When I met my husband (to be) he had been divorced for 5 years. He and his ex had four, very attractive off-spring; two boys and two girls; youngest seventeen-oldest twenty-two. I was also twenty-two, although eldest daughter was and always will be four days older than me. We will both be fifty this month and she is visiting with her sister's teenage son in tow. Some long buried stories have arisen afresh.
Hubby and I moved to California in late 1985 with our 7 month old daughter (number 5 for him). By then we had all known one another for half a decade.
I enjoy(ed?) Christmas and giving gifts. My English family always put goofy, fun gifts in stockings under the tree, in addition to "real" presents.
Our first Christmas away, I wanted to be sure hubby's French progeny did not feel forgotten. I carefully selected angora sweaters for the girls and tooled leather belts for the boys. I shipped them Fedex as it was a bit last minute. Those gifts never arrived. It took months to find out that the Fedex plane had crashed and burned. Who else has these problems?
By then the French contingent were all in an uproar at me anyhow, and never likely to be included on any Christmas list of mine ever again, no way, no how!
On a Saturday outing to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco hubby and I had wandered into a joke shop, house of humor. We had spent a light-hearted half hour chuckling at the merchandise and I had found some gifts for his sons and daughters that I thought were irresistible.
Who doesn't think that chewing gum that turns your mouth black is funny? Who can keep a straight face when a couple of three inch tall clockwork penises, with feet, are wound up and released to hop happily across the table?
Apparently these gifts were opened at a Christmas Eve dinner party at the Ex's house. They were the only thing that had arrived and were taken to be symbolic of disdain for two (gorgeous) young women who had both worked as Dental Assistants, and who were over twenty-five, unmarried, and so might be considered Old Maids. I wish I were that devious!
There was an outraged international phone call with much shrieking and wailing, not to mention blame and condemnation. Some were less offended than others. I was sent a photo of my two step-daughters totally engrossed, watching their two new wind-up toys bounce across the table top. I still think it was funny.
Last night the story received an addendum, Chantal still has her happy, hopping penis some twenty years later. She sometimes uses it to break the ice at her parties.