[LMB] OT: Unwanted presents, was Generations, was Fun -

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Mon Apr 6 03:38:50 BST 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Azalais Aranxta" <tiamat at tsoft.com>
To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold." 
<lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2009 6:04 PM
Subject: Re: [LMB] OT: Unwanted presents, was Generations, was Fun -

> On Sun, 5 Apr 2009, Pat Mathews wrote:
>> Malfoy described the self-centeredness (or simple cluelessness,
>> add I) of people who give you what they would have liked
>> themselves. My favorite example of that, for all time, is the
>> parade of gifts my senior cat has been giving me since I
>> adopted him. "Look, Mommy! Aren't you proud of me, your Mighty
>> Hunter?"

I think I may have not seen the post that Pat was replying to... can't find 
it on my computer in the Inbox or Bujold subdirectory in the email...

> Er, actually giving people what you'd like yourself, or what you
> think everyone of a certain demographic wants, is cluelessness.
> The self-centred prize classifier is for those people, like my
> mother, who use holidays and birthdays as an excuse to give you
> things that they KNOW you either don't care about or don't want,
> because they think that's what you should have.
> My mother's favourite holiday stunt is to give you a $20 gift
> certificate to a store where everything costs $50 in the hope
> that that will get you started shopping where she thinks you
> should, so unless you really want a new pair of socks you got
> nothing or you're out $30 for something you didn't really want
> anyway; this is why I really did have a pair of Christian Dior
> socks once.  She doesn't give presents, she gives discounts.
>> And BTW - I really do think in some cases it's cluelessness,
>> which is of two kinds: First, the person with no theory of mind
>> whatsoever. S/he's freaked about, say, Roman coins, so everyone
>> gets a gift of or lecture on Roman coins. The second is the
>> person who is marvelously socially functional and knows
>> everything about what to give a wife or a grandmother or the
>> boss or whatever -- but is so aggressively normal that s/he
>> fails to see that Mom or Grandma or the boss is an outlier and
>> really doesn't WANT those things that every other boss or
>> grandma in the world wants,
> See, "aggressive" normality is rarely unaccompanied by the
> belief that everyone else should be normal, too.  But my mother
> is a special snowflake.  I remember when I was seven there was a
> shirt my mother thought was cute that I thought was idiotic, and
> every time she tried to buy it for me I loudly declined.  She
> arranged for my grandmother to give it to me in front of a room
> full of people AS A BIRTHDAY PRESENT.

This reminds me of when my parents threw my security blanket out... if they 
had had the clue that it wasn't that  I was so attached to the specific 
blanket, but rather, that it was a very soft and warm blanket, unlike the 
nasty scratchy ones they kept putting on the piece of furniture I slept in 
instead, I wouldn't have gone looking for it etc.  So often people won't 
bother even thinking about regarding why someone is doing something or why 
something is bothering someone, and instead use their "judgment" without any 
interest, much less paying any attention, to anyone else's 
opinion/feelings/reasons/perspective.  Little things like if taking kids on 
a trip, bringing along a bottle of water so that the kids don't sit in the 
car saying "I'm thirsty" and the parents ignore it, or making ANY attempt to 
decipher "kid logic" (I liked that blanket because it was soft, and would 
have been happy with a replacement blanket which FELT the same.... and to 
this date hate scratchy fabric and don't want it anywhere near my skin 
including with other layers of fabric between.

"I don't like that stuff" and being FORCED to eat it anyway, is another 
example of that sort of abuse.  (I hate matzoh balls, and having one of the 
damned things forced down my throat and the rest of the sordid details I 
won't mention, ensured that I would PERMANENTLY loathe the despicable 

WHY do people have to be so cruel, and lacking in consideration for other 
people's skins?!

> Oh well. I wore it the next time she decided to make me play
> outside with people I loathed who loathed me, whom she insisted
> were my friends.  Her choice after that was to bleach it and
> destroy the offending stupid trendy printed design or let me wear
> it with stains...that was the last time she did that.

I got forced socializing with grabby groping  male cousins.  The cousins 
apologized when they were adults, but that didn't wipeout years of childhood 
abuse whenever their mother and father came to my parents' house, or vice 
versa.  My sister escaped it because she had friends she could spend the day 
with instead of getting stuck visiting those relatives or being visited by 
them... I HATED going visiting them, and hated when they visited... and of 
course my objections to being shoved into the livingroom with the abusive 
cousins, my parents ignored....

> ~malfoy... :)

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