Friday, November 8, 2013

Crappy Husband Alert! Crappy Husband Alert!

Tomorrow is my wife’s birthday, and today I was reminded what a lousy husband I am. The reminder came from an unlikely source, which rules out my wife. In fact, it was a large, faceless corporation that told me, essentially, I suck at being a husband.

Today, I took a little time away from the home office to sneak over to one of my wife’s favorite stores to purchase an item she told me she wanted repeatedly over the last week. It’s not like she was walking around talking about the item, rather it came up in conversations that went something like this:

“Honey, want anything for your birthday?”

“No, I don’t need anything.”

I’m not falling for that trap, again.

“Come on, dear.  There must be something.”

“Well there is this one thing I saw …”
Years ago, I gave up trying to come up with my own ideas. Back when we first met, I considered myself a good gift giver, in that I came up with creative, romantic, original ideas. At least I thought I did.
As time went on, I began failing at the task more often than I found success by buying her gifts that were solely my idea, from clothes and shoes, to books and CDs, to household trinkets. I even failed times when I thought I’d succeeded, as she graciously accepted the gift and then days later asked if I had a gift receipt.

Note to Husbands:  Just because she
watched the movie instead of talking to
you, doesn't make it a good gift.  
It all started when we were on a vacation of sorts one Thanksgiving, long before the kids were born. My then-future wife chose to stay in the hotel room for a few hours watching “A Christmas Carol” – the semi-old version with George C. Scott – rather than explore the town with me. Not my favorite version of the tale; I always preferred Kermit as Bob Cratchit. But I figured she must like it. 

That Christmas, I bought her “A Christmas Carol” staring George C. Scott, thinking it would be the anchor piece of our future holiday movie collection. She laughed and told me she didn’t care for that movie at all. It left me confused as to why she watched it rather than hanging out with me that day, and began my steady descent into becoming a bad gift giver.
Experiences like that have made me a bit gun shy on gift ideas. Not just birthday gifts and holiday presents, but other gifts as well. Making matters worse, I’ve also never been the spontaneous gift kind of guy, which is the real offense here.  
I know that a better husband would just show up on occasion with a little something for his beloved. Apparently, I am not a better husband. My wife gets her allotted five gifts a year: Valentine's Day flowers, a Mothers' Day gift card for a manicure, an anniversary-appropriate something in yearly honor of our nuptials, and then some gift idea I coax out of her for her birthday and Christmas. Five. Which is more than twice as often as she gets dental cleanings. But, it's certainly not enough. And it's all my fault. Heck, my wife is lucky if I bring her a chai tea when I splurge on Starbucks for myself. Cue the “You don’t bring me flowers” music.
That brings me to the reminder I got today of just how much I suck.
As stated, I went to a store she loves and decided to get her that thing she told me about. It was a little pricey, but not that bad. We spend more on groceries at Wegmans twice a week. And, for goodness sake, she gave birth to all four of my children. She’s worth it.
When I got back to the car, after making the retail kill, I felt the vibration of my phone telling me I just got an e-mail.
It was from my bank – a security alert, from the anti-fraud department.
“We’ve noticed unusual and suspicious activity on your account,” the e-mail read.  I got worried. Was it identity theft? Have we been robbed? Should I take back the gift I bought to make sure we don’t bounce any checks?
The urgent message went on to state that the suspicious transaction occurred moments ago at … my wife’s favorite store.
Me buying something for my wife is so unusual that even the fraud department at our bank has noticed. I get it, bank, I should buy her more stuff, more often, for no reason.
In a split second, I went from feeling like I was a true king for getting my wife the gift she really wanted, to a total louse. Being married to me must suck.
Happy Birthday, dear. And I'm Sorry.

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Oren said...

That's funny. My wife kept complaining about Valentine's Day being lame and commercialized, but then when I didn't send her flowers to the office, I was a bad husband, because everyone else got flowers...

Cort Ruddy said...

Thanks, Oren. I fell for the "Oh, I don't need anything" bit once. Heard about that for a while. We live and learn.

Unknown said...

Don't feel so bad, Ruddy. You may not be the kind of husband who buys his wife a lot of stuff, but that doesn't mean you don't love her as much. The effort you did was enough to make your wife happy; wanting to make her happy on her special day is proof of how much you care for her. I suggest you check online shops that sell high-quality jewelries for a reasonable price next time. Good day!

Dann Hires @ MCCartysJewelryLB