She wasn't allowed to use it on gifts for others. She had to spend it on things for herself.
In the past there has been a great deal of communication with me about how Jessica spends her money at such times. This time not so much.
A new couch ... because the one she brought when she moved in was ... ahem ... a "danger" to her. It was not but that's a another story. A nightstand sized dresser to replace a broken down shelf thingy that was there when she moved in. A mop.
And ... a set of steak knives.
That's the list that was come up with on her behalf.
Steak knives. It was an interesting choice. Jessi is living independently. Her cooking primarily involves frozen dinners and entrees that she can heat in the microwave. Pretty much nothing that would require more than an ordinary butter knife to cut up.
I was told that she specifically asked for the steak knives. That she was adamant that it was something that she wanted and needed. Sometimes she gets something in her head and than she fixates on it until she gets it. Jessi is funny like that at times.
I figured this must be one of those times.
Sometime last week all of her purchases had been made and I went over to see her new things. She showed me the new couch and the new nightstand. The old broken down shelf thingy was still there ... as well as the broken television shoved in a corner that was replaced almost a year ago.
The old couch is at my house. After a cursory inspection , it was discovered that there wasn't a thing wrong with it after all. As I said, that's a different story.
"Did you get your steak knives?" I asked.
Yes was the prompt reply.
"Why did you want steak knives, Jessi?" I pressed.
"I don't know. I didn't ask for steak knives, Mom," she replied. "She told me that's what I should say I wanted ... so I did."
I went into the kitchen and began opening drawers. There were no steak knives to be found.
"Where are they?" I asked.
"In the cookie jar." she replied.
I lifted the lid of her sweet cookie jar ... a house-warming gift from someone who wanted her to feel special every day ... sure enough ... there were the steak knives ... handles down ... sharp pointed ends up.
"Why are they in your cookie jar?" I asked.
"I don't know," said Jessi. "She said to put them there so I wouldn't cut myself by accident when I reached into the drawer."
Wonder what happens to the friend who wanders into Jessi's kitchen and reaches into the cookie jar ... in anticipation of a treat?!?
In a different conversation with a different loved one ... it was said ...
"I don't ever mean to hurt you, MaryJane. I guess ... I just don't consider you."
It took a minute to recognize the wound ... much like a paper cut ... only bigger ... surprisingly painful ... it's not a fresh cut ... just one that seems to be taking forever ... to heal.
Truth is, it had been explained that way to me once before. I wasn't quite ready to ... get it ... the first time. You see, it's one thing to be deliberately left out for whatever reason ... when it's a conscious choice. It's something entirely different ... to simply not be considered at all.
Now that it's been said to me twice, I believe it. It was said to me with such kindness, after all.
On the way home, I laughed into the wind at the irony of it.
You see ... that's what happens when you reach an unsuspecting hand into a cookie jar ... full of steak knives ... hoping to find something sweet.
“Most scars are invisible. Damn transparent knives. Does anything cut deeper than love?