December 08, 2003

The Dark Side Of Generosity

In an unexpected act of generosity by my parents, they offered awhile back to pay for my girlfriend's plane ticket to Hawaii so my mother, father, girlfriend and myself can enjoy the Holiday season in paradise.

On the surface, such an act of generosity seems wonderful but, if you dig a little deeper, you'll see that my parents are actually punishing me for some sort of past transgression. I say this because my girlfriend is now driving me crazy with her attempts at showing my parents her gratitude.

Melissa is not used to parental generosity. While she pinches every penny to pay her way through school, her father pinches every penny so he can adorn himself with over $6,000 worth of jewelry over the Christmas season, rather than, you know, helping his daughters out with anything. So, I guess it's understandable that Melissa is a little nonplussed that a couple of strangers would pony up the dough to send her to Hawaii.

But, I think she's overreacting here. Because she lacks the financial means to show gratitude, she's instead relying on gestures, which is fine, I guess, but it's still driving me crazy.

Her latest gesture was to travel with me to my hometown a couple of weekends ago to decorate my parents' home for Christmas so they'll have a nice Christmassy house when they come home from Tokyo for the Holiday break in a couple of
weeks. It was a nice gesture, but she went about the task like a low-ranking Nazi party member preparing for a visit by der Fuhrer.

She ordered me around like I was some sort of work horse. I dug out the plastic tree and decorations and carried them downstairs to the awaiting girlfriend menace. I was tasked with putting up the tree lights and, when I was done, Melissa said, seriously, that I had put the lights up all wrong. Excuse me?! How the hell do you put lights up wrong? They're on the tree, aren't they? They're lit up, aren't they?

"Just shut up and put on the garland!"

It was perhaps the most tense tree decorating I've ever endured. Far from the carefree days of my youth when I'd put decorations on wherever, that day my decoration placements were under the brutal scrutiny of the Christmas crank.

I made a secret vow that, if my parents ever offer to pay Melissa's way to anywhere else, I'd kindly suggest they retract the offer.

Posted by Ryan at December 8, 2003 01:07 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!