Gift giving and receiving occasions stress the husband out.  I keep telling him what I like.  I think I’m simple and easy to buy for.  He does not.

My guidelines:

  • I like reading and animals and quilting and photography.  Buy me something to do with those things.
  • I like practical stuff more than fancy stuff.  I tend to get irrationally angry if you buy something simple that is outrageously priced because it has a designer label on it.  Just avoid labels. 
  • I like consumables or intangibles – – food or tickets to a play/concert or a membership to a museum, for example
  • Basically, I’m cheap and I don’t like fancy stuff.  How hard is that?

Apparently, it is hard.  But this year he asked for a list of books that I might like.  I was so proud.  I made him a list of 6 books.  My mother also requests lists so I told her that he had a list and I gave her a list of a few other things like a new SD card for my camera.  I told them to share their lists.

I figured that maybe they could each buy one book from the list for Christmas.  Maybe they could go hog wild and get one each for my birthday and Christmas.  I was wrong.

The other night he said out of nowhere, “I’m not sharing the book list with your mother.”


“It’s mine.  She can’t have it.”

I sighed at him.  Then I realized that he was treating my Christmas list like a grocery list.  He was thinking he needed to buy everything on the list and if he came home without something he better have a good reason.  I tried to explain that this was not the case.  He wasn’t having it.  I told him I was going to tell my mother on him.

He said, “I’m not scared of her.”  This is a bold faced lie.  In various stories he has likened her to a drill instructor, the Gestapo, and the Spanish Inquisition even though he likes her.  I called him on it.  He got grumpy.  I let it go.  He also mentioned that he was supposed to find out what kind of SD card I needed.

The next morning he whispered.  “You know, I really am scared of your mother.”

“I know.”

“So I need you to text me the details of the card so I can text them to her.  Don’t tell her I told you though.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”

Dude, that’s NOT how gift giving surprises work.  You are supposed to surprise the person getting the gift, not the person buying the gift…