Thursday, May 03, 2007

"...but I won't dwell upon these trifling family matters” - Lord Byron

The first few years of my marriage, H’s mom gave me for my birthday:
  • a denim shorts-and-shirt set studded with rhinestones, in a size six (I was at the time probably a size ten)
  • a greenish flowered rayon dress with embroidered flowers all over the skirt, size large (I was probably a medium – she tried)
  • a Mary Higgins Clark mystery
The year she gave me the rest of my wineglasses from the wedding registry was a vast improvement.

The year after that, she gave me a gift card to Old Navy, which was just fine.
I like Old Navy.

Then she went straight to cash.
I have no problem with cash.
Except my mother used to give H cash for HIS birthday and I know she gave us both the same amount.
I don’t want to sound petty here – but I will – but H’s mom gives me half of what she gives H.
This year, my amount got reduced another ten dollars.

I suppose, really, I should be grateful she gives me anything at all.
It’s nice of her.
She spends a lot of money on my boys, so it's nice of her to remember my birthday at all.
It really is.
Plus, this year she got it exactly right.

This morning, with my birthday cash in hand, I went to Barnes and Noble and bought:

The new Barbara Kingsolver, because I own and read everything she writes.
This one looks really interesting, especially in light of my exciting discovery today that Construction Junction recycles paperboard! No more throwing out cereal boxes and OJ cartons. I am actually not sure what recycling has to do with eating locally, other than being tenuously connected by being-good-to-the-Earth-ness, but either way I was happy about both!

Jen Lancaster has a new book out, and everyone should go buy it. Because, wouldn’t you hate to meet her at Blogher and not have read her new book? Besides, she is just as funny in her book as she is on her blog. Who doesn’t want to laugh out loud while reading on the bus, just like a crazy person?

The saleslady at B&N had a bit of a tough time tracking down Jen’s book (Jen. Me and her. We’re like THIS.) but we finally found it on the New Paperbacks table. Because it would be a New Paperback. And I was all, “Wow, Jen is soooo funny, you should read her first book.” Basically, pathetically, trying to pass myself off as a personal friend to the famous author. (Are two famous authors not enough for me? Do I really need more? If you cut me, do I not bleed? )
But you know, Jen blogs; I blog.
She has ten thousand readers; I have ten readers.
We are blogging sisters, of a sort.

So, now that I have embarrassed myself by acting like I am still a junior in high school, I also bought this, to carry on the high-school theme:

Because, let’s face it, regardless of how erudite The Sandman series really is, it plays perfectly to the angst, the pseudo-depth, the sturm und drang of the average adolescent female.

Besides, in the last volume I read, Dream died, and I can’t quite cope with that well enough just yet to read The Wake, so Endless Nights it is.

My mother-in-law has done herself proud with the birthday gifts this year.
Thanks, Mom!


Joke said...

One day, many, many years from now, you'll be able to point to your MiL and say "She's YOUR relative, not mine."


Peg said...

One of my favorite quotes is from Barbara Kingsolver (and is affixed to my fridge): "Recall that whatever lofty things you might accomplish today, you will do them only because you first ate something that grew out of dirt."

I can't wait to read her new book. Yay for you! And yay for Construction Junction, too. That's exciting. You're right -- it's all related.

Kathy said...

Oh, I did not know Barbara Kingsolver had a new novel out and I've been in the bookstores and everything! I love her -- I think I've read everything she's written.

Suse said...

And on a completely unrelated note, I finished The Historian today. Thank you.

- From one of your devoted ten readers.

jenny said...

Last year I got a prepackaged set of matchy paper plates, cups & napkins with some plastic silverware.

I feel your pain.

Tara said...

Hello! I feel your pain. I have asked my inlaws to please, please not buy me anything for Christmas. It's generally all so strange that I think, what is your opinion of me - do you really think I would wear/use/read this??? I am so anxious to get my hands on a copy of Kingsolver's new book. Did you know she has a website about it with photos?

Badger said...

Why is it that the awesome inlaws, like my MIL, die right after you marry the guy, but the crappy inlaws live forever?

Not that I'm saying I wish H's mom were dead or anything. Heh. That came out kind of awkward.

Word on the street is that even though I am not going to BlogHer, I will get to meet and maybe even hang out with Jen L. one of these days, so I should probably at least read her FIRST book which is languishing on my stack of to-be-read books.

I am finishing Stealing Buddha's Dinner TODAY, gosh darn it. No matter what.

Anonymous said...

Barbara Kingsolver's new book is out? I want to run to the book store right now, but I have too much work to do.

I just finished reading Water for Elephants. I liked it. It was unusual and entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your tip on Barbara Kingsolver...will add her to my reading list!

BlueRectangle Book

Caro said...

So, when your MIL gets REALLY old and creaky and refuses to go to a home, I think the one who got the most birthday cash should be the one who gets to change her Depends. Hee hee hee.

Anonymous said...

My MIL does the same thing. On our 25th wedding anniversary "party" (cake at my sister's), she waited until she was leaving and handed my husband money at the door.

Though once she bought me pajamas striped like a circus tent.

Jess said...

I just gobbled up Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (ah, the beauty of amazon pre-orders) and have a bajillion things to say about it. And word on the street (street = Powell's interview) is that she's working on a novel - THAT I can hardly wait for.