This last week has been exhausting. After finally feeling like I had made some progress, I felt like I might have taken five steps backward. I read somewhere that we all have a “pain body” that likes to feed like the Ego. I could no longer use the burden of not having the conversation that I needed to with my father as an excuse to beat myself down with. I felt super free and happy. So, I got thrown a little curve ball.
I finally got Alex’s brother, Ethan, his Christmas gift and was scheduled to exchange it with him on Sunday night. Ethan is like my little brother. I had originally gone to a Five Below to get him a $5 gift. It would be on par with what he was planning to give me. I walked through the store and just couldn’t find anything. I thought about going to a few different places instead, and felt so good that I wanted to spend a little more to let him feel as good as I was feeling.
I remembered that Alex had told me that he had asked his mother to not buy him pajama pants this year. It was similar to a kid telling his parent that he was too grown up for something that they had done regularly to that point. Still, pajama pants rocked and his brothers and I still got them from his mother. I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if I got him a joke pair, then put in a real gift card so he could get what he liked. It would be better than a piece of crap from the cheap store.
I went to Kohl’s and found a ravaged pajama section. A pair of Chevy ‘52 truck pajamas were hanging up and I about shit myself. Ethan loved that model of truck. I was pleased with my find until I turned around and saw another pair of road sign pants. He also collected road signs. I couldn’t believe my luck! I couldn’t decide between the two, so I bought both of them and a $10 gift card.
Pleased with my purchases, I went to the dollar store to get gift-wrapping. While I was there, I decided to throw in a gumball machine with gum (a gift I have given him the last two years). It was meant to be tongue-and-cheek, but still valuable. I left really pleased with myself. I was excited to give it to Ethan.
I made it to Alex and Max’s a little early. They had told me that it was okay. Originally, they had hoped to have a “date” night, but called it off because of the gift exchange. Ethan opened my gift. He didn’t have a big reaction, but I thought he was amused. My gift was a jelly bean pooping Peter Griffin and lottery tickets from each state they had drove thru.
Later, I asked Alex what he thought of my gift to Ethan. Alex said, “You knew he didn’t want pajama pants and got them out of spite. Don’t pretend like you got them out of the goodness of your heart. It is bad karma. You wonder why you get bad gifts from your family. Well, it is karma.”
Damn, was my gift that bad? Did Ethan think I was the biggest bitch? What have I done?
Ethan came back shortly after for a scarf he had left behind. I took it to him. Crying, I asked if he thought my gift was insensitive. Surprised, he said no. “I got you a pooping Peter Griffin doll,” he countered. I blubbered out that I had meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek, but I didn’t want him to think I didn’t love him. He gave me a big hug and told me not to worry.
He left and I grabbed my things and left after politely saying good-bye. I still felt miserable, like I couldn’t do anything right. Ethan even called me latter to tell me that he had actually missed not getting pajama pants after his brothers opened their gifts, so it worked out.
Nonetheless, this is just proof that although I might have conquered one challenge, there are still many more left to be faced.