It’s always a little tricky when you go to buyin’ someone else a present with their money. The “dicey-ness” of the situation can be further compounded when that individual is a “frugal” person. Yeah, I’m talking about the annual challenge of purchasing my husband’s Father’s Day gift. The struggle is real…
I was thinking it would be a fabulous idea to get him a grill this year. After all, we’ve been talking about getting a new one for about 5 or 10 years now, so I thought I’d surprise him by spontaneously taking action. Fortunately for me, I had not yet executed the purchase when we chanced to discuss our plans for the upcoming Father’s Day weekend. Imagine my surprise when he threw me this curve ball:
Husband – “Whatever you do, don’t buy any food for grilling, it’s going to be way too hot this weekend to grill out!”
‘Uh-oh, I thought to myself, if he doesn’t want to grill out this weekend, that’s going to take a bit of the zing out of presenting him with a brand-spanking-new-grill.’
So I effortlessly moved on to plan B and bought him a brand new bottle of tequila* instead.
So, now imagine my further surprise when he said these words to me this morning:
Husband – “I’ve put in an offer on a grill and I’m waiting to hear back!”
Wife -“You’ve put in an offer on a grill? And you are waiting to hear back?”
(Ginger Snapping: I thought it was too hot to grill out? That’s why I bought tequila** instead of bratwurst. What’s more, my guy has some pretty lofty ideas regarding grills. I was thinking $400-$500 max. I’m not saying he isn’t a great Dad and all, but for Pete’s sake, it’s a grill. I know when it comes to men and their meat, it’s serious business, but we have kids to put through college. My husband is pursuing the purchase of a grill that requires the tendering of an offer? Like when one buys a car?)
Wife – “How much did you offer them for it ? These Grill-Scheisters?”
Husband -“$100 – but it has some scratches, a rather large dent and a broken wheel. I told them I’d be doing them a favor just hauling it away.”
Wife- “It really sounds like you would be doing them a serious solid. Not to be a kill-joy on your special weekend, but I kind’ve hope they turn us down.”
Like everything else in life, it resulted in a Bad News/Good News outcome…
Bad news: They said yes.
Good news: They said yes.
We stuck it to The Home Depot, but good!
We were there within the hour to load up our brand new scratched, dented, 3-wheeled Father’s Day Grill. After a brigade of overly-supervised Orange-Aproned Ones carefully loaded it (because we didn’t want any additional dents we didn’t pay for) into the truck, my triumphant husband pulled around to the front of the store.
Wife- “For crying out loud, what are you doing now?”
Husband- “We get a free bottle of propane with purchase! I told you I really stuck it to those M-effers. I took em deep!”
In retrospect, I’m so glad I didn’t rob him of the joy of buying his own gift with his own money.
Clearly, It was the thrill of the kill, more than the thrill of the grill…
*There wasn’t a scratch on that bottle of tequila. It was in pristine condition.
**In case you’re wondering, I decided not to return the tequila. Color me selfish, but I’m keeping it to make myself Margaritas. It promises to be a long, hot summer.
You couldn’t stir ’em with a stick down at the Kendra Scott store this weekend. It was the same next door at Lululemon. I was in the vacinity running an errand on Friday, saw all the crowds and wondered to myself,
‘What the heck is going on?’
Then I remembered Mother’s Day is coming up…
Honestly – Mother’s Day isn’t one of the Majors around here. You could actually miss it if you blink. We tend to ‘do it up big‘ for Christmas, Easter and the children’s birthdays, but we take a more toned down approach to Mother’s Day. It’s probably the same way at your house too. It’s not that our kids don’t love and appreciate us; it’s just that the little ingrates don’t go ‘all out‘ by setting up a tree, decorating the house, baking cookies or singing special songs dedicated entirely to celebrating us and our special day.
No matter – I can usually depend on Jimmy to acknowledge me with something fairly generous every year. (I take that as a sign that, deep down inside, he really does appreciate all my efforts at mothering our spawn.) As tempting as Kendra and Lulu looked that afternoon, I didn’t dare enter either store. Mainly because Jimmy and I had already squared-off for Mother’s Day 2016. We settled up earlier in the week when the subject of my Visa bill arose.
My Visa bill got a little out of hand back in March when I took a short trip to New York City with my daughter, Gracie. In my defense, most people will agree that New York City is a pricey place. I’ve managed to put off going there for years. I’ve just never had a strong desire to visit New York until one of our other daughters, Mollie, moved up there to attend law school almost two years ago.
What with the exorbitant airline fare, the swanky Manhattan hotel stay, all the great shopping, mixed in with cool restaurants (three times a day to keep our energy up) it costs a small bundle to go there. So, when it was time to pay the nice folks down at Citibank Visa, I thought to myself, “God only knows where I’m going to get the money to pay this…” And that’s when it hit me.
