Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Okay, I'll Say It

Okay, I'll say it: Tom was impossible to buy for. Im. Poss. Ible. Anything he wanted, he'd just go buy. Anything he didn't have, well, he didn't want. Thankyouverymuch.

I completely gave up on birthday presents, and for those he mostly got memories. Memories, heh, heh.

But Christmas. Oy, the Christmas presents. The beseeching "Please like it" looks. The shrugged shoulders and the "What did you get this for?" look in return. The hurt feelings. The money.

First were the wind chimes. Very manly, soldered wind chimes. But they were wind chimes. And he didn't want them. He hung them briefly over the deck. And by briefly I mean until the first cookout. Then they came down and went back in the box, down in the bottom drawer, until I wasn't looking and they got put into the Goodwill box.

And the shirts. Cotton shirts; blends; plains, prints, plaids. Aloha shirts. There was that one White Castle shirt he liked to wear. It was five bucks at Kohl's, but he liked it, so I felt validated.

He often compared the best and worst presents I ever gave him: his favorite was a yellow fiberglass ladder to replace a rickety wooden one I was afraid he'd kill himself falling off of (so that was more a present for me than him, but he didn't have to know that); and those dribble hoses. Yes, hoseS, plural, because if you need a dribble hose for your garden, wouldn't two really be better? Think of all that time not spent watering the garden. Think of all that time you don't have to spend on a quiet, leisurely activity, freeing you up to, well, clean the cellar, change the oil, listen to kids bicker over the tv ... ohhhhhhh! Every time he'd look at those dribble hoses hanging from hooks in the garage he's shake his head, and I know he was thinking, "What the heck were you thinking, Linda?" Correction: He didn't think it, he said it out loud.

Making room in the garage this weekend I put a whole lotta stuff on the curb with a sign marked "free." There were the skis we bought weeks before I found out I was pregnant with 96. At 40 and pregnant, skiing was not on the calendar that winter. Forty one and pregnant, ditto. Then the whole, "no cross country ski trails in the Marshall Islands" thing, and the skis and poles all ended up first in the rafters of the garage and then at the curb along with the dribble hoses. And the bikes. Bikes of every size and color, all with rusted chains and two flat tires. Gone to the curb. And about 30 pounds of birdseed dating back to the days when this blog could have been called twoboyssixcats, since bird feeders in a backyard of a house with a majority population of cats just seems mean. And sleds. All on the curb, all marked free. All taken by people who had a use for them. And I don't care if the "use" is to use them or to sell them or to melt them down for scrap metal. As long as they're out of my garage. All found new homes where they were wanted. Well, almost all.

Shut up, Tom. You did not just say "I told you so."

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