Thursday, December 10, 2009

Presents and Presence

Some people would say I'm obsessed with finding people the "perfect" gift. Shopping for the holidays begins on December 26th for me. All year long I keep a running list in my head about what would make the recipient sublimely happy. I don't want to just give something the person would get for themselves...I want to do better. I want to give a present that is so unexpected, yet somehow perfect EVERY TIME.

Perfectionist much?

Take Shug, for example. I want to give this crazy kid every bazillion dollar camera the world and Russia has to offer. But since we're in a recession, we've imposed a $50 limit for each other this holiday.

Do you know what you can get for $50?


I've discovered everything amazing-cool-awesome-jawdropping-beautiful-creative thing is usually well above the half-Benjamin mark and to make matters worse, Shug has gotten the "I'm just gonna buy myself a few things" bug...Doesn't SOUND so bad, but just wait.

Shug has a short-list of "Things Necessary for Supreme Happiness." Quite a few of these things actaully are under the fifty dollar limit, so like a resourseful wifey I went a picked up one of the things on the list. Because that's what wives do, I'm told.

Attempt #1 - Guitar from Costco. Every time for the past few months, after we've stocked our cart with month's worth supplies of sun-dried tomatoes and laundry detergent, we'd swing down the musical instrument aisle and Shug would crane his neck as we passed this acoustic guitar like he was watching a childhood friend left behind through a rear view window. After the twelfth time this happened I went and bought the damn guitar. TWO days later I come home to find Shug practicing "Stairway to Heaven" or whatever on a new guitar from Costco. "WTF, babe?!?!" I asked calmly. I had thought he'd found his present and opened it up, but NOOOOO, he just went to Costco and bought himself the guitar. Result - Guitar returned.

Attempt #2 - Remote controlled helicopter from the pushy kiosk salesman at the mall. When holiday shopping with Shug's little sisters a week or so ago, we pass said kiosk and the light in Shug's eyes blinds us as he talks about how cool a remote controlled helicopter would be. We have to stop since we can no longer see where we are going. He grabs me and I squint from his bright stare. "You got one for me! Didn't you!" he posits, "I can just tell by the look on your face!" Result - Helicopter returned.

Attempt #3 - The best robe in the universe. Shug loves Twitter and apparently Twitter loves Shug, because three days ago he just won a DAMN ROBE in a Twitter contest. Result - I cried and robe was returned.

So nobody is getting anything for Christmas. Period.


  1. that is eerily similar to my husband-gift-shopping experience as well - limited budget and he keep buying the stuff that was on his damn wishlist! grrrrr
    i think i'm just going to end up taking myself to the spa, then his gift would be a happy wife :)

  2. ok it sounds sucky but it's pretty hilarious. poor thing. i usually get things they would never even think of wanting. like oh, he wants this, he just doesn't know it yet. i don't think ryan and i are doing gifts this year since we've been spending so much on plane tickets and such. i think the only man present i'm getting is for my dad. i'm going to do one of those clay paw imprint things from the dogs. so gay and cute.


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