So, I decided to speak the truth to my mom about her gift of cash.
I feel much braver when I communicate via the written word, so I sent her an email after I got home from the dinner:
Thank you so much for inviting me to dinner tonight. What a treat! I’d never been there before so I really enjoyed the experience!
And, thank you so much for the birthday/Christmas card and gift! I promise I’ll do something really fun with it. I’ll splurge, I promise.
I do want to follow up on our conversation about what you would like for me to use it for. I think I didn’t handle it very well. When you asked me to use it to buy a really nice outfit for my holiday performances, I got a really sick feeling in my gut. There are few things in this world I hate doing more than shopping for clothes. It is something I do only when my current wardrobe is literally falling apart.
I especially hate shopping for clothes now that I’m so heavy. There is nothing like putting on clothes and looking at the outfit with a critical eye, trying to tell myself I look “good” when I believe I don’t look good in any outfit.
I come away really depressed and discouraged, especially when I’m trying to find a dressy outfit (when I’m trying to find an outfit that makes me look “really good”). The truth is: It can put me into a major emotional tailspin that takes days to pull out of.
So, that is why I backpedaled away from your suggestion—that is not something I’d do as a treat to myself. If it okay with you, I’ll put some thought into what else I might really enjoy using the money for. I have a pretty long wish list so it shouldn’t be too hard.
The one thing I have been wanting to do that I don’t really NEED to do is to sell the piano I have and buy the next better model. I think it will cost me between $100 and $150 to upgrade. So, your gift would go a long way to making that happen—and that is why that idea was the one that popped into my head as we were talking.
Anyway, I really appreciate your gift and I will do something fun with it. I love you!
And, here is how she responded:
It was a fun night, wasn’t it? Sam [one of the two current business owners] was against the idea of going there and even said not to look for him. But Tom [the other business owner] reminded Sam that “How did he know anything? He had never even been there.” Funny.
You are so welcome. Made my shopping easier. I really don’t care how you splurge!!!! Enjoy that upgraded piano.
You know what—you have your father’s genes. He hated to buy clothes. He’d rather buy a tool any day. I know he didn’t even know his underwear size and wore socks until they fell off his feet. If clothes felt good, that was all that mattered.
It had to be a MAJOR event to wear a suit and tie. Just a new pair of carpenter overalls is all he needed. So don’t feel bad about clothes. You always look nice (and smell good). LOL.
So, that worked out just fine. I’m glad I spoke up.