Two operative facts here:
1) She and I have made great strides in general during the last six months, and in communicating specifically.
2) We are grandparents, and have been for more than five years, first a granddaughter who is quick, bright, beautiful, a girl who understood sarcasm before she was three, and is sharp with people without being cruel. She can be called The Beauty, because she is. And then there's The Boy, born in February, always quick to smile, talking a mile a minute, trying hard to say words and express his thoughts. God help us when he gets started, because he truly has a lot to say.
In October, I travelled to the high country in Ecuador, trekking up and down dormant and not so dormant volcanoes. I brought back presents for The Beauty and for The Boy, more things for her than for him---a purse, some volcanic rocks, hand knit gloves, a peasant blouse. For the Boy, just a pair of yellow gloves, also hand knit. And I was supposed to give them yesterday, during a visit.
She went into the gift bag, and removed the peasant blouse, because it didn't have a hem at the bottom, and the gloves, because they were yellow and meant for a girl. She told me this less than 15 minutes before they all arrived, and said she did it so that I wouldn't embarrass myself.
Rather than start the battle royale which is now brewing, I capitulated, and gave them what was left in the bag. There was no room or time for discussion yesterday.
This was a terrible thing that she did, bad in its concept, bad in its timing, bad in its overall effect. It diminished the presents and diminished me, whether anybody knew it or not yesterday afternoon. It was the worst thing she could have done, and it was done in the worst possible way, short of taking the gifts away after I gave them.
This will undo much of the goodwill and understanding that we've developed over the last year, no matter what discussions we have tonight and what resolution comes out.
This is bad, very bad, very very bad.