My blog reader had grown like a woman who hadn’t shaved her legs in two weeks. With the holidays providing me with a mostly free morning, I was determined to make a dent in it when I came across this week old post from my virtual friend who writes the Skrinkering Hearts blog. It’s a delightful Christmas themed meme which asked, amog other questions, “What was your worst Christmas gift ever?” What follows is my answer.
My first relationship that lasted more than six months began during an internship at a large pharmaceutical company. I was in the marketing department and Trina Freeman was interning in the research arm of the organization. As is typical with big organizations, Anonymous Big Pharma Co. hosted many social events for their interns, a blatant attempt to lull the young minds into believing that working there will be all sunshine and puppies kind of fun. Trina and I met at one of those cocktail receptions.
I wasn’t even a little bit cool. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I double timed it across the room to introduce myself. Our courtship was quick, and our relationship intense, like summer loves are supposed to be, but we tried to make it last when we returned to our respective graduate programs. That 900 miles separated us was inconvenient but our effort and affections remained strong. We talked on the phone every day, wrote letters frequently, and saw each other once a month.
Christmas eve we had just finished dinner at a charming restaurant in the little Italy section of her city and were walking back to her place. Unable to contain her excitement, Trina said “You’re gonna luv your gifts” with a Cherry Hill, NJ accent that I still found endearing. When we got back to her place, she opened my gift to her first – a sapphire and diamond tennis bracelet. She gave me two boxes, one jewelry sized, and the other about the size of a book.
“Which should I open first” I asked. By way of answer she pointed excitedly to the book sized box. For reasons still unknown to this paper ripper, I carefully undid the wrapping at the tape joints and opened the box. It was Calvin Klein’s Obsession Fluid Body Talc. I try to be gracious when receiving any gift but my look of confusion was easily read.
“You don’t like it” Trina asked with more than a hint of disappointment.
“I’m sorry; it’s not that I don’t like it” I said while leaning over to kiss her. “I just don’t quite understand it” I continued.
“Well you already wear Obsession, so I figured that the accessory would be something really nice to use after a shower.”
“Trina, I don’t wear cologne.”
A look descended on both of our faces and all of the air left the room as we mutually realized the implication of her error.
I never found out what was in the other box.