Birthday Bluff


It’s Sunday evening. I’m sitting on my deck, contemplating this week’s blog; Steve’s pulling weeds. I yell, “Honey, two more days until my birthday!” “Yes,” he shouts back, “very exciting!” “Do you want an updated list from me, or do you already have my present?” I chuckle.

Aside: Steve is notorious for last minute gift-shopping. (Is this a testosterone thing? Seems to be, and yes, I know I’m stereotyping, that most men scramble in the 11th hour to buy gifts.) Here’s a little illustrative tidbit. In July, the ipod Steve bought me for last year’s birthday broke. Knowing that he no way got it a month early, I figured that it was still under the one year warranty. “Steve, do you have the receipt for the ipod you bought for me? If not, do you remember when you got it, so you could look at credit card records? You probably (ha, ha, jibe, jibe) got it last August 13th (by b-day is the 14th).” Well, he had saved the receipt. It showed time and date of purchase: Time 6:30 pm, date: August 14th! Point made?

Back to tonight’s conversation. “No, I haven’t gotten your gift yet,” he said as he walked into the house (surprise, surprise). I followed him. “Steeeeeve! I circled all of those possibilities for you in those catalogues to make it easy, and I….” “Pauline,” he interrupted, “I’ve been thinking about your gift for the past month, and know exactly what I’m getting you.” “Really, truly?” I smiled, “And you know where you’re going to get it?” A resounding “Yes.” “Well, is it from a shop in town?” “Not telling.” I begged and promised sexual favors, but he stood firm. No hints.

Is he bluffing, one might ask, but I’m not going to. After all, it’s the right answer. There is a category of questions that we ask where we just want our partner to say what we want to hear. It’s icing on the cake if it’s actually meant. (i.e. how does this look on me? How did that feel? Is this a good time to talk? Do you like my new hair cut/color/do? Is my nose growing? Etc…)

The birthday question definitely falls into this category for me. No matter if Steve has actually spent a lot of time or not thinking about my present, I at least want him to tell me he has. Is this wrong/shallow/blind/stupid? Maybe, but it’s the God’s honest truth. Guess I’d rather happy and shallow (in this type of situation anyway…where I feel it really doesn’t flippin matter!).

This man, my wonderful husband, hasn’t always known the “right” answers to give, but he’s been willing to learn for the sake of….ah, well,….I guess, for my ego. And he does a really great job of it. I don’t know if he practices in front of a mirror when I’m not around, but he’s able to give these “right” answers in a way that is 100 percent believable. I can just see him, standing in front of the mirror, saying “Really, honey, you do not need a nose job.” And repeating it until he can say it without smirking.

And I believe him! Well, o.k. I believe he doesn’t think I do, which, in my world, accounts for a hell of a lot.

This concludes another view from my married life.