September 29, 2011

Skinny Pants; The Girl My Boyfriend Cheated on Me With, Revisited; Gift Card Plan

I accidentally bought Rob a pair of skinny pants. Ha ha ha, he looked so funny! And he's mostly clueless about what he wears, he just takes the top pair of pants and the top t-shirt from his drawer, so he didn't even notice that he was wearing nearly-skin-tight stretch corduroys all day. With loafers and athletic socks and a polo shirt, I am not even kidding you. Paul and I were exchanging snort-suppressed glances all day. I put the pants in the donation bag as soon as I saw them come through the laundry. Luckily they were on clearance---and besides, the day of snorting was totally worth the price.

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Do you remember me telling you about the girl my boyfriend cheated on me with in high school? She's the one I felt some pity for because when we ran into each other last summer she was wearing a Winnie-the-Pooh t-shirt, and I've seen her a number of times since then and she is NEVER wearing such things, she is ALWAYS wearing cute clothes (not ANNOYINGLY cute, just basic cute---like, cute capris and a pretty cami with an unbuttoned casual-but-fitted shirt over it), so I felt sorry for her because it was probably Desperation Laundry Status at her house and she borrowed a shirt from her oldest child or from her High School Memories box or something, and then THAT'S the day she runs into the girl whose boyfriend she messed around with. Embarrassing.

ANYWAY, her daughter is in William's class this year. As I discovered when I went to Parent Night last night. Oh, HI.

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I was thinking about how many gift cards I was going to want to buy at Christmastime this year, with all five kids in school. Well, really FOUR kids, because Rob is in middle school, and once a child has half a dozen teachers I don't do holiday teacher gifts anymore. So it's six teachers total: one for William, one each for Elizabeth and Edward plus a teaching assistant shared between their two classrooms, and two for Henry. Plus two bus drivers. Plus we have an excellent mail carrier and I like to give her a gift card too.

That's nine gift cards. Which made me feel like ditching the whole thing, until I realized it's about twelve weeks until Christmas and I usually go to Target once a week. If I add a gift card to my cart each time I go, the cost will be more evenly spread out, and I'll be less likely to get overwhelmed by it. Plus, I won't hold up the line by getting my giant heap of small-amount gift cards charged up. I'm glad to have thought of a solution, because it IS something I WANT to do.

One problem I noticed today: they don't have the holiday-themed gift cards out yet. But they did have a pretty butterfly one, which sounds like it would look spring-like but I don't think it does, and so I chose that.

See? It's not holiday, but I don't think it looks ANTI-holiday. If I squint, it looks like two Christmas ornaments! Or a bikini top. Festive!

28 comments:

JeannetteLS said...

The things moms have to do for teachers amazes me. My ex-husband taught at the middle school and he would come home with cookies, homemade fudge, gift cards, Christmas ornaments, even a tie, once. That was from a kid, though, who teased him all the time about his ties, so it made sense. And then, fifteen years later, my best friend adopted her children adn things had gotten worse! How can anyone afford this? Hat's off to you, Swistle. And also, the butterfly could be painted ON an ornament, right? IT's bright and festive. Great idea on spreading out the cost.

...I am glad those days are done for me, though, I have to say.

Misty said...

Bikini top! Festive!

You rock. :)

Nik-Nak said...

HAHAHAHAAAA @ Rob (totally laughing with him, not against him here) Poor guy!

Re: Exes...I was grocery shopping one day and looked up and saw husband's ex-WIFE (who was previously living four hours away). She STOPPED me and TALKED to me and the whole time I was thinking how awkward it was and THEN SHE INVITED ME OVER TO GO SWIMMING??!! WTF? I walked away and the only thing I could think was, "Did that shit really just happen??"
So I feel you on all the awkwardness you are about to encounter.

lifeofadoctorswife said...

This is SUCH a good idea! I get to Christmas time and it seems like such a lot of money. (And we just do gift cards for our mail carrier and the car service I use for work. I can't imagine NINE GIFT CARDS.)

Oh skinny pants. Glad you got some good snorting out of it!

So, this isn't about a cheating ex, BUT it is about dating-related awkwardness: my husband's high school girlfriend is a medical student and he is a resident, so he has to TEACH HER. I am... not crazy about that. (I have no reason to be not-crazy about it. And yet, I am NOT CRAZY ABOUT IT.)

Nan | WrathOfMom said...

Between the giving of gift cards and your mature response to seeing the girl-with-whom-my-boyfriend-cheated-on-me, I think you are a VERY good person. Even if you did chuckle at the skinny pants. But really -- WHO WOULDN'T CHUCKLE?! Answer: no one.

HereWeGoAJen said...

So that is why I should always wear a nice shirt? Except that I never cheated with anyone...

d e v a n said...

I think that butterfly could totally pass for holiday-ish! You probably won't have to wait too long until they do put out the Christmas type ones though.

Amy from Occupation: Mommy said...

I am snorting about the pants, if that helps spread out the cost :)

And good idea about the gift cards!

Slim said...

Target puts out the back-to-school stuff the week school lets out here --why aren't the holiday gift cards out yet? Huh, Target?

distracted by genius said...

I love the skinny pants story! That is very kind of you to not let him wear them again too.

Now that I am home with my daughter I have gotten to know our mail delivery person. Until now I didn't know who delivered the mail because I was never home so I didn't give a gift. Now I would like to, but I don't know how much or what is appropriate. How do you decide how much the gift cards should be? Is it appropriate to bake something for the mail delivery person or is that creepy? I'm asking because I imagine you've fretted over this kind of thing before and might have sympathy for me as I fret about it...

Snoopyfan said...

