I don't know if I could call this the worst present I've ever gotten as it's provided me quite a few laughs already but I got this present today that really makes me wonder about the sanity of my sister.
I have three sisters. My older sister, I look up to. She is just smart, competent, take-charge in a nonemotional way when you need her to be but empathetic and kind to a fault.
My youngest sister I love - we are like two silly peas in a pod - best friends since we could talk and will be best friends forever. This leaves my third sister who happens to be closest to me in age, but SO, SO far away in terms of lifestyle, philosophy, everything.
First of all she's a fundamentalist Christian to the point of being a nutcase. She was not raised to be how she is - I know - I was there. She has adopted this rigid, judgmental, holier-than-thou philosophy and is constantly preaching about her non-acceptance of everything that she isn't. It's so hard to be around. She tries to control everyone around her - I think because she feels so out of control herself.
Well, I can't deal with it - and I tell her, 'Look - I've made it this far on my own - somehow I've muddled through without your constant direction...maybe while we're both visiting Mom and Dad you can remember this and refrain from constantly suggesting things like when, where and what I should eat, what I should feed my kids, what I should and shouldn't let them do, read, see, watch, say and think...
She responded by telling me that she often feels led to and will continue to pray for me in my obvious laxness and confusion..I could only laugh...and she didn't like that - she said, 'You always laugh...one day you won't be laughing,' I laughed some more. That happened last time I saw her.
Well in the meantime I had my birthday. She always sends me a present but this year - no present. I figured she figured her prayers hadn't worked, I was irredeemable and she'd finally given up on me. The gift came in the mail today - three weeks late. It is a book. It is about a middle-aged mother and teacher who realizes on her birthday that she has early onset Alzheimer's disease. She sends me this book for my BIRTHDAY!
I showed it to my daughter- who's seventeen and even she said, 'What a nice, cheery birthday book,' and asked, 'do you think she even realizes what she did- do you even think she recognized the parallels, or do you just think she's really that oblivious?' I said, 'It's so hard to tell - on the one hand she's so SMART - but on the other hand, she's a nutcase sometimes and totally oblivious, so I have the choice of seeing her insidiously and passive agressively evil or an idiot.'
I've decided to do what my friend suggested when I told him about it - after he stopped laughing he said, 'Write her a thank you note - say something like, 'Thank you very much for the book. I read it - unfortunately- I can't remember if I liked it or not.'
Actually, I'm halfway through it and it is interesting. So I can't say that I find her gift (or her) totally irredeemable, even if she finds me so.