“I know.” This was an overdue talk, but one I still didn’t want to have. “All I’m saying is maybe you could change it up a bit.”
“Your grandmother passed it to me, and her mother passed it to her.” My mother refused to look at me, instead she focused on folding the same towel over and over.
“It’s not the same now,” I said taking the towel from her. “Back in the day, getting new ones once a year was more a necessity. Even when grandma gave them to me… it was embarrassing.”
“What are you talking about?” My mother looked at me like I had grown a third arm. “You loved it.”
“No, mom, I didn’t.” I was glad I never had to tell my grandmother her gifts weren’t welcome. “The kids didn’t want to say anything themselves. They didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
“Are you saying I can’t give my own grandchildren gifts?” My mother had perfected the quivering voice. “You know I love to spoil them.”
“I know you do, and you still can, just in a different way.” If she didn’t take my criticism so much to heart, this conversation would have been funny. “But, asking teenagers to open packages of underwear at holiday get-togethers, in front of extended family and friends, is just too much.”
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.” A close second to the quiver, was the put-upon cluck. “They’re just too sensitive.”
All I could do was sigh. Trying to get my mother to understand the psyche of today’s teen would be futile.
“Still,” I said, “maybe you could get them some colorful socks or some fun pajamas.”
“Pajamas?” The twinkle in her eye, and faraway tone to her voice should have set off alarms. “I think Woolworth’s is having a sale on Doctor Dentons.”