Power Cords Don’t Count

Allen, the father on “Boy Meets World,” bought his wife, Amy, a trash compactor for their anniversary. She, predictably, was unimpressed.
Of course, Allen was confused. Amy had been mentioning how she wanted a trash compactor for months. Allen saw a need, a problem, and set out to be a hero and fix it. He bought her the best trash compactor on the market and came home so proud of himself.
I paused the DVD and turned to the Mister. His prompt response was, “I would never do that. I’m not stupid. If I ever get you an appliance, it’ll have something attached to it or inside it.”
And actually the Mister has been really good about that. He’s good about remembering when I mention things that I like and about coming up with cute ways to surprise me with them. His parents and I are in complete confusion about where these romantic impulses come from. They certainly don’t come from either of his parents, and they would tell you that themselves.
The father in law let the mother in law pick out her engagement ring, after being prompted by his own mother, and then handed it to her and said, “Here, do you want this?” Neither of them know where the Mister ever got a romantic bone in his body.
So I just want to preserve in writing, for posterity’s sake, the fact that the Mister has promised never to buy me a gift simply for the purpose of solving a problem. This would include kitchen appliances, cleaning products and generally anything with a power cord.
Unless of course I have specifically asked for such a thing with the intent that it should be given on a holiday or special occasion. For example, this past Christmas I had several things on my list that were appliance-like, or at least had power cords, like a candle warmer. I intended for those to be Christmas presents. Thankfully the Mister is smarter than my Christmas list and knew that there needed to be something else along with the power cords, and he came through admirably with jewelry hanging on our tree.
His family is still reeling from that one.
Being the academic dork that I am, I relate this to something akin to the “nature versus nurture” argument. Nurture tells the Mister, “Power cords are acceptable Christmas presents.” But something in his nature, something from a generation or two back, says, “Buy her something shiny. Surprise her. Make her smile.”
I guess God knew to put backup reserves in place, even if only to save some men from themselves. (Now if only we could find a way to transfer some of those reserves to the many poor, helpless, untrained young men out there in the world. But that’s a problem for another column.)

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