Like Halloween costumes, there are other holiday traditions that I have shunned because past experiences left me scarred enough for me to avoid participating yet not traumatized enough to bring up in therapy (yet), and the White Elephant Gift Party is one of those traditions.
Some sick, twisted sociopath had to have come up with this. Oh, you like your present? Too bad, it’s mine now. Go choose another! Oh, and my buddy’s gonna take that one, too.
It’s fine if you play by the rules — like spending limits, gag gifts only, non-gender specific, and such — but the minute someone goes a little off course, someone else gets screwed. Like I did at the church youth group Christmas party in 1986, when I ended up with soap on a rope. I was 14 years old — just five years before I learned what flipping the bird meant (thanks to going to a private religious school where saying “gosh” got you a time-out in the corner), so I had no idea the significance of soap on a rope.
And what parent lets his or her child give soap on a rope as a gag gift at a church Christmas party!?
Anyhoo, last week the invitation email popped in my inbox at work about a White Elephant Christmas party to be held today — $15 spending limit, gag/fun gifts, etc. What the hey? I thought. It’s been 20-whatever years since the last one.
When oh when will I learn? First off, there were several cute/nice gifts — a $20 card to Walmart (which still isn’t enough to make me enter their automatic doors), a pretty holiday throw, lottery tickets (!), and a couple others. My coworker got a Star Wars M&M dispenser which I seriously debated on taking, but I didn’t because she seemed to like it. And some of the other good gifts had already been stolen three times (which was the limit).
So since there were still several unwrapped gifts available, I decided to take my chances on the unknown:
That’ll teach me.
Yes, it’s a Viagra NASCAR computer mouse — not even a laser optical one, an antiquated one with the ball on the bottom (and I don’t care how freakin’ dirty that sounds with the Viagra reference… just don’t go there, mmkay?).
I mean, why not just throw in some outdated computer tower with a naked dude on the outside and have the mouse plug in where his penis is supposed to be?
It could have been worse. My boss ended up with a pair of toe socks and booty booster panties.
But that doesn’t mean I’m pushing my luck next year either.