I'm a notoriously bad secret keeper when it comes to presents. Dating way back to when my dad and I went shopping for my sister's third birthday and we got home and I first got alone with her and told her, "We had to look so many places to find your doll and her highchair!" I swear. And I was six at the time - old enough to know better but dumb enough to screw it up. And ever since I've been ruining surprises everywhere.
This morning I was on the phone with my sister, oddly enough since I just used her as a plot device in the above paragraph, and I was excitedly shout-whispering to her about scoring Brian's Playstation and game yesterday. He was still in bed and I was mostly at the other end of the house in the bathroom that is loud because the fan comes on automatically when the light is on. (How do you fix that, by the way? You don't need a fan when all you're doing is peeing.) A few minutes later we got off the phone and he got out of bed, jumped in the shower and joined me in the living room for some coffee. The first thing he said was, "You know, I wasn't asleep when you were on the phone with your sister just now. I tried not to listen, but I heard some of it."
Damn him. Damn him, his bionic hearing and his honesty. He should've just kept that shit to himself and pretended like every other fucking person does on Christmas! Oh yes, you know it. There will come a time in the next couple of days when you are pretending to either be surprised or delighted or suprised and delighted and there's not a damn thing you can say to change my mind. I have my Christmas opening gift act down to such an exact science, I should have won some kind of award already. Which would probably be made of brass and I'd have to pretend to love it.
My way of dealing with this ruination of things was to inform him I'd be going shopping with him today for my presents. Since he already knew what his big one was and I've given him explicit instructions on what I want my Fossil watch to look like, all the more easier to make me happy and he agreed. That, and a new Messenger or large Satchel-like purse is all I wanted and I have to say this plan worked so well we may have to employ it from now on. We went to the Village of Shopping Ecstacy, where all the good stores are together but not in mall form, but instead interspersed with landscaping, restaurants, fountains and lamp posts. I love lamp posts. I took a picture of one today. We walked around together for a little while with me showing him the types of watches and bags I preferred and then we split up for awhile so he could make the final decision on his own. We met up together at Books A Million, where we each picked out a book as well, because it's Christmas and well, it's us. And that is what I'd call a successful husband-wife shopping outing.
We may not be surprised when we exchange gifts tomorrow, but we will both be happy and isn't that the ultimate goal?
We'll be staying with Mom & George tomorrow night so we can get up bright and early to open gifts (I hope I won't have to do too much pretending) and then it's on to Aunt Shirley & Uncle Billy's for the large family eatathon. And tomorrow two very big things are going to happen.
Thing the one: I will attempt to make my first apple pie from scratch. George is ridiculously hard to buy for and Iris suggested we just get him a can of mixed nuts or something. Uh, no. I know apple pie is his fave and I think he'd be very pleased and surprised to get this from me. Or else he'll pretend really well.
Thing the second: Tomorrow as we leave to go to their house, I'll be hopefully smoking my last cigarette ever. It's long overdue, it's necessary for some goals I'm working really hard to achieve and it's enough already. I'm already armed with a bottle of Wellbutrin, Jolly Ranchers, Now and Later's and three different kinds of gum, so I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I'm not waiting until New Year's Eve like I thought I was going to. It's more than a resolution. And since I don't smoke around his parents anyway, what better time.
Should make for a very interesting holiday.