It was Christmas Day. We were still in the early years of our marriage with three young kids to keep us very busy and generally short on sleep. At that time in our lives, almost every bit of my time, energy and money were focused on those kids. My wants and needs were secondary, and that was just fine with me.

It was my turn to unwrap a gift. I had a large, rectangular box in my lap. I slid one finger under the folded edge of the wrapping, popping the tape open so that the paper fell loose from the box. I lifted the cover and set it aside, pulling the tissue paper open to see what was folded inside of the box.

There in the box lay a lovely, deep purple, satin nightie with black lace trim. And there was something more. I lifted the nightie from the box to find a black, velvet robe to match.

I didn’t know what to say. It was a tasteful gift, yet decidedly intimate. I blushed slightly and looked up to see the eyes watching me…

There in the room was my husband’s family, all watching me. Every one of the many of them. His sisters and brothers. Our nieces and nephews. My own kids. My mother and father-in-law.

“Oh, it’s very pretty,” I forced myself to say aloud, while inside I was feeling distinctly uncomfortable. This just didn’t feel like a gift I should be opening at the big family Christmas. I looked to my husband, silently pleading with my eyes for him to rescue me, but he was oblivious.

I wanted the gift-opening procession to move on, beyond me. My face was burning and so were my ears. I had no desire to have any more attention on me and my nightie. There was a room full of people staring at me and my new lingerie – people who should not have been contemplating me and lingerie. The moments seem to tick by interminably.

My mother-in-law and father-in-law were looking at me with proud smiles on their faces.

“I hope we got the right size,” my father-in-law said to me. “We figured you wouldn’t buy something like this for yourself, so we did!”

My mother-in-law nodded in proud agreement.

My in-laws had bought me a nightie for Christmas.

I don’t guess they would have understood, but the tags never even came off.

*Inspired by the NaBloPoMo writing prompt: What was a gift that wasn’t well received?

16 thoughts on “Awkward!

  1. Oh my gosh. Too funny! They obviously didn’t put as much thought into your gift as you did your sister’s movie gift. I’m guessing it’s for this reason that my in-laws require us to write a list of things we would like – to avoid any embarrassment on either side. :)


  2. Now THAT definitely rates at the top of the awkward gift category. That beats any any of strange gifts I’ve gotten from the in-laws. That’s why I prefer them to stick to liquor or fruitcakes.


  3. Ouch, that would be embarrassing, especially with the whole family around watching. I would have gone red in the face if that happened to me too. So funny! See how funny things make a good story?


  4. There is something decidedly wrong about that IMO. From Mark in private, by all means but… It is not the inlaw’s job to add spice at bed time! No no no! I can see why the tags stayed on!


  5. No wonder he was oblivious ~ he wasn’t even in on it! OMG! Yes, I’d have died just picturing them picturing me in it … eek!

    Love to get pretty, feminine gifts from the hubbs .. but away from the crowd :)


  6. I really did chuckle here. Just think : If your parents got you such a gift they really think hubby is an OK guy. But I’ve never met a father comfortable with presenting such a gift to his daughter. Or son either – HA !


  7. “Awkward” is right! Geesh, with the whole extended family to capture the moment. It’s funny, though, since it didn’t happen to me :). On that note, however, it sounds like something my own mother-in-law would do to me…


  8. Whoa! And the whole time I thought it was Mark who bought you the gift. That definitely would be an awkward moment..especially in front of a large group of people where you take turns to open gifts.


  9. Heh… that’s kind of a weird thing to buy your daughter-in-law for Christmas. That would be like Julia’s parents giving me underwear. I’d be uncomfortable too!


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