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Suet, Seed, or Quietly Needling a Loved One?

My mother and I have not been getting along.

Still, it’s Christmas, and at Christmas you buy presents for loved ones. When asked what she would like, she has said, “A buffalo plaid henley shirt,” which does not appear to exist anywhere, and the classic child of Depression-era immigrants response: “Birdseed.”

The lady has a lot of outdoor feeders, I guess, but it’s still a lackluster gifting idea.

I can’t go to my parents’ for Christmas for reasons. Given the havoc that my recent move has wrought on my personal life, my initial disappointment bordered on irrational, although on some level I recognize this is a good year not to be trapped in a house with her. She’s already boxed up gifts for FluterDude and I - sans wrapping - and sent them to the husband’s place. Christmas will be perfunctory and going-through-the-motions-y, whether or not I like it.

Since she’s been so sensitive, I’m feeling a little ... mischievous.

My first instinct is to order an entire case of suet. This is entertaining because a case is a f*ckton of hungry birds, and suet goes bad. Nothing will drive her crazier than trying not to waste a case of suet. I GOT YOU WHAT YOU WANTED, I can protest, innocently, WHY ARE YOU SO CRANKY ABOUT IT?

My second thought was to actually order birdseed, but order too much. Like ... I budgeted about $75 to spend on her this year, and I have a coupon for $20 off at Lowe’s. Theoretically, she could get $95 of birdseed, which looks like it’s about 160 lbs of birdseed if I get the fancy kind. (It could also be 240 lbs if I get straight millet. Which is tempting, but she likes the types of birds that the fancy seed attracts more. I’m not a total monster.)

Dad said he could go and pick it up and I could send him a check, but it’s more fun if she answers the door to 160 lbs of birdseed she didn’t know she was receiving. (Sorry, postal workers ...)

I’d say that I’m a horrible person, but when I asked Dad what he thought, he snickered so forcefully he snorted. Twice.

What do you think, GT? Suet or seed?

FluterDale, racing toward an opportunity to be a brat.

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