Aunt Teresa always gave the best gifts. At least they would be if she gave them to someone else.It's not that Teresa doesn't mean well, it's just that she doesn't have a clue. And she never really has, as evidenced by her 10-year train wreck of a marriage to Todd, which resulted in Dakody, the devil incarnate.
The fact that she was now a former family member seemed to be lost on her, as she would show up unannounced after being M.I.A. for months at a time. Her intentions were never really clear, probably because she never seemed to do anything with specific intent.
She never asked for money, or a place to stay, or even for a babysitter for her evil spawn. She'd just show up out of the blue, maybe stay for dinner, and then be on her way. The only thing that was certain about her visits was that she was always toting gifts for the kids even when it wasn't a holiday or a birthday. And the gifts themselves usually induced more head scratching than the mysterious reason for giving them.
Today was no exception. Michelle opened the door to find Teresa toting a Kidkraft Dollhouse that she could only assume was intended for Ella. But it wasn't. It was for Olivia.
The thought of Olivia playing with a dollhouse wasn't so much comical as it was ludicrous. Almost as ludicrous as the Stetson After Shave kit Teresa had once given a 5-year-old Jake during one of her previous surprise visits, or the hedge trimmers she gave baby Ella last winter.
The look on Olivia's face was priceless when she realized that the 3-floor, 5-room dollhouse was for her. Any little girl would have been thrilled with the one-of-a-kind outdoor patio or the 9 pieces of wooden doll furniture it came with. Any little girl who didn't spend most of her time reading leisurely books like War and Peace, writing poignant exposés on the mistreatment of factory workers in third world countries, and was between the ages of 3 and 7, which Olivia had not been for some time.
But as ridiculous as it was, Olivia still had manners. She simply smiled, thanked her former aunt for the "thoughtful" gift, and even made an effort to note how sturdy and durable the solid wood construction was. Of course, as soon as Teresa left, Olivia openly scoffed at the obviously intentional insult to her intelligence and stormed off to her room to ponder the injustice of age discrimination in solitude.