My Mother the Gift Giver

Jan 05

My Mother the Gift Giver

Shopping for my mom is extremely difficult. One year I gave her some Julia Roberts movies on VHS, and she scowled and said, “Why I wanna watch these?” Another time I bought her a nice light blue sweater from the Gap (size 00, of course), and the following year she flew out to Seattle for a visit and brought a bunch of clothes for me, one of which was the same sweater I gave her for Christmas. Lately, though, my siblings and I have had success pooling together for a big gift that makes Mom happy. Even if the Great Big Present from the Kids doesn’t work out, there’s always Estee Lauder or Clinique to fall back on — she goes apepoop for cosmetics and perfume.

An even bigger treat than shopping for my mom is receiving gifts from her. She’s always been a peculiar gift giver. Usually nowadays she defaults to giving her kids money for Christmas or their birthdays, but every once in a while she’ll bust out something odd. One time she called me up and said, “I send you nice shirts for when you go out with you girlfriends. You wear them to pah-tees and when you go dancing.” It was a nice gesture except for the fact that I don’t go out “clubbing” or “dancing” with my friends, so I had no idea where I’d wear shirts of this nature. When they arrived, I opened up the box and saw that every shirt was bedazzled or rhinestoned and was completely outside my wheelhouse of fashion.

Another time, about two or three years ago, I was at work when my cell phone rang.

Me: “Hello?”
Mom: “Hi honeyyy!”
Me: “Hey Mom.”
Mom: “Whatchoo doing?”
Me: “Uh, I’m at work.” What would she expect me to be doing at 1:30 pm on a weekday?
Mom: “Oh, you working?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Mom: “Okayyy…lemme ask you something.”
Me, trying to cradle the phone and type/work at the same time: “K, what?”
Mom: “Whatchoo bra size?”
Me, nearly dropping the phone: “WHAT?!”
Mom: “What bras you wear?”
Me, at a loss for words: “I…whuh…..”
Mom: “I buy you bras for you birthday! Lots of different colors. Black, pink, purple…very nice! Good quality.”

I tried to covertly and discreetly share my measurements with my mom without my coworkers overhearing the ludicrous conversation, all while realizing that this was the first time Mom had ever bought me bras. Leave it to her to wait until her daughter is in her mid-20’s to finally make that big purchase. Lo and behold, about a week after our conversation, a FedEx envelope showed up at my house that was stuffed with bras of assorted colors. Thanks, Mom.

My brother John and I have the opposite problem when it comes to Mom buying clothes for us. She constantly purchases me clothing that is too big. I swear she’s convinced I’m 250 lbs. One time she sent me and Jason two XL-sized Harley Davidson t-shirts, one of which said, “Hell Paso Texas,” for no logical reason other than her husband likes Harley motorcycles so therefore we must too.

For John, on the other hand, Mom skews too small. He’s 6’3″ and 200 pounds, which makes the average Korean look like a hobbit.  My mom is apparently in denial about his size and regularly gifts clothes that are too small, especially sweaters.  A couple years ago she bought him a size medium sweater.  To prove a point, he put it on so she could see how the waist and arms were a good 8 inches short.  Her response?  “It gonna stretch out.  It good color!”

Of all the random stuff she buys for us, however, the Korean socks are the best. Every time she visits Korea, she returns with a treasure trove of poorly translated socks for me and my sister-in-law. One pair that she gave to Lori had “I’m a freak” written all over them. When Lori got pregnant, she started wearing the socks because nothing else would fit her swollen feet. My mom saw her wearing them and happily exclaimed, “Oh, you wear the socks! Those are good socks!”

Oh, she also brought Lori a pair of pajama pants that said “Friend is gold” all over them, but I don’t think even a pregnant Lori would be desperate enough to wear them…

One comment

  1. hahah this is so funny to read me and my sisters are half korean, and what really makes me laugh are the socks we have socks with little terrier doggies on them one with jesus on them and its so funny every time you post something its identical to our life!

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