My Presence is Your Present

When Kevin and I first got together, I spent days – no, months – looking for the perfect Christmas present for him. I scoured EBay, dropped hints to try and discover what weird CD or movie he wanted, went to store after store searching for the Best Present Ever that would most certainly prove to him my undying love and affection.

Move forward about six years and you’ve got me making coupons with construction paper and Sharpie markers.

“This Coupon Good for One Trip to the Kroger for a Pint of Ben and Jerry’s Since You Won’t Get off Your Lazy Ass Ever to Get it Yourself.”

Or perhaps, “This Coupon Good For One Week Where I Will Scoop the Cat Litter.”

Or maybe even, “This Coupon Good for One Entire Weekend Where I Promise Not to Watch Lifetime Television for Women While You’re in the House.”

The thing is, after all these years, I don’t know what to get my man. There comes a point when all the clever, adorable, infinitely memorable gifts are no longer available because you’ve purchased them all already.

Truth be told, Kevin’s not in any better shape. The first year or so that we were together he wowed me with obscure Golden Girls memorabilia and copies of beloved books I had misplaced or lost. He would wrap each one carefully and present them to me as if they were gifts from the Magi. Now, just like me, his careful present selection routine has dissolved into getting a gift card on December 24th.

However, to his credit, this fall he noticed I had been wearing his robe a lot around the house because I don’t have one of my own.

“Hey,” he said, “why don’t I get you a robe this year for Christmas? It seems like you need one.”

“That’s a great idea,” I told him, genuinely touched.

Now, I don’t want this writing to deteriorate into some `you know how men are’ column…but, well…you know how men are. When it comes to buying women clothing, most are challenged, and Kevin is no exception. This past Sunday, he went out to buy me a robe. When he got back, he asked me to put it on to “test it” and make sure it fit. Then he made me promise I wouldn’t wear it until Christmas Day.

I was impressed with his choice of a yummy, cream-colored robe made of soft fleece. Wow, Kevin, I thought to myself, you’ve done it. Then I looked at the size.


“3X?” I said. “What are you saying? I know I’m 5’10”, but 3X?”

“I thought you would want something comfy and big,” he protested, a look of confusion in his eyes.

“Yes, but Kevin, 3X is, like, bigger than 2X. There’s Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, and then I think it’s 1X, 2X, and 3X. You’ve basically just purchased me the Sears Tower of robes.”

As soon as I said it, I felt bad. He had tried so hard to find the perfect gift, and he had messed up. Who was I to judge him anyway, seeing as I was in the middle of making “This Coupon Good For One Beer Run.”

Looking crestfallen, Kevin said, “I didn’t understand. But I can take the robe back.”

“I can go with you when you take it back,” I offered, “so we can make sure it’s right.”

“No, no, I can get it right,” he insisted softly, and he walked away, clutching the 3X to his chest and sighing.

Poor Kevin. I don’t know how to make him feel better, but I’m thinking maybe a coupon good for one year of not having to buy me a Christmas present might help. In fact, I might ask him for the very same thing.