My husband is a very thoughtful gift-giver, and he has given me many perfect and wonderful gifts over the 24 years we’ve been together. He is not, however, a good gift hider. Nope. Not at all. And what’s more, whenever he fails to adequately hide a gift, or the easily obtained (and we’re talking zero effort required here) knowledge thereof, he is not particularly gracious about it when he’s busted.
Which is why, on our first anniversary of dating, when he’d bought surprise tickets to see Tim Allen (because on our very first date the year before we went to comedian Steven Wright–remember him?) and he’d concealed them (very stealthily, I suppose he imagined) in the inner pocket of his double-breasted suit jacket, and then proceeded to open up his jacket and flashed the aforementioned pocket with tickets sticking out of it where I could easily see them from my spot in the passenger seat and, like any curious soul, asked “What are the tickets for?” somehow, it was MY fault that the surprise was ruined, and he sank into a mighty pout. And we had words about both the pouting and the misplaced blame, along the lines of, “If you DIDN’T want me to see the tickets, perhaps flashing them directly in the vicinity of my eyeballs was not your best-laid plan.” Seeing as I am a bright and observant individual and all.
As we share most things in life, we also share a PayPal account, and the emails and receipts go to an account that used to be ours jointly, but has been used by me alone for at least 10 years now. So I am often made aware of his “surprise” purchases within seconds of them being made. I may or may not tell him I’m aware, depending on the item, because I know how much it disappoints him to have the surprise ruined. Though I guess I’ve blown that strategy now.
And a number of times he decided to hide things on the side of his office closet, which is the only side I ever go into, and only then to hang up his clean laundry. There’s a whole other side of the closet I have no reason to go into, ever, that would make a perfect hiding spot for loot, and he uses it…now. But there was some drama about several items that I inadvertently discovered when I hung up a t-shirt and came face to face with them, because they were “hidden” right there on the shelf, with the closet door wide open, like he went to the Mourning Dove Nest-Building School of Gift Hiding. (If you’re not familiar with mourning dove nest-building, that last line won’t be funny at all; but in case you’re curious, the world’s stupidest birds regularly put 2 sticks together in a porch light and call it done, which is why it cracks me up. Some of these are just for me.) I honestly can’t say how often this has happened, but I can say without equivocation that it happened often enough that around gift-giving times I now will explicitly ask, “Is it okay for me to go into your closet to hang these up?”
So as you may be aware, Valentine’s Day is this weekend, and I was duly warned to not open any boxes that arrived, because they might contain Valentine gifts for me. Now, I generally don’t open any mail not addressed to me, but on occasion I have accidentally opened his order, so I don’t mind the heads-up. Back when we were both working, if we were expecting secret gift packages, we’d just make sure to get to the door first when we got home, and then quickly squirrel them away. Now that I’m home all day, and am friendly with the UPS guy and the FedEx guy and the Amazon courier who comes down from Phoenix, not to mention our mail carrier, Maureen, I receive all of the packages. (And it’s hard enough surprising each other, because we both keep Amazon wishlists, and often just order stuff off of them for gift-giving occasions. Sure, it offers less in the way of surprises, but more in the way of gift satisfaction, so it works for us.)
But I play along, and I don’t shake the boxes with his name on them that I bring into the house, because I enjoy happy surprises, particularly surprises wherein I receive loot. So when the UPS truck rolled up to the house this afternoon, and the guy came to the door and handed me a very large box, I didn’t shake it, or note the heft of it. I just brought it in and set it on the dining room table. Stared at it awhile and thought, “Nope. He’s not going to be happy about this.”
And then I sent this text, with the photo below, to Scott: “I swear I didn’t open the box. But your surprise may be blown.”