by Mike McHugh
With only a week left, I’ve yet to make much progress on Christmas shopping for my wife. If I don’t get on the ball soon, I might have to place her gifts under a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to create the illusion that Santa was good to her this year.
My problem is that I just don’t know what to get her. After all these years of marriage, I’m out of fresh ideas. For instance, I’ve already given her so many stuffed animals that she’s placed one on every seat in the house, including the toilets. I’ve also given her so many necklaces that, if you lined them up end-to-end, they’d reach from here to Key West. That’s excepting the break that would occur in Miami, where they’d all end up in pawnshops.
And scented candles? She’s got so many going in the house now that whenever I walk in I get the urge to look for a dead body.
Desperate for ideas, I tested the water by dropping a hint that she might look nice in a pair of cowgirl boots. “You get me cowgirl boots and I’ll wear them just one time,” she said. “That’s when I put them on and kick you in the shin.”
“They look good on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders,” I pointed out.
“You’d think that clown shoes would look good on the Cowboys Cheerleaders,” she replied.
I crossed the boots off her list and penciled in a pair of moccasins.
Still needing more ideas, I tried an experiment this year. I came up with a possible list of items for my wife and asked readers what they thought. Here’s a sampling of the results:
- A gift subscription to Sports Illustrated. Readers said no. I can see their point. She’d probably think I got it for her just so I could check out the swimsuit issue.
- An autographed baseball from the 1984 Baltimore Orioles. Readers nixed this one as well. They’re probably right. The Orioles didn’t have a good season that year.
- A back scratcher. Readers scratched this one off the list, often wearing a hole into the paper. They’re right about this one as well. She already has a back scratcher—me.
- Exercise equipment. This one generated hate mail. I can understand. I actually got her a treadmill one year. It was only later that I learned such action is legal grounds for divorce in several states.
- A diet book. Much of the return mail on this one was laced with a strange white powder. Apparently, a diet book is grounds for conviction on domestic abuse, this despite the fact that she’s bought herself enough of them to open a library.
- Lingerie from Victoria’s Secret. This one drew overwhelming support. I’m not sure, however. It seems too much like I’d be buying a present for myself.
As you can see, my survey wasn’t much help. But I’m not worried. If the past is a guide, I always somehow end up coming through for her by the time the big day comes. In this year’s case, that day might be Mardi Gras.