Apparently, I have a price

And someone named it. And now I know something about myself.

I don't do well with large gifts. My friend Veronica once gave me every single book she saw I had on a wish list; every stinking one. I could have died. It was seriously the most randomly thoughtful thing someone had done for me in a while. For my birthday last year, Gigi and Daddy C got me an iPod. A freaking iPod. A big one, shiny and black, causing me to spiral into a whirlwind love affair of epic proportions. Of course, I had no idea how to accept said iPod, and was all awkward and nervous about the whole thing.

I just have never been good with presents. I'm not used to it. Maybe I have an overblown 'I don't deserve it' complex; maybe I am just a stinking cheap stinker.

Because of this, I always ask for practical gifts around Christmas and birthday time. This year, I have asked Santa to bring me a real vacuum or a sewing machine. One year I asked Santa for a mixer, and he brought it, and he felt really guilty about bringing me kitchen appliances even though I desperately wanted one and totally needed it.

I can accept kitchen appliances, no problem. I can also accept grocery store certificates. I am a weirdo.

Those of you who have been with me from the beginning, pushing four years now, will recall that last year someone, some unnamed and almost ex-husband, forgot my birthday. Completely. Well, he remembered it yesterday. And so, happy 32-and-234.5-days-birthday to me, I guess...You can only imagine how long it took me to stop looking for the receipt so I could return this to the store.

When I asked what in the name of Zeus would make him do something so mind-numbingly stupid as buying a brand new laptop for someone who already has a laptop (not that it's functional in any way anymore; curse you, baby, and your tiny little fingers)and never really leaves the house anyway, he said that someone who's trying to write the Great American Blog should really have the proper equipment*. I pointed out quickly that A) he's never read the blog and B) it's total crap and C) we need exactly 15, 291 other things right now.

He said tough.

He said there was no way it was going back.

He said there was no way I could give it to him.

He said happy late birthday, and I'm sorry I forgot it, and go charge that thing up already.

And goddamnit, now the pressure is on. Now I have to write something of substance. Now I have to find someone to pay me to write this thing, because there's no way I can get away with the digital picture frame I was planning on giving him for Christmas.

*Incidentally, he also said that he got it on insane clown posse discount, and since every single instructional paper that came with it is in French and French alone, I'm betting he wasn't lying.