Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Surprises Suck

I hate surprises. If you have something for me that you would to be a surprise, then just frickin surprise me already. Don't taunt me with your childish:

"I know something you don't know."
"I know what you're getting for Christmas and you don't!"

Cuz, lemmetellya, Buddy. I'll find out what that stinkin' surprise is if it kills me.

Years ago, after buying MY first brand new car (1998 Maxima), I asked for a cd player to put in it. I wanted a Nissan player not some tacky aftermarket that wouldn't fit right in the hole. One night, I noticed a very large and heavy box had appeared under our Christmas tree. Like many men, The Mighty Hunter hasn't found his inner Martha Stewart to channel and is not a highly skilled gift wrapping guy.

Let's just cut to the quick: he's lucky to cover the box with ONE TYPE of wrapping paper, all right? And this was the case with this large, heavy gift. I know it was heavy because I picked it up and tried to shake it. I was too heavy to shake and identify its contents.

Yes, I shake my gifts. Shut up.

I also teamed up with my brother as kids to find every. single. present. our parents bought and hid. They figured out what we were doing and began wrapping them before hiding them. This only allowed me the opportunity to develop my amazing gift-cracking skills. I can successfully cut the tape at the edge of the wrapping paper, unwrap a gift, identify it, play with the toy (as a kid, that is) (well, maybe now too, whatever), re-wrap the gift in the SAME paper, using the SAME folds and creases, and apply new pieces of tape on TOP of the tape I cut very precisely with the blade of my safety scissors and make NO ONE any the wiser.

My mom was dumbfounded when my brother and I confessed to having done this as a kid. My dad just laughed his big Homer-Simpson laugh.

Back to the large and heavy Christmas gift...

I decided that I would have too much difficulty in trying to re-wrap a gift that The Mighty Hunter had wrapped so haphazardly manly and that I should find a different way of verifying the contents of the large and heavy box.

I called the credit card company and asked what the most recent charges were and where they were made.

Regal Nissan + $200 = cd player for my Maxima

And no, the player was NOT large or heavy. He had gotten all his old Cabela's catalogs and piled them into a box on TOP of my cd player to TRY to fool me. Silly, silly man. He had only begun to see the depths of my surprise-loathing obsessions.

Since that year, we have accomplished the Christmas gift shopping for me from him in a few different ways. My FAVORITE way is when I look through a few catalogs, circle the items I like, write in the size and colors I want and let him pick and choose. He has done well at this, and I feel it's a good system.

No, I'm not controlling. I look at it like this. This is one of our ways of expressing our love languages to each other (blech I know.) I love him by telling him what I want him to do and take pressure off him and prevent him from giving me the crappiest gift ever. He loves me by buying me the things I want in the correct size and colors. It's a win-win.

So this year, he has tried to be subtle. Yet he has failed. Twice we've been in Sears looking at stuff - whatever it is in Sears you look at. Each time he has said, which of these cameras is it you want?

"Canon Digital Rebel, but it's too expensive."

"you sure?"

"yes, but not now, it's too expensive."

Saturday, I forced him to go Christmas shopping with me and both kids. His uncle Carl and Carl's wife Beboo, went along too. We do a lot of fun/stupid things with them. Shopping last Saturday definitely falls into the stupid category. In our 15 years of marriage, he has gone Christmas shopping with me to a mall on a weekend ONCE. And that was last Saturday. And, frankly, I'd like for it to be the last. He just doesn't get the "divide and conquer" and meet me at Barney's for coffee in 2 hours game plan.

The first store we stopped in, we spent $300 on him for clothes to wear to work. Stinkerbell got to use a Club Libby Lu gift card and get her hair and make-up and nails done and dance in the middle of Belk's to that dumb cha-cha slide song that makes me want to poke a fluffy glitter sprinkle stick into my ear drums. After spending 90 minutes looking for him some nice clothes, we had lunch in the food court. Then he announced that he needed about an hour to go find something with Carl.

"While I'm gone, try and get something accomplished, willya?" Yes, he actually said that. And no, I'm not writing this from my jail cell, although I would probably be given some kind of award from every other wife that heard him say that had I actually pummeled him to death with my diaper bag.

Beboo and I split up for a little while. The kids and I went looking for Christmas pjs in the Children's Place. As I was walking to the store where Beboo and I agreed to meet up, I passed the Wolf Camera shop and...

What to my wondering eyes should appear
The Mighty Hunter at the sales counter looking at my gift...

After the mall, we went to Target and wasted more time, including 5 minutes when The Mighty Hunter drug me to electronics and forced me to look at the camera again. And then he said, "It's just so expensive. And I already have something for you. Why don't we wait and save up for it for our anniversary next year or next Christmas."

And I just smiled, "that's fine. We can save up for it. It's not a big deal, really."

On the way home, he brought it up again, saying, "why don't you use your Minolta anymore? Would you use it if I got you some really good film?"

So, to answer Jennifer's question about what I'm getting for Christmas...

Sunday night, I got mine. And I love it.

and I didn't even tell him that I saw him in the camera shop.

I'll let him enjoy his false superiority.

Is it wrong to be smug about this?


Irene said...

That is a hilarious story. But I have to say, I am the complete opposite! I hate to know my gifts! I don't know why, I just want them to be a complete surprise! My husband's family isn't great at picking gifts, so they usually ask what we want, go buy it and wrap it. No surprise whatsover. I guess I would rather have the anticipation!

But I know we are all very different. I would expect you would definitely need to know your baby's gender beforehand? And me? Definitely not. So funny!

OH, and lucky you with the camera! I got a new one recently, but not like that one. I hope to someday get a REAL cool one too!!!

jennifer said...

Ahh, man! I love your camera! I wanted that one, but my cheapo husband said no.

As for surprises, that's all I really want for Christmas...to be surprised.

Jennifer, Le Binky Bitch

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I always hunted for my Christmas presents, too!

Fortunately, or unfortunately (however you want to look at it), HH and I don't do gifts anymore!

Congrats on the sweet camera!