It may come as a surprise, but my flibbertigibbetness didn’t just appear. (I know it’s not a word, but how else to describe?) It was inherited, a simple trait handed straight down from my lovely, sweet, beautiful, flibbertigibbet mother. No, really, I can take no credit.
My mother’s flibbertigibbetness is generally in overdrive on Christmas day. It is in full force for all the family to see, and she displays it well. There was the year when my brother opened a gift box from her–he ripped off the bow, tore open the paper, thew out the tissue … and found nothing. Yep, an empty box, just for him! It wasn’t a mean prank. She forgot to include the gift certificate.
And there was the year that my sister opened a beautiful pink sweater and said, “Oh, Mom! I love it!” My mom responded with, “Oops. That one was supposed to be for Stacy.” (Don’t worry–my sister had an equally gorgeous sweater waiting to be opened.)
Oh, and there was the year that she said at the end, “I know I got you an alarm clock, Stacy! I just don’t know where I put it!” It turns out, she left it at the store.
But the one memory that takes the cake came to light not on Christmas Day. It was a cool day in March, and I was digging in my mother’s closet for a dress I could have sworn I had left in there. Digging would be exactly the right terminology. You have to excavate to find anything!
As I explored deep into the recesses of her closet, in the very back corner next to the shelves, while my right arm became tired from holding back all of her dresses, I saw an exquisite antique chair with red velvet upholstery.
And yes, I hoped it was for me. She knows I adore antiques. I ran to my mother and told her I found the chair in her closet!! She looked at me blankly. What chair? I took her in there, pushed back the clothes and pointed to it. Her expression turned to horror.
“Oh no!” she exclaimed. “That chair was your sister’s Christmas present … for last Christmas!” Immediately she called my sister and said that she must have felt a little slighted because her main Christmas present was never given to her.
My sister still loved the chair.