I used to store my grandmother’s presents in my closet, waiting for the moment when she said, “How can you behave so badly after that wonderful present I gave you?”

I would take the present down, still wrapped, and hand it to her.

She got the message after the second or third return. I don’t remember if she stopped giving me presents.

It was a tiny and temporary win. My family specialized into backhanded methods for expressing their displeasure

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