Veni, Vidi, Visa


I love Christmas shopping. Especially on that chaotic, sale-saturated day that strikes terror into the hearts of reluctant, turkey-filled shoppers everywhere, the biggest shopping day of the year, the day that finds sane people safely at home with their doors locked: Black Friday. Maybe it’s my long-buried predatory instincts coming to the fore, but my heart leaps to the thrill of the hunt, the pulse-pounding race to the quarry, and the final deadly pounce on the very last 50% off Furby in town, seconds ahead of the grim-looking soccer mom with her rock hard jaw and her aggressive shopping cart maneuvers. It’s all I can do at such a moment to keep from lifting my voice in a primal scream of triumph and dancing wildly down the toy aisle while waving the plunder over my head in an unconscious mimicry of my mammoth-hunting forbears. Instead, with a satisfied flourish, I check one more name off of my Christmas shopping list and strike out in search of the next elusive prize.

Even better than getting a great deal is knowing that I’ve picked out the perfect present. It gives me a warm glow inside to know that the gift I’ve chosen will bring a delighted smile and a squeal of “It’s just what I wanted!” from the recipient. In fact, in the spirit of giving, I like to help Paul experience that same warm glow every year by dropping subtle hints about my most cherished Christmas wishes. Last year, for example, I was completely enamored with a beautiful three-diamond drop pendant I kept seeing on television advertisements featuring doe-eyed women fawning rapturously over men holding jewelry boxes in outstretched hands.

I’m not above a little fawning myself.

Without being so artless as to simply tell Paul what I wanted (where’s the fun in that?), I launched a campaign designed to leave him in no doubt of my appreciation for the lovely bauble.

“Oooh!” I cooed at the Kay Jeweler’s commercial, “Don’t you think it’s so romantic when she puts her hand in his jacket pocket to keep warm and finds that jewelry box? I always get a little teary-eyed at that part… Could you hand me a kleenex, honey?” As his gaze shifted to the TV screen, I stifled a grin of triumph. This was almost too easy.

“Hmph! What do they mean, ‘Every kiss begins with Kay?’ That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard! Like you’re not going to kiss me if I don’t give you diamonds? Boy, that’s messed up, isn’t it?”

“Heh. Yeah.”

Time for Plan B.

I left jewelry flyers scattered around the apartment with the picture of the pendant circled in black Sharpie, occasionally scribbling “I LOVE this!” in the margin for good measure. I coached all my girlfriends on what to say in case Paul asked any of them for gift ideas. I lingered over the jewelry counters on our trips to the mall, pointing out similar pieces with what I hoped was a sweetly wistful longing. I waxed poetic about how timeless and meaningful jewelry becomes when it is bestowed upon you by the man you love.

In a word, I was shameless.

But all to no avail. Paul seemed oblivious to my wiles, considerable as I like to think they are. Not a word was said, and, as Christmas approached, I prepared myself to love whatever quirky, surprising thing his heart had conjured up to give to mine.

I’m sure you know what’s coming.

Yes, after all the other gifts were lying on their beds of shed wrapping paper and the stockings had been turned inside out, Paul produced, like magic, a small black jewelry box. Inside was the beautiful three-diamond pendant of my dreams.

I screamed. I leapt like a gazelle. I did an impromptu “It’s Just What I Wanted” dance around the living room. I hugged Paul fiercely and fawned over him as no woman has fawned before.

Then, as I held him tight, he leaned in close and whispered in my ear those five little words that let me know that I was fooling exactly nobody:

“Every kiss begins with Kay.”

8 responses »

  1. This post is to to remind him that theres a gift due again? There I have mad I’ve plain and obvious now.

    BTW so does kickboxing, kung-fu, karate…not that its relevant here.

  2. man, way better than my tactics ever were. I tried to tell my ex husband how much I loved my Irish Wedding ring that he’d given me in college, but I’d so LUUUUUVVVVVV a saphire to go with his wedding band…

    I got an Irish Wedding Ring with a sapphire in it. Hmm…close…but just not quite.

    Maybe THAT is why he’s an ex!! j/k

    Go Paul go! (Let’s hope this year is as successful!)

  3. An excellent post! I really enjoyed reading it. Funny 🙂 I love and am irked by the Kay Jewelers commercials… What’s that one where they’re in Italy in front of the Spanish Steps and he says he’d marry her all over again, and in the crowd on the steps is her Mom and Dad and he gives her a ring? … Ahhhhhh. Wench. ROFL.

    I also love giving the perfect gift. I can’t remember ever getting it. Stinks when you have to be so obvious! Hubby has resorted to me picking out what I want – which I don’t like.

  4. My ‘hints’ usually go unnoticed, and since money seems to always be an issue around December (thanks to 3 birthdays within a month, then Cmas gifts for the family), we very rarely give gifts to each other. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s just not that important when you’ve got kids who fiercly believe in Santa and all that entails! So, when he bought me the anniversary edition DVD of Mary Poppins last year, it brought tears to my eyes because I had simply mentioned how much I’d like to have that sometime. As much as I complain about having to be so obvious as to go pick-out my own gifts for any holiday, he still manages to surprise me from time to time. It’s the little things…

    I was just asked today what I’d like and, frankly, have no clue!!!! He already got his gift – a replacement cell phone for the one that was stolen. Of course, it’s the newest one out so he said not to worry about getting him that IPod he’s been asking for for months!!!

    Hmmm…and IPod…gee, I think I just came up with my gift request 🙂

  5. You lucked out, girl! On the radio ad here, she tears out photos of the diamond she wants, and leaves them laying around all over the house. He buys her a pair of scissors! hahaha. Loved this post.

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