Ok, I hate it.
Her backyard is full of pink flamingos and hand painted cows. She has ceiling-high palm trees in her bathroom (when I go in there to pee I usually burst out laughing — will a coconut knock me out while my underwear's around my knees? It would be a horrible way to go). She jingles when she walks. Her clothes leave specks of glitter everywhere.
And her living room. It's full of fluffy balls and nautical-themed decor. Picture it: a lighthouse strung with a fluffy ball, strung with a buoy, strung with another fluffy ball. They say interior design can transport you, but to where, Joyce? Just where are you trying to take us?
When Chuck and I first started dating I skeeved Christmas presents from her. She always gave me stuff she would like, which seemed diametrically opposed to the spirit of gift giving. Isn't the premise of the holidays to give people stuff that they'd like, not the other way around?
Still, I was marrying into the family. And I knew, deep down, that her gifts came from the heart. She saw me as a little stuck up, and she saw herself as a woman spreading much needed glittery, jingly, pink fluffy cheer into my life.
So, each Christmas, I cheerfully accepted the Santa socks with beard trimming. The Christmas tree earrings with real working lights. The elf hat. The snowman socks. The penguin socks. The candy cane socks. The reindeer socks.
The next day the socks and chotchkies went right into my dresser, blissfully forgotten.
Until—yes, you guessed it—I had kids. Did you know kids go ape shit for tacky stuff that's over the top? They feed on it, and I should have seen it coming. I mean, if kids were into subtle, Chuck E. Cheese's would be nothing more than a quiet reading room with pastel walls (pssst, that's the only way I'll ever go to one). Kids are the embodiment of over-the-top tacky. They love Joyce's yard. They love playing with the bells on the bottom of her pants.
And when I wore the Santa socks yesterday?
Everett's head practically exploded.
"You wearin' Santa? You have Santa on your feet? That Santa? I have those? I have Santa? You give me Santa? Those your socks? You give those to me? I have Santa? I HAVE Santa? Please? Please you give those to me?"
Don't even get me started on the earrings.
Bananas. Fricken bananas.
So Joyce, it seems you were on to something. Perhaps your little living room fluff balls are actually mystical fortune telling globes and you knew that someday all those horrible socks finally would be welcomed with the squeals of delight they had given you. Perhaps you were right: I was a little uptight and your injection of glitz was just the dose of humor I needed in my otherwise banal existence.
Now can you call off your coconuts?