Today I gave my wife her Valentine’s Day present. And her Birthday Present. It’s possible that I slightly neglected to get either on time.
It started because I listen. I learned that the key to a really successful gift is to listen all year long to what my wife mentions. (You know, in addition to trying to listen when she says stuff in general.) If she says she wants a cutting board in the shape of a weasel, I make a note of it for the next time some gift giving occasion arises. (So far she has never wanted one of those.)
This year she was mostly silent on the subject of wanting things. I suppose I should take that as a sort of compliment, but it was really more of a stress. I get flustered when people shake up my comfortable systems. What would I do when I needed to buy a present? (Before I learned this handy trick, my solution was to ask. As far as I can tell, asking what someone wants you to give them the day before you’re supposed to give it to them doesn’t endear them to you.)
Either way, a few months before her birthday though she started talking about wanting a new purse. This is far from ideal. My fashion sense is… we’ll call it “manly.” But it was the only information I had.
Then things got complicated, because she didn’t want just any purse, she wanted a specific purse, and she wanted it in a specific way. She works for a company that rewards people with gifts based on various diverse performance standards. They were offering a purse as one of those gifts. That was the purse she wanted, and she wanted it as recognition for a particular sort of success.
Thus I was in a bind. I wanted to find that purse for her–it was the only gift idea I had–but I didn’t want to give it to her and suggest by so doing that she wouldn’t be able to earn it herself. (As far as I can tell, suggesting to someone that you don’t believe they can succeed doesn’t endear them to you.)
I decided against the purse. And it was of course entirely my decision and had nothing to do with the fact that I couldn’t find the picture of the one she wanted anyway.
Unfortunately that pretty much left me in the realm of trying to make a present instead. I like “crafts,” but a craftsman I am not. It’s amazing that I was ever allowed out of primary school.
I’m out of time. This story does not become less ridiculous. I take gift-giving seriously. It’s generally best to take seriously what one has some sort of skill at.
In any event, here is the webpage of the nice lady who eventually helped me: Debi Warford Designs. She makes nice things.