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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Am I a bitch?

Most of this is a transcript from an IM I had with a friend earlier today. Some of it has been slightly altered for the sake of understanding context and presentation.

Christmas morning: It's all right... but I hate a lot of aspects of it.
People spending money they can't truly afford to spare, to buy meaningless gifts for people who will shove them into a bottom drawer and forget about them...
For example... I searched high and low for a replacement laptop/briefcase, and chose one that I could find in only one place... online... and I require its dimensions as well as other features such as detachable wheels and backpack straps:
I have been toting two briefcases around: one on wheels for most of my stuff, and one with no wheels to carry my (heavy) laptop. DH is SO clueless. He thought all I wanted was another damn briefcase on wheels... and didn't even check to see if it was made for a wide screen laptop. In fact he's so ignorant he doesn't even know that my laptop is extra wide, and not standard.
I am trying to bite my tongue and withhold my anger at his carelessness and ineptitude... but it bottles up, and must manifest itself somehow. If I'm not careful, it will make me truly ill.
So he buys me an expensive leather briefcase on wheels... very nice, but just STUPID. Because it cost MORE than the one I wanted, and if he had only followed the link I sent him and ordered it online he would have gotten it cheaper than what he spent. Instead of insisting on trying to find something locally without even understanding my needs or criteria for choosing what I chose!

This is my point: How can you appreciate a gift when there seems to be some kind of underlying spite? Like: "I know this isn't what you wanted, and it's not because I couldn't afford the one you really wanted, it's just that I truly don't give a rat's ass what you really want or why"

Or is that a distorted view?

I am going to try to return it. If they will give me cash, I will deposit it and order the one I want. Or if they will charge it back to his credit card... I will use his cc to order it. But if they will only give me a store credit I am going to be even more angry with him than I already am. This is why I wish he would not even bother to buy me anything at all. He always buys a bunch of thoughtless, useless things for his family and thinks they don't realize it. Their gifts are usually very thoughtful and well-chosen... so I know it's not just the way he was raised. He hates to shop, and it shows when you open a gift from him.

I'm sorry. I really shouldn't go on about him like this. I have my faults too. No one is perfect.
I need to just distance myself from all of this. I guess I need to write to remind myself of this... and perhaps get a divorce and let the kids spend Christmases with him... if it bothers me so damn much. Because they are also learning to choose thoughtless gifts... and I'd rather not even participate in the exchange any more. It's just a ridiculously expensive charade. I get angry about it every year... but I don't do anything about it.

I'm beyond such things in my life. I don't need the thoughtless gifts given me, nor do I need to spend weeks of my time agonizing about not having enough money to buy gifts or whether my gifts were thoughtful enough to avoid that "bottom drawer" syndrome. I am always upset at Christmas anyway... because my mother always made it so special. Now that I have spent more than half my life without her... it seems that the wound only grows deeper and festers worse every year.

Mostly on Christmas, Mother's Day, my birthday and her birthday... so 4 times/year I get all bent out of shape missing her. Nothing will ever bring her back. I need to develop some COMPLETELY DIFFERENT traditions... so that I won't spend the rest of my life comparing everyone and everything they do to her standards.

That's the one he bought me.

As I already said... I'm lugging around 2 briefcases because all my gear doesn't fit in one. The first one I showed you with the backpack straps & detachable wheels has enough room to consolidate the contents of my two separate bags.

My point about the gift is: It's very nice. Which is why I look like a bitch for complaining at all. But the fact is, I sent him a link and explained why I needed that one... but probably I explained verbally, when I should have put it in writing: next to the link I sent him.

My computer is only 15" wide, but that's not standard, so it won't fit into a standard padded slot that is intended for a smaller machine. I want a 17" Mac some day... so even the one I want would not suffice if I get it, but I searched all over the 'net to find that one... because I want/need all those features. The backpack straps and detachable wheels are for if I have to take trains... I'm sure many of you know what a pain it is to drag much gear around riding trains.

I can make a lot more $$$ if I'd be willing to commute to West Palm Beach or South Miami but that's too far to drive my car economically. If the employer is near a train station, however... I'd consider it. I live about a mile from a train station. A comfortable walk in good weather. But I won't take a train for an hour then a bus for another hour to get to where I'm going... I have limits to what I'll tolerate. Although if I get a wireless card from my cell phone company so that I can use my laptop on the train, bus, etc...

I've been looking at the features of that briefcase again... there really is NO comparison between the two. Ugh. I'm going to hate going to the store... but if I entrust it to him, I'm afraid for the consequences. I'd rather put up with a bit of inconvenience for ultimate satisfaction.

Oh well. I try to live by the words of Jesus, when he said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" He has his faults and I have mine. If I pick on his I am inviting criticism of my own. Best not to open up that can of worms if it can be avoided.

BTW... this is the only other briefcase type thingy I considered:
This one is very bulky... but nice cuz I could carry a lotta stuff in it. I like to be prepared... laptop, first aid kit including aspirin and cough drops, change of panties, if not a full change of clothes (warm or cool depending on weather changes)
Extras for laptop like USB cable, patch cable for wired network, external mouse, power pack/AC Adapter etc. Paper clips and other office supplies such as pens, pencils & sharpener, highlighters. All stuff for work... but to be able to work ANYWHERE. If I'm on the train for a couple hours a day, I want to be working, not vegetating

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