The longer you’ve known someone, the harder it is to come up with something truly excellent for a birthday gift. Back when we were first married, it was possible to astound Mrs D with seemingly incredibly conscientious and well-considered gifts without too much trouble. For the most part, the key was just listening and remembering the important stuff, and on a few occasions it has involved timing a really big purchase so that it coincided with the approximate birthday time frame. Like cars. Which always go down pretty well, particularly if they’re luxury convertibles. In the old days, jewelry was a reasonably easy cop-out too. Rings, necklaces, ear rings, bracelets… you can get through a fair few years with well-considered purchases in that general area and keep the Mrs in a fairly steady state of awe at your impeccable taste and/or ability to interpret finger-pointing in catalogs and store windows.
After nearly nine years of being married and more than 10 years together though, it’s definitely getting harder. “Needs” start to outweigh “wants” (“we really need a new [insert boring thing for the house here] so maybe just get that?”) and you can’t just buy jewelry indefinitely, because it stops being romantic and starts being boring. So…what to buy the woman that apparently has everything? (Hey, she has me. What more could she possibly need?) This year, the boys and I went in on attempts to satisfy a triumvirate of needs/wants in an effort to hit the full spectrum of wifely/motherly needs.
By way of practical, domestic luxury cooking item we bought her a bread maker, informed by some comments made a few weeks ago after a neighbor brought us some home-baked bread. Humorously, these comments were later redacted by Mrs D, but by that point it was too late… the Amazon order was processed and the appliance shipped. For something practical in a different way (but still luxurious to some degree) we bought a pair of expensive Oakley sunglasses, and for something luxurious and pretty/girlie, my little guy picked out a silver bangle at Nordstroms. He also had all the salespeople in the jewelry department swooning at how charming he is during the process. He is nothing if not a real charmer. That boy’s going to be trouble when he gets older.
The result? Great success, I think. But I now I’m completely out of ideas for our wedding anniversary next month.