It's so easy!
So what is it about twenty-eight, you ask? Twenty-eight is an important number. It's the number of years that I've been happily married to the most wonderful woman alive.
And that's the problem. It's tough! Think about it for a moment from a husband's perspective.
- 28 birthdays
- 28 Christmases
- 28 Valentine's Days
- 28 anniversaries
- More than 28 Just because I love you days
- And an unspecified number of "I'm sorry" gifts added to the mix.
The problem stems from my need to give my wife something different each time. I yearn to be original, but originality has become elusive. Like a writer groping in vain for the truly unique story, this husband gropes in vain for yet another unique Christmas gift for his wife.
And it must be the right gift. Something she wants or needs. Something she'll love or treasure. Something that says "Merry Christmas, honey, I love you" and nothing more. Trust me, ladies. Our gifts say nothing else. Honestly.
We guys simply do not possess the mental capacity to meticulously evaluate every implied nuance of every gift we choose. It's just not in the DNA. We're not attempting to project any subliminal messages via the gift; we're just trying to make you happy.
We can't be trained. Educating us in the finer aspects of gift-giving is futile. Our memories will never retain your dress size and we know better than to ask. We have no idea what kind of shoes you want or what your favorite fragrance is this month. And please don't ask us to stand at the cosmetic counter. The cashiers and assistants only laugh at us. The jewelry department clerk can't equate our estimation of "about this big" with a ring size.
We've learned that crock pots and vacuum cleaners and steam-press irons are unacceptable, whether you need them or not. We dare not purchase anything that must fit. (We have no clue what's in style right now anyway.)
Telling us we should know what you want and like is as helpful to us as assembly instructions written in Swahili. And spending more time with you, while enjoyable, won't fill our brains with your unspoken desires. Osmosis doesn't work. I know. I've tried.
We guys are more than happy to draft a list of suggestions from which you can choose ours. We really don't understand why it can't work the other way too. Please, make it easy on us, ladies. If we still haven't figured out why you cried or laughed or gave us the silent treatment last month, then what chance do we have with this?
But alas, I shall do as I've done before, as I shall do yet again. I'll burn three tanks of gas on my quest. I'll search through endless aisles and malls, eliciting scowls from shoppers, frowns from clerks, and pity from those who share my plight. I'll ponder and fret until my stomach twists itself into a pretzel. For love demands nothing less.
And to think, Valentine's Day is less than two months away.