Saturday, December 27, 2008

What I Got for Christmas

… is proof that my husband has the attention span of a cardboard box.

Now this is not a long-winded rant on how he can’t buy a decent gift, because on that score, Ron makes the gift-giving hall of fame. He remembered I wanted an armoire jewelry stand long after I’d forgotten it was on my list and ta-da! It appeared covered in what had to be an entire roll of wrapping paper under the tree Christmas morning. Along with a pair of kitchen shears and an omelet pan from the dollar store that he said were clues — thank goodness they were merely red herrings because anything in a big box that goes with kitchen shears and a pan wouldn’t win an award in this house.

An extra round of applause because he looked for a sale before throwing his credit card across the counter.

While I was still feeling all warm and toasty about my guy, he hit the mall with me today to order new glasses while I touched every pair of pants and sweater at J.C. Penney's after-Christmas sale. Naturally his errand was much shorter than mine, so he suggested he take an elevator ride up to the men’s department and pick out some shirts for work, since he was bored anyhow.

Wow. A husband volunteering to buy his own clothes. I should have died happy at that point.

And he was quite proud of his purchases when we got home, too. There was the obligatory pair of tan Dockers — he has like 25 pairs of them in the closet — and a pair of dress blacks. A light blue shirt that screams, “I’m a guy and I had to buy a shirt so I got this blue one,” and then his big score of the day: a pumpkin-colored Van Huesen dress shirt. Please, please tell him it would go with his black pants because the sales clerk said it would.

I was too busy glancing under the Christmas tree where that exact same shirt was lying there, unwrapped, in its box. His answer to the question “Does this look familiar?” was a puzzled stare, with a slight trace of panic starting to set in.

So I started at the beginning: What color shirt did my mom get you? He was more confident now. “The IU one.” Wrong answer. That came from my brother’s family. So Ron slid his eyes over toward the tree and guessed navy.

It was green.

Then I asked what color shirt he opened from me just two days ago. The glassy-eyed stare was back, so I threw him a bone: the one with the black tie? Came in a see-through box? You really liked it?

“Did you get me a shirt?” he finally responded.

Now, I could take the obvious route and get him a lobotomy. But instead, I think I’ll sneak the shirt back into the Christmas tub and wrap it up next year. He’ll never have a clue.

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