Thursday, February 2, 2017

Gift giving

Marriage saved by non-gifting

            I assume you’re done with all the thrill that comes from  playing with your Christmas gifts. I’m so proud for you. Me? I got no gifts. Same as last year.

            I’ve made no secret of the fact that Kay and I don’t exchange gifts. That policy has pretty much saved our marriage. I got in a rut five years running where everything I bought for Kay got returned. I no longer knew the woman. Everything I bought looked good on the manikins, but, turns out, manikins are from Mars.

            The last thing I bought her was a jacket. She did so want to like the thing. Always feared hurting my feelings. She tried it on, and before she even made it to a mirror, I told her to stop, that the receipt was in the left pocket. I know when something looks good on Kay; the same as I know when something stinks on ice. The jacket reeked of stink.

            I was either going to start buying the manikin with the clothes, or just stop buying. Before reaching that conclusion, I tried perfume, cosmetics, jewelry, a vacuum cleaner… Nothing worked. And, I’m here to tell you that Kay was in the same boat as me or I. The USS Loser. I didn’t care for my gifts, but I really didn’t care that I didn’t care. --What?

            So we quit all together. No Christmas, birthday or anniversary gifts. We pretty much pick out what we want a week or so before the big events. This year we got each other the same thing for our anniversary: A trip to Fredericksburg. Remember? Some people go on a cruise or to a resort. We went to Fredericksburg. I wrote an early December article from there. It was fascinating, in a sense that the reader kept waiting for something to happen. The reaction at the end of the article was pretty much the same as my reaction to the end of “No Country for Old Men.” – What? That’s it? They’re leaving it there?”

            After all that, I must confess that I did buy Kay one Christmas gift this year. I keep getting e-mails from You know, the outfit that will sell you boots that fit on either foot? They’ve got a pair of compression pants that will tighten the fat on your rear and make it to where you couldn’t dint your bottom with a hammer. – Stuff like that.

            Anyway, I ordered Kay a cell phone microscope. Cost me five bucks! I got her two at that price. They encouraged it. How can the Chinese make an attachable miniature microscope that fits on the lens-part of your cell phone and can photograph Lincoln sitting in the chair on the back of penny?  For $5! Who can compete with that? And, who else would’ve thought to make such a thing? If President Elect Trump isn’t careful he’s going to get the Chinese so upset that they’ll start charging $20 for that stupid microscope.

            I got the microscope for Kay because she makes jewelry and sometimes sells it on E-bay. This way she can make the fake rubies and emeralds look really big and beautiful. I gave Kay her gift live on our “Hanging with the Hayters” radio broadcast last week. It was our first episode that was video taped. When it comes on YouTube you can see how excited Kay was to get her mini-microscope.

            You’ll get to see her true demonstration of joy. She was so excited about the gift that she gave it to our producer, Dick Schissler. His words were, “Uh, okay, if you don’t want it.” I imagine Kay was generous because she knew she had another one at home. You think?

            The only backlash from my order came from the fact that I used Kay’s Paypal account to pay for the things. Ended up costing about $15. They nail you with the shipping cost for the second item. That just fries my rinds.

            I now have to clear stuff with Kay before ordering anything on the Internet. She acts like I’m a “stranger to wisdom.” Her words. See what happens when I think I’m doing something nice. A selfless act turns into a burden for Kay. – No more gifts. The cell phone microscope was the last. I’m pretty sure.

            By the way, we spent most of Christmas Day in Pasadena with what’s left of the Kay’s family. Kay’s got two brothers. Mike has a family of his own. Tracy, has no other family, and though you don’t care one way or the other, I thought I’d mention it, because Tracy will care if I don’t. The little goober.

            Kay prepared everything for the meal except for the turkey. Our good friend, Ed, couldn’t make it for Christmas, but he smoked a turkey for us. That sounds odd, only because the word “smoke” references different things. Same with the word “prune”. Regardless, Ed, smoked the bird in his smoker grill thing. Now that’s selfless… and the very reason I like him so much.

            Well, I’d best turn you lose before this article gets as long as last week’s Christmas short story. That was a near saga. What say we squeeze all the joy possible out of the rest of this year. – Next time.

end – Please tune in on Wednesdays at noon to listen to Mark and Kay on “Hanging with the Hayters”. --  104.5 and 106.1 FM as well as at

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