Thursday, January 26, 2012
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Alright, kids…we are a mere 16 days away from my favorite holiday of the ENtire year. Stop doing the math and checking your calendar…I’m not referring to Valentine’s Day. I AM, however, referring to the culmination of all that is lovely and glorious: The 2012 Indy Wine Trail - Chocolate Lovers Wine Tour. (Cue angels singing and golden glow from the heavens.) Okay so maybe it’s not Napa Valley or the rolling vineyards of Italy (I will get THERE someday!) but for now it is my bliss.
What has become our annual beacon of light amidst our Indy tundra of cold and dreariness actually began as a fresh attempt at a Valentine’s Day gift from the gentleman. I say “attempt” because gift-giving has not always been his forte. For example my very first Christmas gift from him was the complete set of plastic Rudolf the Red-Nose Reindeer cartoon character toys. Um…I’ve loved Rudolf since I was sportin’ yarn bows in my pigtails but…really??? It doesn’t scream romance…or even “I’d like to maybe possibly get laid in the next 6 months”. Gifts generally have served a dual purpose when given by my husband…they technically count as a gift for me but are typically things that entertain him (movies, video games, you get the picture).
And then, of course, there was the Christmas I received…
Well, let’s start from the beginning. My husband and I have historically been rather thrifty when it comes to gifts. We’ve always stuck strictly to a budget, spending what I would say is significantly less than most. Fine by me, neither of us really needs anything and the joy has always been on buying for the kids, particularly at Christmas. So we had our budget…and this particular year I surprisingly stuck to it, being the one out of the two of us who tends to be the “spender”. I was actually quite proud of myself, spreading my budget pretty damn far, if I do say so. That Christmas Eve, as is our tradition, after the children predictably hit their sugar crash from the junk-food buffet that is our family holiday gathering, the gentleman and I settled in to exchange our gifts. He asked to give mine first, which met no argument from me. A crappy gift is still a gift. He dramatically sat me down in our bedroom upstairs to explain that he had in fact, exceeded our budget, begging for my forgiveness while exuding all the confidence in the world that I would be astounded and thrilled with his generosity. Naturally I was quite curious as to how much he spent and what on earth he may have purchased…FINALLY a Coach purse…or, or a diamond necklace…the possibilities were endless (keep in mind we spent the first few years of our marriage living on his salary as a non-tenured teacher while I was a SAHM…so ANY gift over $50 made me feel like a Kardashian.)
He then confessed that he actually spent four times what he had originally budgeted for me (holy shit…THREE Coach purses!!) and that it was something that we could take with us when we move someday to our dream home (hmm…a new bedroom suite?), that it was for my kitchen (a new appliance??), and that it was shiny and silver (a new God-bless-ed stainless steel refrigerator!!!! I love this man…but how the hell will we fit that in the small space of our…nevermind). I was practically bouncing on our bed, literally more stimulated than after a couple glasses of wine and 3 solid hours of watching 24 (okay so Jack Bauer really did it for me). He asked me to close my eyes and carefully walked me down the stairs so I could see what wondrous gift was awaiting me.
As my eager foot met the ground floor I ferociously slapped his hand away from eyes, quickly looking left into the kitchen...no new appliances?? Then looked right, maybe a new TV…that I could maybe someday use…in…a kitchen. No new TV. As I stood there stupefied, I glanced at him for a little guidance…what the hell was I supposed to see? He impatiently pointed his arm back to the kitchen…when upon further inspection and focus I saw them. Lying upon my kitchen countertop was the 13 piece Cutco Galley + 6 knife set, complete with party pack and kitchen tool set. Wow. (Knives cost that damn much??) They were definitely silver, belonged in the kitchen and with the apparent lifetime warranty, they would in fact follow us to any home we move to in the following 50 years. Some would say “that is the gift that keeps on givin’ the whole year”…and I would say “that it is Edward…that it is indeed.”
Those knives will forever been known as the “that could have been three Coach purses” gift…or the “that could have been a weekend getaway” gift…but neither were meant to be. God love him, I know he tried. On the flipside…four years later I can still dice a mean onion, and melt an ice cube in my ice cream scooper. How many of you can say that, eh??
So I come back to our wine tour…and the first year he signed us up, as a surprise Valentines gift to me. When he told me he had a surprise gift for me that I would LOVE, you can imagine I was ever-so-skeptical. I clearly was all set where cutlery was concerned…and had no idea he had such a fitting gift in mind. This is where the gift-giving tide had turned and my man became a genius. He really had been doing his homework and started to pay attention to those things that entertain and bring joy to me. To my evident (and still unbelievable) surprise, we would spend the day with a wonderful group of friends, sharing a limo, touring wineries in central Indiana…tasting countless varieties of vino and chocolates…sharing laughs and memories that will last a long time. Three years later it is now a standard in our winter regimen…our only source of giddiness as we remove the Christmas décor. I can’t wait to do it again!
More to come and pictures to follow…