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Friday, Aug. 28, 2015

From my Front Porch

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Is it really the thought

It seems that just as the hubbub of the Christmas gift-giving season is finally over, we are faced with the stress of Valentine's Day and trying to find that perfect gift for our special Valentine. In all honesty, this is one "holiday" that I have never really put a lot of stock in. I am one of those women who prefers a long lasting green plant to fragile fresh flowers, and in the fine chocolate department, a Snickers bar suits me just fine.

Being a fairly easy person to please has its disadvantages. For one thing I have been responsible for helping to create a husband who is pretty clueless in the gift-giving department, or so I thought until this past Christmas when he and the children surprised me with the laptop computer I had been secretly eyeing at the local electronics store.

I should have known something was up when the children unselfishly insisted that mama open her gifts first. I realize now they were more excited than I was about what my dear Santa-husband had successfully sneaked into the house. Which could have been a dangerously expensive proposition considering his gift-giving track record over the years.

I have futilely tried to forget the year he presented me with a gift box selection of four pairs of socks or the first Christmas we were married when he gave me the same cologne his mother has worn for most of her 80 years. A nice gift, but what new bride wants to smell the same as her husband's mother? Thus began the post-holiday-birthday-or-any-special-occasion ritual of returning various well-intentioned gifts.

Thankfully, this pretty much ended a few years ago when I finally decided it would be a whole lot easier to just cut out the middle man, so to speak, and plan ahead and do the gift buying for my husband. Generally, I select and wrap the gifts, make them available at the appropriate time, and try to act pleasantly surprised upon opening them. This is something I have become pretty good at over the years.

And this is just what I had intended to do this past Christmas, but obviously my husband had other plans. Even though he and I would have both been quite pleased with his proxy selection of red satin pajamas.

As I was shopping for those pajamas I struck up a conversation with an older couple that had suffered through the same sort of gift giving détente over the years. When I explained for what and why I was shopping, the woman pointed back at the gentlemen who was peering over her shoulder, laughed and said, "Well, why do you think he's here?"

When I shared with them about the year of the socks, she smiled a knowing smile, but he commented that he thought socks were a very useful and practical gift. "You needed them, didn't you?" he asked.

Of course, he was right, I did need them, but I contend that any woman in her right mind would rather need red satin pajamas.

Well, Valentine's Day looms near and I am stumped. After all, it is going to be pretty difficult to top the ever practical Black and Decker circular saw I surprised myself with last year.