Apr 23

On Sunday, I found the worst gift ever to be donated to a thrift store!

Think of the worst gift you’ve ever received. Now double it, brace yourself and take a look.

Nanc and I did a mini-thrift expedition on Sunday afternoon. There are certain things that you always keep an eye out for, ummm… PEZ, and cool clocks, and atari games…. you know — good stuff. Then in the books section, there was a shining light, and I spied the book pictured below, titled “Open Marriage: A New Life Style For Couples.” Oh, how I needed to pick up this book!

I wasn’t sure… I knew that the title could be totally innocuous, and be about sharing your feelings with your spouse (who wants a closed marriage??). Happily the book is exactly what you think it’s about. I haven’t read enough of it to determine if key parties are discussed, but it’s right about the same time period.

This book, by itself, is totally entertaining. Ephemeral topics and fantastic title make this book truly a thrift score. But wait, there’s more!

You see, the book was a gift. From a daughter, to her parents.

I am probably a prude, but here’s the deal. I have this scene in my head, and I’ve been trying to convert this sequence to paper (or poorly-written HTML as it may be). Take a look at the inscription below, while I work on this.

Christmas 1972

Dear Mother and Daddy,

I truly hope that you will find at least a little value out of this book. As an observer to your marriage of 24 years, I can see many of the elements of open marriage in your relationship. However, perhaps there is something here which will help you to understand yourselves beter and also help each one of us as we individularry make the step into our own marriages. I love you both and pray that my own marriage (if there is one for me) will be as good as yours is.

God bless you and your relationship.

Love, Dotty

So here’s what might’ve happened…

Scene opens on a lovely Christmas morning. Gifts are being exchanged in brightly-colored papers in an upper-middle class home. MOTHER, FATHER and daughter, DOTTY are sitting on davenport in front of a decorated- Christmas tree. The vibe is tres Connecticut.

DOTTY: (opening gift box excitedly) Oh thank you, I’ve been eyeing this polyester jumpsuit for months. It matches my fondue set and my moon boots! Polyester truly is the fabric of the future!

FATHER: (removing pipe –tobacco, not crack from mouth) We knew you’d like it. Paisley is going to be very big this year.

DOTTY: Watch the pipe, Dad. Remember, polyester’s not only hot, it’s highly flammable.

DOTTY, FATHER and MOTHER all laugh.

DOTTY: Actually, I have a gift for both of you too.

Dotty hands over a small wrapped package and mother opens the gift, and stared quizzically at the title.

MOTHER: Hmmm… Open Marriage, A New Life Style for Couples. Well… I guess open marriage is okay, I mean, who wants a closed marriage?

There is an uncomfortable silence, while the author ponders using the same exact joke twice in one article.

DOTTY: Actually Mom, open marriages are all rage now, like Tang. You like Tang don’tcha Mom?

FATHER: (piping in) Now that you mention it, I’ve had my eye on Janice in the secretarial pool for a while now, and have been trying to rationalize having an affair. Thanks to Dotty and her gift, I now have that option.

MOTHER: Oh, George, it wouldn’t be an affair – (pages through book to find chapter) it would be just be getting your groove on with another chick, that’s all. You like Tang don’t you, dear?

DOTTY, MOTHER and FATHER all laugh.

DOTTY: This is the best Christmas ever.

Fade to black

Okay, so maybe that’s not really what happened, but I am sticking by it, because it makes me laugh.
alot.
at work.
when I’m actually supposed to be working.
Which makes people think that I’m not working.
So now I have to go back to work.
So this article is done. Take a look at the scans of the book and inscription. Of course, you’re missing out if you don’t check out this closeup of the wrapping paper piece that was stuck inside the front cover.

P.S. Take a closer look at Nena O’Neill. She seems to have a case of the crazy eyes!

2 Responses to “Thrift Score! The Worst Gift Ever”

  1. Kirsti Says:

    Matty, It may be time for you to find a new hobby. You have entirely too much time on your hands to be thinking like this. Perhaps a child will fulfill those free moments…

  2. Pamela Says:

    possibly the only thing more uncomfortable than rcving this from your daughter would be to receive this from your mother?!