Thursday, October 6, 2011

Actual Unexpected Gifts

One day I decided to see what people find when they google my name. They would find my blog, of course, but the reason they would look for it is because they're looking for unusual gift ideas. I figured I might as well write some entries about that subject so that people aren't completely disappointed.

1. Krystal Burgers
The first year we were married, we moved to Georgia from Washington state. Willie was literally the only person I really knew in three thousand miles, and he forgot my birthday. We had just moved into our apartment and I couldn't even find the box that might have a shower curtain. Willie wore a panicked expression as he left to try to  remedy the situation. He returned a couple hours later with a small paper bag. "It's Sunday," he said. "Everything is closed. I couldn't get you anything, so I bought you these." The bag held ten tiny, square hamburgers. I declined the offer, telling him that the dry cereal I had eaten earlier was more appetizing. He devoured the tiny grease squares and then asked with a desperate expression, "How can I redeem your birthday?" We ended up going to Savannah, which is charming and the entire day is one of my favorite memories of our time in Georgia.

2. Eisenhower
Before we got married, I adopted a cat from my Grandparent's house. It was a Siamese and I thought (erroneously) that it would be fun to name our cats after Presidents. After the wedding, Ike had difficulty adjusting. He hated Willie. He would sneak into a room, leap into the air, rake his claws across Willie's back, and then hide somewhere in the house. Anything that smelled like Willie got sprayed.

Ike also made friends with a local racoon. I found him shredding a bag of garbage on our back porch with his masked companion. They ate side-by-side from Ike's bowl.

Willie had a custom-made guitar sitting on a stand next to its custom-made case. Ike decided this case would work as a second litter box. It was then that I agreed Ike had to go.

Willie's parents came for a visit and we happily gifted Ike to them. Eisenhower only lasted about a month in the country before he got ran over.

3. Smartwool socks
My brother Jarred is famous for the comment, "Thank you. I hate this" which he made about a gift I gave him one Christmas. I repeated the phrase when I opened a pair of socks he gave me one year. It was a pair of neon yellow felted wool socks. They were the most uncomfortable, ill-fitting, ugly things I have ever laid eyes on. What had happened, was some guy at college who needed money had made them and then suckered Jarred into buying them.

No one in my family can say no to a traveling salesman. Once, I let a rambling black man wash Willie's truck for ten bucks. It was the worst car wash known to man and Willie was incensed. This summer, I bought a bunch of books from some college kid. Girl scouts actually frighten me.

At any rate, the next Christmas Jarred asked me what I wanted. I told him I wanted some socks. He thought I was mocking him, but I really did want socks - just not handmade ones from alpaca boy. He bought me two thick pairs of gray Smartwool socks. I wore them for two weeks straight during a trip to Europe. The only time I took them off was when I took a rather rare shower.

I was telling my friend about my love for Smartwool socks: "They're more expensive, but you don't need as many because you almost never have to wash these things! They breathe so well that you can wear them for like three days and they're not too stinky." I could tell by the expression on her face that not only was she NOT planning to invest in Smartwool socks, she had also lost some respect for me.

That's probably enough for this installment. The moral of this entry: 1. Don't buy burgers to make up for forgetting your spouse's birthday, but DO ask her/him how you can fix it; 2. Do NOT buy Siamese cats, but if you get one, give it to your in laws who can dispose of it for you; 3. Smartwool socks are an excellent gift at anytime for anyone.

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