This is the part where I google the words "funny songs about dead people", pick the one that sounds the most hip, and then ask you to download it from iTunes and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of your reading, just to get the best audio effects for this post.
Sometimes I wonder when a person reaches the age when their annoying offspring has given birth to more annoying offspring, thus placing the title of "Grand" next to their surname, if a handbook is given to them explaining the rules of being a Grandparent, which then on page 38 has a segment titled, "How To Give Really Rotten Presents". If so, my Grandma reads that chapter over and over again before every major holiday.
Bless her heart, which by the way is the marquee phrase we all use before we're about to write six paragraphs talking smack on someone, but my Grandmother gives the most "bummer man" gifts possible. Oh, you don't know what "bummer man" gifts are? Bummer man is when a secondhand surfer is an eyewitness to your girlfriend breaking up with you on the corner of Tabernacle and 700 East and walks up to you with his sun-bleached tips and shades, put his hand on your sagging shoulder and says the most dejected two words possible; "Bummer Man."
That is the same miserable feeling I have whenever I get a present from either of my now living Grandparents.
This feeling was born on my 11th birthday when my Grandma gift-wrapped an extra large wool polo with the Carnival cruise line logo sewn into the left breast pocket. Yes, she gave me that for my 11th Birthday, I kid you not. After all, how many 11-year olds do you know wear collared shirts, let alone collared shirts that advertise for a cruise ship that he's never been on? Certainly not this one.
It only got worse from there. A pocket hymn book when I turned 14? An undersized BYU volleyball sweater when I turned 18? How about a broken nose hair trimmer three Christmases ago? That's right kids, my Grandma thought giving me a broken nose hair trimmer would make me feel the true meaning of Christmas. Not just a nose hair trimmer, which by the way should only be given as a gift to someone after they have had their mid-life crisis, but a broken one.
And I'm not the only victim in my family. What about the bright orange scarf to my Aunt on her birthday, an Aunt who doesn't even know the color orange exists? Or the 6-foot long stuffed sheepdog to my cousin as a wedding present? Or what about when she re-gifted a pair of socks to my other cousin because she was just cleaning out her closet? Yes, all of these have been used as awful presents from a woman who I have a suspicion escaped from a crazy house in the 70's.
Her late husband on the other hand was and is the best gift giver in the history of Grand-parenting. Tenth row Jazz tickets to watch Shaquille O'Neal and the Magic for Christmas when I was 11? Check. A brand new Adams golf driver 15 years later? You betcha. Even giving me his pride and joy pickup named Shasta when I turned 17? Please excuse me from tearing up, but the man knew how to hand out presents.
The other day I was rummaging through his closet and found a brand new Old Navy T-shirt and a pair of gold toe socks with the tags on both of them just waiting for me to find. The guy's been in the ground over a year now and he's still handing out surprise birthday gifts when I least expect.
Sure beats a broken nose hair trimmer.