Yup, I don’t post for almost two weeks and now here I go with two posts in two days. Confusing, eh? But 1) I now have the time and 2) I have some inspiration for today’s post from The Accidental Mommy, whose “Too True Tuesday” assignment this week is to write about the worst gift you ever received.
The first gift that came to mind was a wedding gift. It was a pepper shaker. Just a pepper shaker. No matching salt shaker in the box. Just ONE. PEPPER. SHAKER. I mean, really? Who does that? Was that person really that cheap? Or did they just think that we were so inundated with salt shakers we couldn’t possibly need the match for the pepper? It couldn’t have cost more than $15-$20. I kind of felt like the giver was sending me some kind of message: “You are better off alone.” “You don’t need each other.”
But my all-time best, worst-gift story happened when I was traveling in Morocco with my best friend Renee in 2001 (See: My Life as Thelma for a better understanding of our crazy travel experiences). We had just spent an amazing week in the seaside town of Essaouira and were reluctantly pulling ourselves away from the magical place to continue on our journey. Renee, who had fallen in love with the most gorgeous man we had ever seen in our lives (we had nicknamed him “King Babe.” Who knew the most beautiful man in the world was living in Morocco?), was especially sad to be leaving.
So here we were, moping at a bus station, when two young Moroccan men started flirting with us. Even though we were not in the mood, they would not leave us alone. They wanted us to come back to their mother’s house so she could make us food – not an unusual invitation in this part of the world. When we kept refusing, they finally offered us some gifts to remember them by. The build-up was intense. They talked about the gifts like they were a family heirloom or a gift from King Mohammed VI himself. The men brought us to where their bags were, dug around inside, and then told us to hold out our hands and close our eyes. When we opened our eyes, this is what we saw sitting in the palm of our hands: a cheap silver bracelet and, best of all, gold-colored toe-nail clippers. TOENAIL CLIPPERS!
Renee and I took one look at was lying in our hands, and then each other, and tried our best to suppress the laughter that was bubbling up inside us. Were they really serious? we wondered. One look and we knew – yes, they most definitely were.
We never went back to the boys’ house, but man, those toenail clippers provided us with countless hours of laughter. Like a garden gnome, we took photos of those clippers at every new destination – with us at the ferry stop in Tangier, sitting in a cafe in Barcelona, at a beach in Tunisia.
And you know what? I still have them. And the bracelet. And the pepper shaker. Every time I look at any one of them, I have a good laugh. So maybe they weren’t that bad of gifts after all.