posted by Matt W on December 19th, 2012

So, I start out this holiday season doing a little holiday shopping for the most important person on my list, me. And then I remember…

My wife hates it when I buy things for myself before Christmas. It’s really a sickness. I literally go 11 months of the year without purchasing things for myself, but as soon as Christmas rolls around, out come the old credit cards. Many years ago, when we were dating, I liked a baseball bat, in August, in a store that happened to be on the other side of the state. To make a long story short, I ordered it a couple weeks before Christmas because as I was thinking of things I might like for Christmas it popped into my mind. Why wouldn’t I order it? I had no idea she had also ordered it for me or she had even remembered, my god it was in August. I got in double trouble because she walked in on me while I was listening to the story from the store owner about not having the bat in stock because he had sent his last to an address which coincidently was very near mine. “How ironic” was my reply. As I looked across the room into my future wife’s eyes, I realized that “ironic” wasn’t the word my wife would have used. Well, young love prevailed and I got my bat for Christmas. The next three Christmases, I and my sickness weren’t so lucky.

The next year, we had recently gone bowling a few times and I hadn’t found a ball I liked in the Fred Flintstonesque house bowling ball section. I eyed a nice ball in the bowling alley pro shop and in passing mentioned it to my now wife. How was I supposed to know she was actually going to buy it for me? A week later, we were driving by the bowling alley and I pulled into the lot and she said “What are we doing here?” I innocently replied, “I decided I really want to buy that bowling ball and we have a little time, so I thought I would just do it.” After a bit of a “disagreement,” she cancelled the order for my ball and I never had the nerve to go buy it for myself (too bad, because it was a really nice ball). (By the way, does anyone else think that $5 a game and $5 for shoes is a crazy amount to pay for bowling? It was like 50¢ a game when I was a kid. Of all the things impacted by inflation, bowling is the one that never ceases to amaze me.)

Well it didn’t go so well with the jacket I liked the next year, or the golf club I really like the following year either. I think I ended up getting the jacket from her parents, as she refused to give it to me but couldn’t return it (I had already taken the one I bought back), but I never got the golf club.

Really, I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to purchases. Despite my Christmas shopping compulsions, I don’t buy things unless it really strikes me as something “perfect;” I don’t buy for the sake of buying which also gets me in trouble as there have been times I have not gotten my wife something of substance for her birthday as I didn’t find anything I really liked for her. In my defense I have picked out a perfect dress, a nice watch, her favorite shoes, and books to numerous to count at random times throughout the year. Back to me, I guess I have just thought “I could use one of those for myself” a few too many times at apparently the wrong time of the year. Well, as they say “Admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.”

Wait a minute. My wife buys herself something every year at Christmas, wraps it, puts it under the tree and says it’s from me. Why didn’t I think of that?

File Under Jack of all Trades