Last Saturday was my family reunion. We have one approximately every other year, sometimes skipping a year if any big family events occur. My mom and the rest of “The Sister Army” threw us a small congratulations party on our upcoming wedding.
A few of my friends came out to see me, meet my Fiance, and see each other. In addition, my Fiance’s family came and met my extended family. I never realized how hard it is to visit with everyone when you are the center of the event. I am so used to attending these things, not having them thrown for me.
We had a good time and we were exhausted. We received several cards, gift cards, and a tree.
Ah…the tree…..this tree caused anxiety this week. While the intention was lovely, planting a tree to grow, like our new future together. However, it caused me so many problems.
First off, we have no place to put a Maple tree in our yard, our lot isn’t even 1/4 acre and we have three giant trees already. Second, we hate this house and have no plans to stay here once we are able to escape to something nicer. Third, it was not a little sapling in a pot, it was a ten foot tree. A tree I did not want, which then caused me to feel bad about my Grandma spending the money on it.
I was very aware at a young age that we were poor. My grandma told me I never asked for things directly, never demanded things be bought for me. In fact, when I wanted something I always said “Grandma, can you afford to buy me X”. When I received things I didn’t want or need, it made me very sad and upset. Not because I was spoiled, but because I knew that my family couldn’t really afford it and getting me the wrong thing was wasting money. I of course didn’t want to hurt their feelings. I smiled and said thank you, while being in inner turmoil.
BUT…..we really didn’t want a tree. I called a friend and offered it to him, he said he would take it. But we still needed to haul this heavy tree forty miles from my Aunt & Uncles house. When I called and explained that we were giving the tree away, they offered to plant it on their property. Big sigh of relief. Come to find out this was Grandma’s idea but encouraged by my mom, who said we had nothing in our front yard and could plant it there.
WHAT! Apparently she hasn’t noticed the two Maples towering over our house. All in all, the gift left me with a lot of guilt and frustration. Sadly, this is how I remember most of the gifts I received growing up. Hence, I really don’t like being given things nor do I like opening gifts in front of people.
Funny thing is, my fiance’s prime “Love Language” is gift giving.