The preschool at our church does a gift card sale (where a % of the proceeds go back to the preschool) next month. I am planning to get my teacher gift card shopping done then. Luckily, I only have 2 teachers and 2 bus drivers to buy for this year.

Stacie said...

Re: Weird ex-ish encounters...there once was this woman who hit on my boyfriend KNOWING that he was with me. REPEATEDLY. This was, like 10ish years ago, but a couple years ago her daughter was The New Girl in our small school's first grade class. That was also my daughter's first grade class. And where I knew every parent and child. Never did have to talk to the woman...they transferred schools within a month.

Doing My Best said...

Distracted by Genius--I often bake treats for our mail person or the workers at the post office that I see QUITE A BIT. They've always been pleasantly surprised to get treats =)!

Swistle--GOOD LUCK with William's class; that sounds VERY awkward!

Alice said...

heeeee. so nice of you to take the pants out of rotation. but heeeeeee.

i think the gift card is totally festive! and that's an excellent spreading-out plan.

Swistle said...

Distracted by genius- Ha ha, yes, it is always safe to assume I have fretted! And I still DO fret, EVERY year. I did a bunch of posts asking what people gave, and I asked people around here what they gave, but the problem is that the spectrum is SO WIDE. So extremely wide, you wouldn't believe it! From "I don't give anything and NEVER WILL" on one end to "I give 10 times what you would consider the absolute maximum anyone could ever give, and furthermore I will tell you that that is the MINIMUM AMOUNT ETIQUETTE DEMANDS."

Anyway. What I finally did was think, "What do I want to give?" plus "What can we comfortably afford?"---and I re-ask that every year. So some years I have given NOTHING, and some years I have given a pretty paper plate of baked things, and some years I have given a $5 card to Starbucks, and some years I have given a $10 card to Target, and some years I have given L.L. Bean wool socks, and some years I have given a $20 card to Target. It depends on the person, the impulse, and our financial situation.

Then I just keep talking myself down from the Ledge of Doubt. I say to myself "There is no way to give The Same As Everyone Else, because there is NO CONSENSUS. And what I have done is fine/good/better-than-nothing."

Beylit said...

I always try to spread out buying Christmas gifts but inevitably give them as Tuesday gifts because I just can't wait. But the idea of buying gift cards and saving them is pretty darn brilliant. If I got one half priced books gift card every time I was in there I would have all I needed come Christmas.

And I like the butterfly. If it seems not festive enough you can always put it in a more festive card and then who will care that the card itself is not exactly holiday like.

Stimey said...

You know, that's a REALLY good idea—buying a gift card a week to not have to buy them all at once. Between three kids, we have six teachers, two paraeducators, one bus driver (I avoid the eyes of the drivers of two of my kids), and holy cow, that's way less than I had to buy last year. I had more teachers last year I think. Anywho. I was at Target today. I wish I'd bought a card then.

Joanne said...

Genius. I do like our mailman, and my son has 2 regular therapists and 2 special therapists, plus my daughters have 2 preschool teachers, which makes 7. But I'm having a baby in 2 weeks so I am going to use the extra time in case I don't get out for a while. Thanks!

Nicole said...

Oh, awkward. AWKWARD. But I still giggle about the Winnie the Pooh shirt. I remember that story! What could be worse, fashion-wise, then wearing something with a cartoon character on it, let alone WINNIE THE POOH.

Jessica said...

Haha, I read Joanne's comment as "I do the mailman" (sorry, Joanne!) and thought, well, that seems like enough gift. No need to buy a gift card.

Swistle said...

Jessica- I had to read that out loud to my husband, because we have a "No laughing loudly and then saying 'Oh nothing'" rule.

distracted by genius said...

Thanks Swistle! That is such a practical thought process and applies to so many situations.

Frazzled Mom said...

The comment about the grown woman in the Winnie the Poo shirt reminded me of this friend who bought me a Mickey Mouse T-shirt for my 28th birthday. When I got it, I thought, "How well does this friend know me? Has she EVER seen me in a cartoon T-shirt (except Betty Boop with the American Flag on the Fourth of July)?

Anyway, the Mickey Mouse shirt stayed at the bottom of my drawer with the tags still attached; until I noticed it a few years later, put it in the donation bin tags attached and all. I sort of lost touch with that friend. Hmmm... I wonder why?

And now I'm feeling a little self-conscious about the Betty Boop shirt. At the time it didn't seem juvenile. I wore it about 5 years ago, so I was just over 30, but I've been told I looked young for my age - just like my Mom. The shirt was formfitting but not skintight. I thought it was edgy-sexy-festive but appropriate to wear around family. Now I'm not so sure.

Confession: I still wear the shirt to run errands. OK. I wore it yesterday. Luckily I never cheated on anyone.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Actually, that butterfly looks Hindu. That's a very common motif in henna patterns as well. ;-)

Maggie said...

HA! Skinny Jeans! If I accidentally got those for my son my husband and I would probably spend the entire day laughing about it - and possibly commenting about how he looked like some punk kid from 1979 with the skinny straight jeans. Hilarious and worth every penny even though he will never wear them again!

Joanne said...

Ha! The mailman seems very nice but I have only ever waved from the door! SO FAR!

Laura Diniwilk said...

Haha, I love that you let Rob wear the skinny pants all day before getting rid of them.

Question for those who give treats to the mail carrier - how does that work? Don't they have to carry it around with them if you do that? Or do you just give extra small treats? Also, do any working moms give a gift to their mail carrier? Do you just leave it outside with a note or what? (This is why I have never given my carrier anything, the logistics seem too complicated).

velocibadgergirl said...

I love that Rob didn't even notice he was wearing skinny pants. We got a pair of toddler skinny jeans in a box of hand me downs and I almost threw them in the Goodwill box on principle. But I saved them just for possible future comedy gold, I admit.