a donation in her name to the United Negro College Fund, and some horrible smelling scented candles from the dollar store.

I must say that, thanks to all of you, and especially thanks to Jaywalker for featuring my dilemma on her blog, this might just be my favourite Christmas ever. I think I will have to post photos of the gifts on my blog and then perhaps take pictures of her reaction when she opens them and post those as well.

SUEB0B said...

Perhaps one of those Epilady things that rip your leg hairs out one by one, causing massive screaming? Isn't that what every lady wants?

Kim Velk said...

You're right, Jaywalker! I do love this. I loved the Ironed Curtain's question and your suggestions. (Thanks for the link to the Ink-Stained Wretch). There are many excellent suggestions in your post and in the comments but I have one more. I had a look at Ironed Curtain's Blog and I see she is in Canada. If it happens to be Quebec, Canada, we may be neighbors. If so, she can swing by my house and pick up the vole, now a kind of vole-sicle, that my dog killed yesterday. It's still out by the door somewhere - I kicked it by accident this AM sent it skittering like a legged hockey puck into the snow, but I bet we could find it. Nothing says "Merry Christmas, Mom" like a bloated bit of (somewhat gnawed) frozen vermin.

Waffle said...

OK, I have been having the shittiest day imaginable, but every second of this has been pure pure JOY. The vole-sicle hockey puck! The valet parking gift of cash! The screaming ripping depilatory device! Littleanomaly with a whole package of evil horrors that make me worry for her mental health! The Christmas/birthday paper. Oh god. I have had to lie on the floor to recover. I love you all so much.
YES. We want a report back please, Curtain. Pictures would be even better.

Léonie said...

I am late, but, wow, these suggestions are brilliant. Pictures of the family on cat bowls is an excellent, excellent idea.

Leslie said...

wow. infanticide embroidery. wow.

Keith (kcm) said...

Another idea. Get a small, plain cardboard box. Fill it with some form of packaging (scrunched up tissues; polystyrene beads) or even leave it empty. Then seal it up and wrap it in the worst pound-store Christmas wrap you can find. Truly annoying for MIL as she gets something she hates wrapping up ... nothing! If you really want to be super-annoying hide a 1p amongst the packing in the box. When she asks why, you say that you couldn't think of anything to get hre so you decide to give her nothing -- and she should be grateful that you're saving your money in these troubled. times! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I have just purchased a smashing calendar from Waterstones.
'Toilets of the World 2009'

R. Molder said...

A bottle of white wine , pour out half and refill with water and 2 Tablespoons of vinegar, shave the cork so it fits back in without looking like the bottle has been tampered with, put it in a red gift bag, mount a photo of your family to the front along with a happy birthday sign.

katyboo1 said...

Apologies for my lateness, but my enthusiasm remains undimmed.

How about laminating a cat turd which you have spray painted gold? It can go with the smell of cat pee on the carpets.

Another annoyingly saintly gift is adopting a goat to send to someone in the third world. Goats are evil and they will undoubtedly send her photos of the goat which she will have to keep.

On the subject of wrapping paper, I did see some excellent paper the other day. It said: 'Merry Fucking Christmas' on it, repeatedly in large letters. I recommend this for the birthday present.

Anonymous said...

Incredibly late, but when I read this to the bf he suggested a virus. Something that would install a screen saver on all of her computers with pictures of you.

It would take some finagling - maybe saying it's software that she needs?

Waffle said...

Maria - the screensaver virus is fucking genius! Curtain, I think you have to do this. Somehow.

Beetle - that sounds tremendously detailed. Like, perhaps, you might have tried it already? Care to expand?

HFF - goodness me. Combined with Ali's pooping man and you have a whole themed gift!

Katyboo - The gold sprayed turd is a thoughtful choice. I like.

KCM - again, this has the ring of experience about it. Have you tried it out?

Juci said...

I am very late, but I think the CFO is on to something here. I would recommend a gorgeous Swarowski-studded wheelchair or, to go all-out morbid, the most beautiful, luxurious coffin available on the open market.

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