Christmas Presents for People You Loath

bad-christmas-presents-300x199Snow is falling, children are sitting on high-spirited fat men, and you’re stressing over what to buy your aunt’s new husband, Craig, who always calls you Mare, even though you’ve told him over and over that your name is Mary, because you’re not a fucking horse. Oh, Christmastime. It’s just the best, isn’t it?

Across the internet, bloggers are posting helpful gift lists. Whether for your hipster cousin or your boyfriend’s parents, suggestions abound. These lists are filled with thoughtful, lovely things that will put a smile on even the most stoic of faces. But what if you’re buying a present for someone you can’t stand? Uncle Craig, for instance, does not deserve cashmere-lined gloves. Quite frankly, he doesn’t deserve anything at all, but your aunt would be upset if you left him off the list. So, you idly peruse the Brookstone website and grumble. It’s a conundrum, kittens. Where is the passive aggressive’s holiday catalog? Where is the list of Christmas Presents for People You Loath?

Oh, it’s right here. We spinsters do so try to be helpful, lieblings. Whether it’s for a high school friend whose Facebook updates feed a long festering rage, or an insurance salesman neighbor (enough said), I’ve come up with a few “nice” gifts for the “friends” in your life.

  1. Holiday-Candles2Aromatherapy Candles – You know what sucks? Sneezing. You know what sucks more? Being on fire. If I mildly detested someone, I’d hand them a tastefully appointed basket of cedar-scented candles. Live in central Texas long enough and two things will happen: you’ll develop a cedar allergy and your power will be knocked out. It is a universal truth that the only candles one locates in a storm are those that one hates. Cue sneezing. Cue revenge. Also, let’s be honest. This gift looks harmless at first, but there’s always the chance Mortal Enemy will knock a candle over and burn down her garage. Just try not maniacally laugh, if that happens. People will start to suspect something…
  2. dead plantAnything With Leaves – Perhaps, you don’t dislike someone enough to wish property damage on them. What you need is a gift for that co-worker who always one-ups you in meetings. Something nice, but subtly evil. Mother Nature, that ingenious bitch, created an answer: plants. Have you ever owned a plant? They are a pain in the ass, always needing water or attracting tiny flying bugs. The minute you’re proud of your plant-nurturing skills, they contract a fungus and die. Give a gift of a plant and you’re giving the gift of daily nuisance and heartbreak.
  3. Leaf-Napkin-Ring-27Anything Made With Leaves – While I am a staunch DIY gift fan, I believe there is one law of crafting: things made with leaves are hideous. You don’t believe me? You think anything made from nature is automatically lovely? Do a quick search on Pinterest for “DIY leaf.” Then, cackle. There are leaves hanging from wires, leaves DRESSED UP AS GHOSTS, and leaves modpodged onto bowls. Nothing says “You’re a rectal polyp, but still my cousin,” like sticking a leaf in some plaster and calling it a napkin ring.
  4. denny-duquetteThe Complete Grey’s Anatomy DVD Collection – You, my darling, are a true sadist. It’s not enough to give a bad craft, you’d like to inflict the most pain possible with your gift. Luckily, Shonda Rhimes exists. Not only is Grey’s Anatomy impossibly addictive, but it regularly fucks its viewership up. After last season’s finale, I ugly cried for a week. Just talking to Mae about what happened made me sob…a month later. And – this is the kicker- I hadn’t even watched Grey’s regularly in years. If a one-off episode can wreak that kind of havoc, think what eight straight seasons would do. One devastated shell-of-a-person coming up!
  5. western-australia-kangaroo-beachA Trip to Australia- So, you really hate someone. You want them to die a horrible death, writhing in agony while their soul slowly ebbs away, because they ___insert something awful, like “killed my childhood pet, Captain Woodpile, with a rusty chainsaw”___. Buy them a ticket to Australia, dearest. Sure, I may be a bit biased given my well-documented fear of the place, but the truth is obvious: Australia is hella dangerous. He or she could die of thirst in a desert, be bitten by one of the many poisonous spiders, or be eaten by a crocodile in the ocean. In a country where dingos eat babies, what’s the chance your mortal enemy will make it out alive? Slim to none, especially if she’s a slow runner.

And with that, Grace said, “Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night! Except for you, little sister’s chemistry teacher who was mean to her, I hope you get herpes for the holiday.”

– Grace
PS: I legitimately don’t know what to get Professor McGregor’s parents for Christmas. They are awesome and don’t deserve leaf crafts. If you have a suggestion, please oh please, leave it in the comments!

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Wow, That’s Both Sparkly and Opressive

10_10_1I really like jewelry.

We should start with that assertion, kittens. My love for fancy, glittering rocks is both ardent and genetic. Like my penchant for vintage textiles and pork cooked to at least 165 degrees (to prevent against tapeworms), this is all my mother’s fault. Growing up, no store was more often visited than the estate jewelers. We’d show up, pet the lovable shop Rottweilers, gossip, and buy gemstones of every color and size. I went away to college with more knowledge of sapphires than Socrates.

So, it should follow that I am very excited about an engagement ring, right? Well…kind of. The ring, devoid of any socially conscripted meaning, is great. My hand looks lovely with a bit of sparkle on it. Ain’t no thing! Except, why are we doing this again? Because, it seems like Professor McGregor is expected to put a ring on my finger in the same way we put a flag on the moon. We’re claiming this, bitches. Y’all, I’m not a giant space rock. Gravity does not chain me to the dear professor for all eternity. I can come and go as I please! I am way more Enterprise than Titan.

What’s the deal with engagement rings, society? Wedding bands, at least, indulge in gender equality along with their proprietary tendencies. For engagements however, only the woman wears one. Are we subconsciously giving men the right to keep surveying the field? Are women so forgetful that we need a conscious reminder at all times that we love someone? Or, perhaps, we’re all afraid that ravaging hordes of vikings will, at any moment, crest the hill and run off with any unclaimed uteri. Only a diamond can guard against the ghost of Leif Eriksson!

This makes no sense. It’s 2012, readers. We do not claim ownership over people anymore. Professor McGregor is not getting a dowry, along with my hand, or having to seriously ask for the permission of my father. (Though, admittedly, he feels like talking to my parents is the proper thing to do. That conversation will be mortifying/hilarious, when it happens, so stay tuned.) Yet, we proceed with this antiquated custom. Do we like diamonds too much to label them bullshit? Sexism is not okay, just because it comes in 1.5 carats with excellent clarity.

Moreover, most men give rings as a sign of their love, not as a claim. If they don’t give one, people are aghast. It’s seen as a breech of etiquette or, worse, a lack of to the commitment to the relationship. And yet, common “wisdom” tells a man to spend two or three months’ salary on a ring. I don’t know about y’all, but that seems like a lot of money. I’ve known so many people who ended up taking out loans for the ring. No one should have to borrow money to prove his love! This is all just strange. Wouldn’t we all rather go to Paris than buy a rock?

That being said, I’m getting an engagement ring. My mom is kicking in a sapphire from her vast collection, because she rocks, and I’ll have something to go along with the wedding band. In the end, my love of lovely heirloom jewelry is outweighing my hatred of sexist bullshit, but just barely. My rationalization is thus: I wear rings on my left hand all the time, but never have they had a claim on me. This one won’t either. It’s just a present, given to mark a big event, not a flag.

Be warned, American wedding customs: I am not so swayed by the rest of you. There’s a lot of non-sparkly sexist bullshit that comes along with weddings. I will not hesitate to throw traditions out the window, if they’re crap. I’m looking at you, bouquet toss…