Spray Paint

Sure! Who doesn’t love spray paint? You grab your favorite off the shelf with the vague sense that maybe, just maybe, your mother might have her own favorite color. But that’s absurd. Your favorite color is the best color. So that must be her favorite, too.

The cashier doesn’t look too certain about selling a can of spray paint to a five year old, but your money’s good and her hesitance just solidifies your certainty that this is the best of all possible gifts. You wrap it the moment you get home and you can’t quite resist giving your mother a few hints. But parents are terrifically stupid about guessing, so you know the secret’s safe.

Christmas mornings arrives and you make sure she opens your present first. You can’t wait any longer. You’ve got to see that look in her eyes, the acceptance of the prefect gift.

She peels back the red paper and smiles into her lap. “Oh! Spray paint.”

“Yup!” you say proudly.

“And your favorite color.”

“Only the best for you.”

“That’s great, honey. I’ll… paint something with it.” She nods over to your dad. “That’s great.”

Hm. She’s trying too hard. Maybe she didn’t like it? And that’s when you remember something else about parents. They’re lazy. Maybe she doesn’t want to paint anything. Maybe… maybe this wasn’t the perfect gift after all. You slump with disappointment and figure maybe next year you’ll just stick to the sharpie art. It’s what you do best.

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