May and June are happenin’ months for our family. Lots of birthdays and anniversaries and celebrations. Sometimes they sneak up on me so fast that I find myself empty-handed on gift-giving occasions. This month Great Scott’s birthday falls on the day before Father’s Day, so loot is imperative. Good loot. Lots of loot. He’s worth it, I’ve found it, and what’s more, I actually got it ordered early enough that it’s already arriving! I’ll even have time to wrap it!
While this may not sound exciting enough to you to warrant the use of exclamation points, trust me; in this household it is. If the gift gets given within two weeks of the occasion, it’s on time.
Great Scott and I have a long history of gift giving...experiences. From our first Christmas when he gave me lingerie and upon seeing me in it immediately said, “Oh, Hon, I’m so sorry. I won’t do that again,” to the Valentine’s Day when I gave him a cross-stitched sampler instead of massive amounts of chocolate (Oh, Hon, I’m so sorry. I won’t do that again), our gifting has never been boring. Nor has it been particular about appearance. For a few years Great Scott’s chosen method of wrapping a gift consisted of a Stuff-Mart bag. When I noted that this was not the most inspiring way to give a gift, he wrapped the next one completely in duct tape, and was terribly proud of it. For my own part, I’ve been guilty of making him close his eyes and simply laying his present on his lap, Philistine that I am.
We’ve progressed to gift bags, now, like civilized people, and for the most part find this satisfactory. (At least I find it satisfactory--much more so than duct tape--although Great Scott may feel creatively hampered.) As for gift selection, we’re getting better. No more bustier nightwear or cutesy cross-stitch. We’ve learned to go for the eclectic, the slightly off-kilter, the quirky, even the downright bizarre, from the Jane Austin action figure to The Pop-Up Book of Phobias.
Marriage is work, some of it excruciatingly painful, some of it as bland and flavorless as a chalk shake. We’ve been through too much to come anywhere near denying this. But here is one of the small, intense pleasures resulting from years of stubborn commitment: knowing each other--knowing each other well enough to navigate even the treacherous passage of Choosing a Gift. No small gift in itself.
Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go make a lemon meringue pie for Great Scott in appreciation for the belated Mother’s Day gift that arrived in the mail yesterday: