Today I was talking with my sister about Christmas gifts and I asked her what she wanted. She thought about it, and said she thought it was too expensive, but something that she's been wanting is the Sex and the City box set. I internally groaned because I really hate that show. (Narcissistic whiny sex-obsessed shallow material women... I think I've complained here about it before.)
But then, I remembered that when I'd previously asked for the Buffy the Vampire box set, that my mother had told me she didn't really want to give it to me because she didn't like the show and preferred to give me something that she also liked. (Incidentally, last year she got me a tripod and a camera bag... I guess she likes tripods?)
So in response to my sister, I said, "You know, if I had the money, I would get you the Sex and the City box set!" I meant to contrast it with my mom's reluctance to get the BTVS set. But my sister assumed I was referring to my not having the money to buy it, and she responded, "I know! If I had the money I would buy you a car!"
How totally sweet is that. No hesitation, she just burst out with how she would buy me a car if she had enough money.
I did explain what I really meant, and she defended my mom's decision not to choose to buy the BTVS set, saying, "Come on, aren't there things we don't buy for Mom because we don't want her to have them?" And I laughed, because it was true. Of course, it's not that we want her to be unhappy, but over the years we definitely focused more on re-stylizing her wardrobe than on buying her classical music CDs and other things that she would request.
It's funny how you want to give someone a gift that they will love, but at the same time, it often comes along with your own biases about what you think will improve their lives somehow.