The following is an unsolicited letter from one of my many readers:
Dear Austin’s Acre,
I have been reading the stories on your site for several weeks now. I can clearly see you are a person with a lot of time on your hands. I wondered if you would help me with a problem. I’m sure you don’t have anything better to do.
My wife and I got into a fight earlier this week. I bought a toaster for my mother-in-law but when my wife saw my purchase, she became quite upset. I simply responded, “Well, I guess I’ll have to return two gifts then!” This of course, led to a conversation that was somewhat one-sided. I’ll try to re-tell it as best I can.
(Editor’s note: This colorful description required extensive editing and later a complete deletion due to graphic content, violence, more violence, and not so vague references to impotence.)
Can you help?
Toasted in Florida
The holidays can be a stressful time. With all the shopping, gift-wrapping, errand running, cooking, and cleaning it is easy to see why your wife hates you. But let’s be honest, she was working up to hating you long before Christmas. This thoughtless act was the final straw. A person can only take so much stupidity.
Any red blooded American male can see the obvious: your wife wanted her toaster to be a surprise! Her response was a clear indication of her disappointment. In turn, your response came from your emotional side rather than your rational. A rational person would have kept this special gift a secret until Christmas morning.
I suggest trying what I did one year. Our budget was a little tight but I splurged and bought my wife five of her favorite paperback books ($11.00 total). I then created a scavenger hunt to increase the excitement about each gift. It was a Christmas I’ll never forget. You should have seen the look on her face!
I neatly wrapped each present but DID NOT put them under the tree. Instead, I hid them around the house. I attached a cute little rhyme to each gift. These gave her a clue to the location of the next book (in your case this will be an appliance). It was Christmas magic for the entire family!
The secret is in the hiding. Really, make her look! By then end, she won’t care what she’s looking for. Actually, looking back, I’m not sure my wife really did enjoy the hunt. For that matter, I don’t think she really enjoyed the books. I seem to remember them being given to charity in early January.
So the bottom-line, Toasted, is that you are on your own. Personally, I would love a toaster, or screwdriver set, or a set of paperback books (as long as they are on audiocassette). But the reality of your situation is that some people will never understand the most basic truth of Christmas: It is more blessed to give than receive.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!