Monday, September 19, 2005

The Cat's Out of the Bag... Again

I want to begin by saying that the following post was written at the request of my girlfriend. She's got something to say but, not being a blogger herself, no outlet for getting it said. Well, in truth, she has a lot of things to say, and a number of tried and true outlets for getting them said, but I'm talking about getting it said to a broader audience... Like you folks.

Apparently, I've led her to believe I have this clarion voice that reaches the masses. I guess I've somehow given her the impression that there are hoards of people who rush to my blog everyday, just to read whatever clever, witty, amusing, or sarcastic thing popped into my head the night before.

And we'll just keep letting her believe those things, won't we?

Anyway, here's the thing: It would seem that my girlfriend (who will forever afterward be referred to as "Mrs. Joe" because typing "my girlfriend" over and over again is becoming tiresome and lame) is having a hard time buying me gifts. Not that she has any difficulty with the actual shopping part... No way. She's got that down to a science. In fact, I suspect that there are things girls are taught in Jr. High Home Ec that us guys totally miss while we're busy making ashtrays and paperweights in Shop class (because those are skills that no man can go through life without...).

It seems that the problem lies not in the spending of the money on the merchandise, but in keeping the purchased merchandise a secret from Yours Truly. And before anyone gets on my case for being a snoop, I'd like to point out that I do not, under any circumstances, going looking for my presents. Sure, when I was a kid I used to like finding out what I was getting way ahead of time, but I've changed in my old age. Now, I enjoy the anticipation, the element of surprise. Premature Gift Revelation (PGR to the lay-person) just blows the whole thing.

Still, I don't think Mrs. Joe and I have celebrated a single special occasion during the course of our 2+ year relationship without me discovering what at least one of my gifts was before the day of giving. Given an average of 4 gift-receiving days a year (birthday, Christmas, anniversary, and Father's Day), that puts me somewhere around 10 for 10 so far. Not bad odds, if you're a betting man. But, as amusing as this might be for me or you, I'm sensing that this trend is starting to annoy her. By "sensing" I mean I'm being told, loud and clear, and by "starting to" I mean "has been for a long time but now she's finally saying something about it".

How do I do it, you might ask? Good question! At first, it was simply that she didn't know me well enough. You know, she wanted to get "just the right thing" for me, but was worried her interpretation of that would differ from mine. So, she'd either ask too many questions about a particular item, or genre of items, and tip me off, or just come right out and ask me to help her pick something out. See? Not my fault.

Then it changed to her knowing me too well. She'd buy something for me, knowing that it was exactly what I'd want, then I'd be in the same store with her a few days later and go to buy the exact same thing for myself! Of course, she could have just let me buy it and then return her purchase when I wasn't around, but I think she really, really wanted to be the one who figured out the perfect gift first, so she couldn't help but tell me. Again, not my fault.

Lately, though, things have gone from bad to worse. Just last week, I actually found out about 2 Christmas presents she had bought for me. Can you believe it? Who the heck buys Christmas presents in September? That's what the final week of sales before Christmas Eve are for! Anyway, I think this latest infraction was the straw that broke the camel's back, as they say. She's absolutely had it with me and my "dumb luck", but it's just so comical to me, especially considering the eloquent mixture of bad planning on her part and good intentions on mine that led to the most recent PGR incident.

First, there was that really cold morning last week... I take the bus to work, but I noticed her windshield was covered in frost, so I decided to be a good boyfriend and scrape it off for her before I left. Now, she normally keeps the scraper in the back hatch, so I went rummaging around in there. Little did I know there was a gift hidden under the emergency blanket... A gift that will remain nameless because it can still go to someone else in the family, and there's no sense having that person experience PGR as a result of my blog.

Then, not more than a day later, after showering up before work, instead of leaving my towel in a heap on the bathroom floor, I actually put it in the laundry hamper... right on top of the shirts she had hidden in there. Seriously. Now, either she didn't think these hiding places through very well, or she thinks I'm an inconsiderate slob who would never go near those places without being expressly told to do so. For my own sense of pride, I'm going to have to go with the former.

Okay, so now that the grievance has been aired to an impartial court of our peers (more or less), she wants to know what she should do about this situation. I've already suggested what I think are better hiding places, but I don't think she trusts me anymore... not about this anyway. So, go ahead, let her know what you think, and I'll try not to read any of your comments...

(wink, wink, nudge, nudge)
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