Happy Birthday, Wife

November 14, 2014


50 birthday cake

It’s the Nordic Warrior Queen’s birthday and I don’t know what to get her.

I’ve purchased a lot of stuff for her over the years. On her sixteenth birthday, I gave her a pair of gerbils and an aquarium in which to put them.

I’m unsure now why I thought gerbils were a good idea. In my defense, we’d just begun dating and it was my first birthday gift to her, but I admit that, at fifty-two years of age, I’m just as puzzled now over her needs as I was at sixteen.

At my prompting, she named them Bilbo and Frodo, even though she was only nine pages into the Hobbit and unlikely to go any further.

A few weeks later, I got the phone call. The gerbil gift might have been a bad idea. Frodo had eaten Bilbo’s tail. Two weeks later, there was another phone call. Bilbo had retaliated for his missing tail by opening a huge can of rodent whoop ass on his cage mate. Frodo was dead.

So much for that idea. The good news was that, years later, I was able to recycle the aquarium for use with an iguana. That’s another story.

I’m a slow learner. After we were married, I tried another animal gift. This time it was a cockatiel. The fucker screamed in its cage for months until one day she said it was her or the bird.

We ended up giving the cockatiel to one of her cousins.

Not to be deterred, I built her an aviary for the living room a few years later, and filled it with a Noah’s Ark worth of finches.

She admitted the beep-beep-beep sounds made by those cute little birds were pleasant, but it didn’t take more than a month or so before we noticed the smell. It turned out the aviary’s wood floor was soaking up the peculiar odor of finch shit.

Worse, those horny beepers were caught up in a perfect orgy of crossbreeding. When they started pushing their dead baby birds out of the nest, my wife’s cousin received another phone call.

It’s a good thing she was a bird lover.

Let’s see, what else was there? A fluffy hand puppet shaped like a rabbit. She took it out of the box, and then proceeded to give me that special look of hers, the one that says, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

That’s when I pointed out the rabbit’s diamond earrings. Home run! It was the first time we both received a gift on her birthday.

I’m not a complete loser in the birthday gift department.

Watches, bracelets, necklaces, rings, shoes, clothes, enough bottles of lotion and bath oil to service a whorehouse.

One year I got her nothing. Hoo boy, that didn’t work out too well.

There was the year of the sewing machine. A shiny new Singer Model A19XT, with 35 stitching styles, 11 thread colors and a remote foot switch.

Just think about all the cool stuff she could sew with that thing.

I guess I should have asked if she liked sewing. We got twenty bucks for it at a garage sale a few years later.

I bought her a new Ford Explorer once. It wasn’t really a birthday gift, but close enough to the date that I knew I could get away with a card and a nice dinner.

Those commercials where the guy gift-wraps the car and sticks it in the driveway as a surprise to his wife? That’s complete bullshit. Don’t ever buy your wife a car unless she picks it out first.

This year, I’m trying something new: a blog post. Call me original. I sure hope she likes it.

Happy Birthday, Darling! I love you.

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