While my personal bank account was quite depleted, my Tithe Checking Account runneth over. Yes, you heard me correctly, no need to re-read that last sentence. I’m saying it straight out, “God is flush!” I borrowed the money from The Big Guy. Got right on my knees and promised I would pay Him back as soon as I was back on my feet again!”
I thought it was a “capital idea” and it totally was, all up until The Other Big Guy got involved. I’m not gonna lie, Jimmy hasn’t always been a fan of my fiscal creativity through the years. I don’t know what his problem is. Maybe he isn’t as confident in his personal relationship with God as I am. Or maybe he doesn’t want to be a credit risk and a health risk at the same time. But, whatever his reasoning was, he offered to pay off my debt to The Lord for Mother’s Day.
I balked a tiny bit because I was feeling pretty content with the clever arrangement I’d already hammered out with the Man Upstairs. So, naturally, I had thought of several other glamorous things I’d really prefer to receive from my husband for Mother’s Day. But if you could’ve just seen the look on Jimmy’s face. It was as if, after 33 years of marriage, his entire opinion of me might hinge on this one thing. He’s judgy that way. I really had no choice but to accept his gracious offer.
It’s not like I’m pouting, but, while all the other mothers in America were out milling about in stores like Kendra Scott and Lululemon, wantonly indulging their desire for useless baubles and high-pressure workout attire, I was sitting around appreciating my BRAND NEW SOUL. I mean, apparently I’m going to need it…
…if only the good die young.
I was lying on the couch last Friday night, sipping on a glass of wine and pondering what to give Jimmy for his birthday. I have a recurring issue with the fact that my husband’s birthday falls exactly one week after mine every single year. Like most girls, I love my :
d. All of the above
Nonetheless, by the time his birthday rolls around, I am all birthdayed out. A person can only take so much celebration before they crave calm, quiet normalcy. I happen to know for a fact that Jimmy agrees with me, because I asked him that very morning what he wanted as a present and he said,
“A relaxing, peaceful weekend!”
What a Jinxer!
When my son interrupted his X-box playing to come downstairs and inform me that a river of water was flowing into the playroom upstairs, I immediately sprung into action. With an armful of towels, barking out orders to the boys, dialing numbers on my cell phone for all I was worth, I took the stairs two at a time. Sure enough, water was pouring out of a bathroom faucet I had turned on earlier in the day, and forgotten to turn off. It gushed into my son’s bedroom, creating a river down the hall and into the playroom.
Fortunately, I have tons of experience with UN-NATURAL DISASTERS, due to a life-long association with myself. Turning my back on burning flames and running water has led to my burning down a handful of kitchens (’74 & ’92) and flooding more than my fair share of domiciles (’89, ’91, ’96, ’05, ’16). So, I know just what to do and who to call. In fact, when I got the Water Restoration company on the line, the dispatcher rattled off my name and address. We were actually “in their system!” I looked at it as being “Regular Customers,” but Jimmy saw it more as being “Repeat Offenders.”
There is a new movement these days against “Mother Judging,” which I wholly endorse, for obvious reasons. With that said, I think when I was a kid, my own mother might’ve focused too much on making lemonade out of lemons and failed to establish appropriate consequences for my high level of absent-mindedness. I think she actually was the person who initially invented the concept those insurance companies are constantly touting on their commercials called, “Accident Forgiveness!”
One day, when I was 11, I decided to make nectar for our hummingbird feeder. This involved boiling red food-colored sugar water. I put the concoction on a flame on our stove, set on high (I did then, and still do, cook EVERYTHING on HIGH) and then promptly left the house for a few hours. When I returned, there were 3 fire trucks lining the curb of our peaceful street. My mother’s state-of-the-art, Ultra-modern 1970s Avocado Green and Harvest Gold kitchen was now a smoky black hue. No one, including the local hummingbird population, was getting a meal out of that kitchen for a long while. Doris’ solution was to pack all 3 of her kids up in the station wagon and drive us 14 hours south to Orlando, Florida for a fabulous Disney World Dream Vacation, leaving our dad at home to deal with the aftermath and the contractors.
I think that’s why I never can seem to reconcile the way Jimmy overreacts when things things go a little awry like this. He persists in wading around in the muck and mire of finger-pointing and blame assignation instead of focusing on the fact that it’s raining in the kitchen – again.
No matter! I didn’t really need much help from him by then anyway, I had everything pretty much under control. There was really nothing much left to do, except say, “Happy Birthday! I’m still a RAINMAKER!” He wasn’t suitably amused, but people like me can be useful here in Oklahoma during our severe drought conditions.
When my mom heard what happened, she was speechless for a minute or two. But then after she thought about it for a second, she suggested we plan a trip to Florida, as our house will be teeming with pesky contractors for quite a while.
Anyway, I’m sorry I made it rain on my man’s birthday parade – but still, it’s not like we had anything else planned…