New Brunswick — A Fredericton man is contending with a series of texts in which his mother repeatedly asserts that she does not want anything for Christmas — except for, maybe, a heartfelt gesture of her choosing that will take an entire effing weekend right smack dab in the middle of the busy holiday season.
“Oh, I don’t need anything — don’t worry about me. That said, if you’d like to landscape my flower garden in the spring, the tools are in the garage,” said local mom Sharon Lisbon, 56.
“But before that, what if you just had me over for dinner next week? No sense wasting time picking something up at the mall when you can just take a few hours to plan a meal, go to the grocery store and buy all the ingredients, clean your house before I arrive, cook the meal, serve it, listen to my remarks about how it’s too spicy, entertain me for a couple hours and then clean up afterward?
“I’m really not picky.”
Lisbon’s son Jeff lives in a two-bedroom apartment downtown with a roommate.
“I don’t have anything in the apartment to make a meal, and it’ll cost me five times what it would to take her to a restaurant just getting the ingredients and cookware and the other shit I need. Plus I need to plan with my roommate to make sure he won’t be home that evening, I have to research recipes that are inoffensive and bland so Mom won’t complain.
“And after all this she’ll still sigh and be all sad on Christmas morning if there’s no physical gift from me for her to open. This is a lose-lose scenario.”
Jeff’s sister Amy lives out of town, and is visiting over the holidays.
“I suppose Mom expects me to invite Amy over too — we don’t even have a dining room table,” Jeff complained. “Or a dining room for that matter. And Amy is vegan so that means I have to go back to the drawing board on the whole meal. This is a nightmare!”
At press time, Lisbon assured Manatee staff that it’s really the thought that counts.
“But don’t get me a gift card — I’ll never use it,” she said. “Or a bottle of wine, because I’m not much of a drinker. And don’t get me clothes because I really just don’t need anything in that department. And I find scented things to be a little too much, so I’d rather not be given any soaps or candles.
“Otherwise, I’m easy!”