Some of you already know the story of Mother and the socks. For those who don't, here goes.
Mother always asks us what we want for Christmas, and Chip always (up until then) asked for socks because (a) he goes through them like gangbusters, and (b) they are relatively inexpensive, so they won't bust Mother's budget.
A couple of years ago, Mother got the usual socks for Chip. As he was opening the package, she said, "Oh, I just know I bought the wrong kind of socks." Chip glanced at them, said they were fine, and we moved on to the next gift.
A few days later, Mother calls me. "Will you go look at Chip's socks? I'm sure I bought the wrong kind." I said, "Mother, I don't know anything about his socks. I'll check with Chip and let you know."
It turned out that she had
bought the "wrong" kind (a type of sock he doesn't wear), but Chip said just let it go. They were still in the package, so he said he'd give them to charity.
Nope, Mother wasn't going to let it go. A few days later, she called again
and said, "I just know I bought Chip the wrong kind of socks. He needs to give them back to me so I can go exchange them." At that point, I told Chip to call Mother back about his stupid socks. Chip, whining: "Do I have to?" Dang right you have to! So he called. I heard his end of the conversation.
"No, Helen, the socks are fine. No, I'm not going to do that. No, I don't want you to exchange them. I said they're fine. No
, I am not giving them back to you!" Finally an exasperated near-scream: "Helen, it's just socks
, for crying out loud! Forget it and move on with your life!" I had to leave the room — I was laughing so hard that I was afraid Mother would hear me.
Did it end there? No. Three months later I was over at her house for some reason, and as I was getting ready to leave, Mother handed me a bag. "Here, I bought some socks for Chip to replace the ones I got him at Christmas. I know
I bought him the wrong kind. These are the right
Chip was so put out by the whole mess that since then, he has only asked for a gift card, so he can (his words) "buy my own d*mned socks!"
But every year, we joke about getting the right
kind of socks for Christmas.