Andrea's column: One for the booksMy husband and I stopped buying each other birthday gifts years ago. We needed nothing, we reasoned, but if something caught our attention, we should buy it instead of dropping silly hints.
By: Andrea Langworthy, Rosemount Town Pages
My husband and I stopped buying each other birthday gifts years ago. We needed nothing, we reasoned, but if something caught our attention, we should buy it instead of dropping silly hints.
That concept worked until recently, when I told my hubby another member of my book club had bought a Nook.
“Would you want one of those reading things?” he asked. I reminded him of my fondness for the real thing.
“It might be nice to have something light and portable, though,” he said, “for when you have to wait some place.”
My better half has forgotten I never have to wait any place. Ever since I stopped driving, it is he who sits in a waiting room during my visit with a doctor. He who bides time while I get my hair cut. My toe nails painted. My teeth cleaned.
As he pushed me to get a Barnes&Noble reading apparatus, I remembered his upcoming birthday and realized the Nook is something he would like. Something he does not have. Something he would never spend money on for himself.
But how to get it when his special day was closing in? I couldn’t ask him to drive me to a store, could I? It was then I remembered my friend’s offer to help whenever a need arose.
I called the nearest Barnes&Noble and asked if someone could do some personal shopping for me. That is how I met the Nook expert, a man who even agreed to select a not-too-flowery birthday card for my husband.
“Just stick the card inside the latest issue of Sports Illustrated,” I told him. “That way, it won’t get bent.”
“Do you want the swimsuit issue?” he asked. I did not. I assumed basketball sensation Jeremy Lin would be on the front. The Nook expert found an edition that fit the bill. I gave him my credit card information and a hearty thank you.
A few days later, my friend called from the store to say she had the package in hand.
She said she had checked the package to make sure everything was there and was worried they put the wrong magazine in the bag.
“You want the swimsuit issue, don’t you?” she asked.
“No, no,” I shouted.
When I hung up, my husband asked what all the shouting was about. I told him my friend was picking up the next book club selection for me and mistakenly thought I wanted the paperback version. (Mom said “little white lies” are okay in these circumstances.)
That little lie paid off a few evenings later when my husband pulled his chair out from the dinner table and spied the multi-colored gift bag resting there.
“What’s this?” he asked.
He was visibly surprised and pleased by the Nook, the “happy birthday” greeting card, and the magazine with Jeremy Lin on the cover. He laughed when I told him everyone assumed I wanted to give him the issue with the scantily-clad models.
“Do you really like your present?” I asked a bit later that night.
He leaned in to give me a kiss and assured me he did. Then, one of us recalled when a present with a similar name, one ending with the letter “Y” instead, was a birthday sure thing.
We laughed again and called it a night.