Side Note 1: Those names are 100% real. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.Side Note 2: Pumpkin kept a very traditional home. Even back in the 50’s and 60’s when turquoise cars were commonplace, Pumpkin leaned toward the Ralph Lauren look…Green velvet. Mahogany wood. Tartan plaid. Dark antiquey things someone brought over on a boat from a place that smells like fish. You get the picture.
Surely Izora intended her to receive a green wreath, or perhaps a red one. Maybe even a white one, but pink? Heavens no. There must have been a mix up down at store, and Pumpkin even went so far as to pick an argument with florist until he exchanged the pink wreath for a traditional circlet of green holly. It hung in their window for several weeks, until Christmas Eve, when Aunt Izora called to confirm she was coming over the following day and could not wait to see “that pink wreath!”
Pumpkin immediately sent her eldest daughters on a wild goose chase around town in search of another pink flocked wreath with a velvet Santa in the middle (no easy task on Christmas Eve). Eventually one was located and Aunt Izora arrived the followed day, delighted to see her gift prominently displayed in the front window for all the world to see, never knowing her well intended gift had ever caused such distress and upheaval, telling everyone,“The minute I saw it, I knew Patty would love that adorable pink Santa!”
Side note 3: Patty, now known as Aunt Pat (or as she signs her emails “Yer Olde Ain’t Pat”) is my mother’s younger sister and the baby of the family. Although she probably doesn’t like to be referred to as the baby. She is married to Uncle John, who, when I was eight, taught me how to play poker and bust a grown man’s knee cap with a fork. Not at the same time, though.
Like, Black Velvet Clown Painting In The Bathroom type of creepy.
See, I don’t question why someone painted the clown on black velvet; I question the person who wants to look at it while they go to the bathroom. Not that my questioning should stop them. It’s their bathroom. It’s their home. Their life. Their bowel movement. Who am I to judge?
…but, when someone gives me the creepy clown painting and gets offended when I don’t hang it above my toilet, well, we have a problem.
And therein lies the rub: you can’t give people things you like and expect them to like them too.
Fact: This week, US retailers will exchange/return/reshelf more items than during the rest of the year combined. This wouldn’t happen if we kept our black velvet and pink flocking to ourselves. This wouldn’t happen if we learned to quell our inner Aunt Izora.
Sometimes, especially around Christmas, I wonder if I am just like Aunt Izora. Why, if I had a nickel for every time someone tossed one of my home spangled Christmas sweaters, well, I would have a whole dime.
This Christmas I decided to embrace my inner Aunt Izora and gave myself the gift of a pink flocked tree. I have wanted one for years but always felt guilty wanting to something like that for myself. Now I realize that, if I don’t get it for myself, that desire will manifest in other ways and will push my taste, my style, my wants out via someone else’s gift, which, will inevitably be returned. And that’s not good for anybody. So, I propose a toast…
Here is to Aunt Izora and her pink flocked wreath.
Here is to me and my pink flocked tree.
And here is to all those folks standing in line right now, returning $46.3 Billion dollars in merchandise.
Just be thankful it wasn’t a clown on black velvet.
Happy new year!
*** PS: If you want people to quit returning your gifts, I suggest you look into a pink flocked tree for yourself. And don’t wait til next year either — Treetopia.com is having a major holiday sale right now. You can embrace your inner Aunt Izora for up to 70% off!