Yesterday was Dr. Darling‘s birthday, and I’m proud to announce that for once…and possibly the first time ever in our relationship…I actually gave her a combination of gifts that she really liked.
This is truly a monumental accomplishment for me, because it has the potiential to put an end to the near constant teasing and ridicule I’ve been subjected to over the last few years for practically every other gift I’ve ever given her. (Notice the purposeful use of the word “potential.”)
What’s especially vexing about it is that until I met the impossibly practical Swede, I had a reputation for being a very good gift-giver. THOUGHTFUL, GENEROUS and CREATIVE are all words that have been used to describe me in this particular arena.
But something happened to me when I moved to Sweden. I lost my touch…which I initially blamed on the fact that I spent the better part of my first year here as an unemployed student. It’s hard to get inspired for birthday or Christmas shopping when you don’t have much money to spend and what you do have was given to you by the person you’re shopping for. Plus, Dr. Darling is really into “useful” when it comes to presents…which eliminates a whole range of options…including fun and frivilous.
So I was really relieved when this year’s combo of a sterling silver replica of Thor’s Hammer (that she knew about because she picked it out) and toolbox (a thoughtful AND useful surprise) were such a big hit.
Since I got the gifts right (for once), I figured the rest of the day would be smooth sailing. HA! Turns out Dr. Darling had a bit of a personal crisis over the fact that she had turned another year older…and given that I’ve got quite a few years on her…I was absolutely the WRONG person to turn to for sympathy. Especially since I had left my cellphone in the charger that morning and had consequently spent the whole day feeling naked.