Friday, April 07, 2006

The Gift of Rut-Breaking

This will be short, because I've spent all evening writing a L'Engle biography for her Wikipedia article.

Weekend Assignment #106: Suggest a really cool birthday gift for my wife. By which I mean -- if you're a woman, what would you want for a birthday gift, and if you're a man, what would you get for your significant other?

Extra Credit: How good of a job do you do in getting your spouse/significant other gifts they like?

Not knowing Krissy is a major handicap in an exercise like this. For example, does she like to travel? I have the definite impression that Krissy stays home while world traveler John works the science fiction conventions and visits his editors. Is this a matter of practicality and finances and child care, or is Krissy a homebody by choice?

If she actually likes to travel, then John should buy her a trip out of town. Clearly, she's overdue to one. I'm a big believer in rut-breakers, anything that interrupts your routine without being too traumatic. The trip I have in mind is definitely a major rut-breaker, except possibly for people who live nearby and have an annual pass. Yes, I'm talking about


But this is for Krissy, not Athena, I hear you say. Doesn't matter. Do you really think that Disneyland is only for kids, or that a mother won't enjoy the heck out of seeing her daughter explore Walt's domain? The whole reason he built Disneyland, aside from cross-promotion, was to create a place that adults and children could enjoy together. You have an adult and a child in your life, so that works out fine. Just be sure to pamper Krissy when you get there. Buy her dinner at the Blue Bayou, preceded by shopping in New Orleans Square for something you know she wants, simply because she picked it out herself. If she doesn't want Disneyana, take her someplace cool in Los Angeles - you know, that place you went that one time, or better yet, some place Krissy's mentioned before, preferably with interest or longing or envy.

And if that doesn't work for you, remember this: electronics aren't just for guys. What kind of electronics you get will depend on what she already has as well as what she likes to do. Hey, you've got to do some of the leg work yourself!

On the other hand...

Extra Credit:
I have to admit that I was a total failure at buying my husband a birthday present this year. I went for electronics, specifically a DVD recorder to replace the one he bought me for Christmas 2004 (or was it 2003?), which never worked very well and is increasingly unreliable. Unfortunately I forgot to get a new one with a VCR component --a must, since the whole point is to dub old video onto DVD. John insisted on returning the recorder, and refused to choose another gift in its place. Eventually he allowed me to buy him a $15 wall clock. I've done better in other years - I think! - but this year, I was spectacularly bad at figuring out what would go over well with John, who insisted all along that he didn't want anything. Bear this in mind in considering my birthday advice.


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Gaboatman said...

A gift of a trip sounds great, whether to Disney Land, or to some exotic vacation spot. I need to tell John to loosen up a bit about accepting gifts. He should realize the pleasure you would get if he accepted and enjoyed the gifts you present him.

julie said...

Oh, I'm terrible at choosing gifts as well. DS seems to know just what to give me. Sometimes it really makes me feel inadequate.

Carly said...


John is wound a bit tight isn't he? A hissy fit over a present? Sigh.