Buying early can lead to second guessing
I bought two gifts a month or more in advance for a friend’s birthday, and I admit, I was feeling pretty confident about my efficiency.
Truth be told, I was feeling a little smug, too, high-fiving myself and giving myself a pat or two on the back for a job well done.
I was president of the Janice Birthday Buying Fan Club.
But all this ceremonial self-congratulatory deliriousness went on hiatus as soon as Better Half put in his 2 cents’ worth — or make that 10 cents.
“She doesn’t need that,” he said casually, not curtly, not even critically when he saw what I’d bought.
He was merely assessing the purchases I’d made as if they were archaeological finds newly unearthed and of absolutely no use or value in modern civilization.
To dust they should be returned, is how I might have interpreted the look on his face.
“What’s she going to do with these?” came the next comment from him, on his part, again, an honest question posed by a voice-of-reason type person who prides himself on being rational and practical about things, including birthday presents.
“She’s going to like them — that’s what she’s going to do with them!!” I assured him about the decorative trinkets, thinking that was an obvious conclusion to be making.
Open birthday bag and birthday wrappings, look inside to discover what’s in there, realize it’s yours for the keeping (or re-gifting) and be happy … duhhh!!!
End of story.
The inspection/evaluation continued anyway.
“Maybe you should have gotten her something she needed, something she could use,” he suggested innocently enough.
I’m not quite sure what that meant — paper towels, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, a new husband, surely not toilet paper, God help us.
“Well, then it’s not a birthday present,” I tried to be rational and reasonable myself.
“Birthday presents are supposed to be fun, not functional.”
Better Half shook his head, digesting what apparently was new and never-before-considered information.
Something about this conversation eventually chipped away at my foundation of faith in my purchases.
I was glad I’d picked out the gifts early on during a shopping outing to Amish country with my son and daughter, where the three of us had agreed with enthusiasm on the gift purchases.
“She’ll love that, Mom,” my daughter oozed at the register. “If you don’t get it, you’ll regret it.”
“Perfect,” my son added.
Buyer’s instinct to open wallet and proceed was in high gear — an adrenaline inclination practically pushing me to the checkout line.
But buying early — combined with spousal inspections — had me second-guessing myself.
I was starting to wonder, what would she do with these gifts? And I started to fear, too, what if I had to say those two words to my husband that sting and pain me as they work their way from my brain to my mouth — “You’re right.” Yikes!
Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
Long live the fan club.
(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)