Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Art Of Giving: Debacle 2007

It's me and my +1 in the afterlife

Oh. Hello, Interested Party. Typically, all of my blogs get updated in the procrastinating frenzy of Finals Week Madness, except this term I had procrastinated so much in the previous weeks that I didn't actually have time to procrastinate when I needed it most.

In order to make it up to you, today's blogisode is an extravaganza of epic proportions. Today, I present to you:

The Art of Giving: Debacle 2007

The Boy and I are more alike than we are different, but the differences just seem to be more obvious. For example: I tend to regard most food as mere platforms to make my condiment consumption less gross, whereas he thinks that salad dressing "ruins the point" of salad.

One way in which we are alike is our mutual need to have all of our metaphrical ducks arranged in their little rows before taking action. This takes on a whole new, frightening level when gift-giving is involved.

A lightning bolt of inspiration hit me a few months ago when contemplating a Christmas gift for The Boy, but I realized it would take a good amount of duck aligning. Step One was making sure that The Boy wouldn't throw up in the agony of emasculation when his Girl gave him a pricey gift. A phone call was in order.

. "How would you feel if I got you something really nice for Christmas?" I asked him over a phone call one night.
. "How nice are we talking?" he asks.
. "Remember how Miranda got Nick a guitar for Christmas last year...?"
. There was a long pause. I figured he was going to tell me there was no way in hell he'd accept a gift on par with a guitar. Instead, his response was, "Well, I guess you could get me a guitar. I've been wanting to learn how to play and this would force me to practice..."

Boys are dumb. This is a fact that I, a girl, have been forced to accept over the last 21 years, but I had always sort of assumed that The Boy was above such silliness. Alas.

. "I'm not actually getting you a guitar!" I quickly cut him off before he could get too comfortable with the idea of a guitar, "It was an analogy. Like a guitar. Not an actual guitar."
. "But I don't play any other instruments..."

The conversation only went downhill from there. I'll spare you the painful details, Interested Party, but rest assured that it took all of my skill and cunning to get The Boy to understand my meaning while maintaining an air of secrecy.

I belong to a select group of people who suffer the misfortune of having their birthday fall regrettably close to Christmas. In the past this has meant getting "Birthday/Christmas" presents from my lame friends and relatives, or getting Christmas-themed gifts for the birthday, such as a box of candy canes or a tree ornament. Recently it has meant having to think twice as hard to come up with a list of things I want for family and friends who won't take "A hug?" for an answer.

And so, The Boy, duck-row-a-phile that he is, wants to make sure that the gifts he thinks he needs to get me are perfect. After drilling me for something I wanted beyond "Cake, cookies, pudding! Preferrably all in one!", much discussion has taken place as to what size, shape, color, texture, smell, aura, feng shui appeal, etc... my gift ideas were to have.

I drew the line in the sand of the Open Communication Beach when the phrase "What do you... well, this will ruin the surprise, but..." left his mouth. "Stop!" I cried, "Don't say it!". He protested, of course, but I stood firm and refused to hear anything more about the subject.

This entire process, of both giving and receiving, has been exhausting. Next year, we're taking a pledge of Gift Abstinence. I've decided.

There is more to TAoG:D2K7, but my wee fingers are as exhausted as my emotional resources.

Martin Out!