The Perfect Gift

I'm Returning This


Ever since I outgrew the age where I could make my mother gift's out of popsicle sticks and macaroni noodles, I have failed to get her anything that she doesn't return. Whether it is “Too small,” “Too big,” “Not the right color,” or (my favorite objection to date) “The smell makes me sick” (as she gags). It was a vanilla scented candle by the way, not a rotting corpse.

The hardest part about this is that I love to give gifts. I get more joy watching a person open a gift than opening one myself. I feel awful when I fail at giving the perfect gift. Ironically, this is a trait that I get from my mother. She is also a gift giver. When she is able to give a gift that will help someone, or if you express interest in an item, and she can get it for you she feels like a hero. I know this feeling because I often feel the same way. However, one thing I never understood is how even though she finds the perfect gift she still assumes you hate it and are going to return it. 


Right after my first chemotherapy treatment I started to lose my hair. I shaved my head right away, and realized how cold it was without my hair. It was the middle of October and it was only going to get colder. I didn't want to wear a wig, or a hat, because that made me feel like I was hiding, and I was proud of my bald head. I was going through a medical condition, but I wasn't going to hide from it or be embarrassed by it.


I was, however, very into scarfs. I would put a scarf on as soon as I woke up and wear it all day until I went to bed. Friends and family members were asking what they could send me and I told them that I would love a couple new scarves. My mother got a hold of this information and she showed up at my house with at least five scarves. She has me try on all of them so she can see them on my skin. There was a brown one, light gray, pink, cream, and a black and gray checkered (which was my favorite of the bunch). I tried on the black and gray one on, and remark on how much I love it. She declares, “No, I don't like it, it's too dark.”


      I retaliate, “No, it's not. I like it.”

      Her: “No, it feels depressed. I feel depressed looking at it. I'm going to get a brighter color.”

      Me: “But, I wear mostly black and gray, it's perfect.”

      Her: “I'm taking it back,” she is actually taking it off of my neck. I grab the other end and hold on to it.

      Me: “ It's my present, and I like it! I'm keeping it!” I have never had to fight to keep a gift before.

      Her: “Don't you think it's too dark”? She has this whole 'mother-knows-best' attitude, which drives me completely insane. It takes me back to the time when I was in high school and had to do what she said, regardless of how ridiculous it was. (For example, if she was cold she would make me put a sweater on. What kind of sense does that make?)

      Me: “I like it!” I am amazed at this point. She is actually trying to talk me into hating the gift she gave me. I've never seen anything like it.

She finally concedes, and lets me keep it. Ironically it is my favorite scarf, I wear it all the time, and the pink one she gave me I think I've worn it once.

Latest comments

05.11 | 16:12

I am so sorry you had to experience this, Becky. But one thing no stinking fire can take away from you is this: You're an awesome writer. Keep on producing!!

15.04 | 16:00

You are the first person that I have heard from that has this bugger! feel free to reach out to me in the contact me section. Limited response in this section

15.04 | 03:48

Wow. IHow are you doing with the Teratocarcinosarcoma. I was diagnosed with it last September.

15.11 | 18:32

Wow! What an inspirational story! I hope that you continue to share. And for those that don't get it. Try and fit in her shoes one day.