Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stealing My Thunder

On the second night of Hannukkah, I gave Andy a present I knew he would absolutely love: a "Dick in the Box" t-shirt from the hilarious Saturday Night Live skit of the same name (check it out here at NBC if you haven't seen it). He was, in fact, thrilled with the gift, and was in the process of effusing over it when I heard from across the room, "Eh-hem."

Andy was so enraptured, he didn't notice. Then I heard it again, louder this time: "Eh-HEM." Everyone looked at Keri, who was sitting on the couch, waiting for me to acknowledge that the gift had been her idea.

And it had been her idea. She had almost bought it for Andy before going in with our mother on a different gift. I think she found it trolling on the internet for humorous t-shirts. (She also found one with a shofar on it that said, "BLOW ME," which I thought was perfect for Andy, since that's a favorite catchphrase of his, but we decided he could never wear it out of the house).

I've all for giving credit where credit is due. However, in this case I just wished Keri had kept quiet. As Andy's wife, I have so much more to gain from his happiness than she does. We've been married for ten years, and it's gotten harder and harder to think of great presents for every birthday, anniversary, Hannukkah. What do you give the guy who has no expensive hobbies or collections? (This year, Andy was so sick of me complaining about how difficult he is to shop for that he made a list of fifteen gift ideas for himself, which he showed me when Hannukkah was over. One of the items was running boards for his truck, a gift that would have required me first noticing the boards were showing some wear, then somehow sneaking the truck, which he drives to work every day, to the dealership. Who is he kidding?)

Giving the perfect gift is rejuvenating to a relationship. I really believe it creates a tangible increase in goodwill that can manifest itself in countless ways. Maybe Andy would have rubbed my back while we watched TV that night, or offered to run downstairs for the baby monitor we always forget to bring with us when we go upstairs for the night. Maybe a trace of satisfaction would have lingered all the way to my birthday in May, when it will be his turn to pick out a gift for me. Conceivably, Keri's short-sighted quest for gratitude and recognition might have cost me some serious bling.

And the fact is, I WOULD have thought of it myself, if I only knew such a t-shirt existed. I came up with the idea of a new gym bag on my own, and that was number two on Andy's list.

1 comment:

Keri said...

What Amy neglects to mention is that I have been coming up with gifts for her and Andy for years without recognition and offering them to our mother. Thinking of good gifts for people is a talent, one that I happen to possess.

And besides, you wouldn't steal a car, so why steal credit for a gift?