I broke tradition this year and bought Kay a birthday gift. I had guilted myself into a corner, by talking to several husbands near my age who said they always get their wives something. Acted like I was nuts for asking the question. What a bunch of losers.
Kay and I got past the gift giving thing, when I kept getting her stuff she didn’t want, and she kept getting me stuff I could use, but didn’t want to. So, we agreed to just stop the silliness. Up until this year when my friends persuaded me that I was an old goat.
Clothes, jewelry, perfume, and other womanly stuff was not even on my radar. No, I decided to shop at Hobby Lobby, the place where Kay gets most of her art and craft supplies. The girl paints, turns small rocks into birds, and dogs, makes jewelry… and a bunch of other stuff that appeals to me not in the least.
So I was off to Hobby Lobby. I call it Lobby Lobby, ‘cause I like to mess with words. I even occasionally pronounce the “w” in sword, strictly out of sympathy. The letter has been forever neglected in that word. Believe me, I know how it feels when people talk like you’re not even there.
So, where was I? Right, Lobby Lobby. I don’t know if you realize this, but the parking lot at Lobby Lobby is the hottest place in the county for a person to sit in his car and wait for his wife. I’ve had women stop by my parked car and threaten to dial 911. “Hello, I need to report that a wife has left her husband in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby. He says he’s been sitting in this heat for an hour. I think the heat has gotten to him, because he keeps referring to this place as ‘Lobby Lobby.’”
Well, this time there was no waiting in the car. Kay’s gift was not going to come walking out and jump into the car. If they had a system like HEB, I could just call in and say, “I need you to pick out something for my arts and craft wife. Nothing over $20. You can find me with my engine running by the entrance at 2:00. I’ll be in a red sweatband.”
Hobby Lobby has yet to see the need for phone-in orders. So I had to march my surly buns into the establishment, where I got a pleasant “Hello!” at the door. I didn’t let it slow me down, because I was going to be in and out. Unfortunately, I did stop and handle a couple of small metal buckets on my way back to the craft stuff. Little buckets are so much more fascinating than big buckets. I then stopped and read some of the small wall signs on display. Sweet stuff like “Choose Kindness” – “May your journey always lead you home” and “Rawr Rawr Dinosaur!” Again with the “w.” There was a drawing of a brontosaurs in the middle of the sign, and I was quite taken aback by the weirdness of it.
Eventually, I made it to the 82 rows of craft supplies. I didn’t know the purpose of 80 percent of the stuff. As hard as it is to believe, I have no artistic vision. I’m more into screwdrivers and pliers.
After 40 minutes I decided to vacate the massive arts and crafts area and head for a place where stuff is already made. They’ve got shelving and bookcases and cubby-holes with baskets in ‘em. None of it was doing it for me. Just as I was about to return to the “Rawr Rawr” sign, I saw ‘em. Jigsaw puzzles. It was just the other day that Kay said how much she wanted a jigsaw puzzle. I remembered it because I always thought she hated jigsaw puzzles. What a gift! Not the puzzle, just the fact I found something. I settled on a 1000 piece puzzle. Had I gotten the 2000 piece, she would’ve taken up the entire dining room table working on it. I grabbed a scene with a house on a hill with a pasture and barn in the background. A few cows, a flower garden and wooden fence. A real sappy scene.
I put a card and the wrapped puzzle next to her recliner. She was excited. Kay really likes me getting her something… until she sees what it is. The wrapped box was beautiful. Had a ribbon and three little rocks stuck to it. I can glue rocks, I just can’t make ‘em look like anything but what they are. Kay anxiously opened the gift, smiled big and said, “Wow, a puzzle.” Then she gave me a big smacker. It was while we were eating out that I said, “I thought you liked jigsaw puzzles.”
She said, “No, that must’ve been your first wife.” Kay is such a hoot. It’s weird ‘cause I distinctly remember her mentioning jig saw puzzles earlier in the week. She said, “That was Virginia when we were at the Cracker Barrel last Thursday. I’m proud that you were even listening.”
I told her she could give Virginia the puzzle with my blessing. She said, “No, you’re going to help me put this thing together.” – No way! That’s what I said. “No way!” Then I told her that she didn’t have to reciprocate and get me something for my birthday, if I didn’t have to help with the puzzle.
“It’s too late for that,” she said. “I already ordered you something on line.”
D’oh! That’s what I said, “D’oh!” -- Next time.
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