Monday, July 18, 2011

Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

At least until you know that the horse is actually a gift.

This year I thought I would surprise my wife with an anniversary/birthday gift she's been wanting for quite a while.  After first consulting with my nineteen year-old daughter that it was appropriate for the occasions, I placed my order with Amazon on Thursday.  With free Prime shipping I knew it would arrive on Saturday, but would it arrive before she, Liz, Michelle and Daniel left for camping for the weekend?  No matter - with Katherine's birthday on Tuesday, it would still be here in plenty of time, even if it didn't arrive in time to give it to her on Saturday.

Thursday evening while we were discussing the upcoming fall's finances - two kids in college, two at IHC, etc - I jokingly said that if she was so concerned about money I could return her gift I ordered.  "Oh, you didn't have to get me anything.  I didn't get anything for you," she exclaimed.  "Don't worry about it," I replied. "You let me get those new golf clubs last month."  With that, nothing more was said about her present.

Saturday morning was spent packing the van with every camping accoutrement known to mankind - tents, air mattresses, cots, cooking gear, sports equipment, fans (it gets HOT out there!), electric griddle, chairs - all for ONE night of camping!  Anyhow, everyone was too busy to think about Katherine's gift.  Just as they were about to leave, though, the Fedex truck showed up with her package.  Rather than waiting until they got back, I decided to give it to her then and there.  When she saw the outside of the box said "Kitchenaid" the expression on her face was priceless; you'd think I had just presented her with the Hope Diamond!  She then explained why she was so pleasantly surprised to get a mixer (not exactly the most romantic gift) as her present:

When she went into the garage the other day to start going through the camping gear, she saw an unopened box semi-hidden under a workbench, and when she noticed that it was a new hedge trimmer she was sure that was what I bought her.  A hedge trimmer?  Is that really what she thought I got her for our anniversary and her birthday?  Yup.  She has mentioned hedge trimmers in passing a couple of times, especially since we now actually have some hedges that could use a clip, but it never even crossed my mind to give one as a gift.  Instead I bought this one at Sears a couple months ago, but hadn't broken it out yet.  Katherine was suspicious about me getting down all the camping stuff for her (even though she asked me to) because she believed I was trying to keep her out of the garage where her lovely present was hidden!

The really funny part is that she spent the better part of two days thinking about how she should react to her "surprise."  Treat it as a joke, or act like it's something she really wanted?  It guess it's not too hard to figure who knows their spouse better in this relationship!