Sunday, December 14, 2008

A favorite Christmas memory - part 2

Hang with me, the Christmas memory is coming. I promise.

We married in September 1992. 10 days-ish after Hurricane Andrew hit Florida and Louisiana. FIL's job allowed him the chance to help those whose homes were damaged by Andrew. Thankfully, he was able to fly in to be our best man.

As conditions improved in the damaged area, MIL was able to go visit FIL. She returned home with the tackiest beach towels for us. I choose to believe she was joking. All the same, the towels were ugly and were resigned to the rag stash, perfect for drying the car or the dog or burying a dead animal in.

Little did we know that she was doing her Christmas shopping while there.

So, Christmas rolls around. Our first Christmas as a married couple.

So romantic it will make you puke.

We were in our senior year at AU (the loveliest village on the plains.) We were full-time students, without jobs. We were broke as sticks. So our gifts were limited to homemade cookies or something like that.

The Mighty Hunter used some old barnwood and made me a box for our kitchen to put potatoes and onions in. It was beautiful. I still treasure it. But it holds garden gloves and hand trowels now. (REPURPOSED.)

The Mighty Hunter always opened gifts with him parents and brother on Christmas morning, which I had been part of since we began dating. This year, was no different.

BIL handed out the gifts to everyone. Mine was last. It was clearly an old shoe box that had been REPURPOSED and wrapped in paper just like the rest. (I've REPURPOSED many a boxes of all types for gifts over the years. Genius!)

(There's a theme here, have you noticed?)

I enjoyed watching everyone else open their gifts. The Mighty Hunter elbowed me, asking me to open my gift. Thankfully, he was distracted by some of BIL's antics and didn't notice the contents of my gift.

Inside the REPURPOSED shoe box was goodness-knows how many hotel soaps and lotions and shampoos and conditioners and shower caps and sewing kits and shoe polish cloths and everydarnthing else you can smuggle out of a hotel room.

She had REPURPOSED all those pieces of crap toiletries into a gift for her new daughter-in-law.

And there was a $20 bill taped to the lid of the REPURPOSED shoe box.

I wanted to laugh out loud. I wanted to point out to her that she was OFF THE FRIGGIN' CHARTS OCD (and I would know.) I wanted to ask her if she had really forgotten to get me a gift. I wanted to know if she really believed the BS she said about how much she loved the little sizes and that they would be so handy for me, driving back and forth to AU. (We came home no more than once a month and brought our full-sized bottles of stuff with us.)

I wanted to blog about it.

Except there was no such critter as blogging yet.

Instead, I thanked her and hugged her and LOVED telling my brother about it later that day. HE got to laugh and ask all those incredulous questions. I just laughed and shook my head.

It was just this year that I was laughing about it around The Mighty Hunter. He didn't remember it at all. He was upset over it and embarassed (MIL has been dead 8 years now.) I laughed and told him to file it away with his mom's other nuttiness, like the 12 LARGE tubs of petroleum jelly she had squirreled away.

And all the STILL unused hotel soaps and shampoos and lotions and sewing kits.

It was our first Christmas together, married. And she made it one to remember in a very unique way.

Thank you, Kay. We miss you.

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