Monday, January 18, 2010

The Sweet Smell of....failure: Dismal Failure

For many who know me, I am not the most creative spouse gift picker outer. I will start out with a disclaimer, I love my wife. She is smart and beautiful. She is an amazing hard worker and drove herself home from the hospital (45 miles in nasty traffic) 26 hours after giving birth to a 9 pound 8 ounce baby. Seriously, the nurse that walked us out must have thought we were on crack. If it ever became necessary to move across the plains with hand carts and wagons, she would be an asset. She is possibly the most stubborn woman on the face of the earth and refuses to admit it. But that is why I love her.

So it is only natural that during holidays she be given the greatest gifts. Although this is not an impossible task, it is challenging. I have always enjoyed a challenge, like the time my platoon had to plan and conduct a raid on five houses at once in a 1 squarish block area with only four squads. The challenge was met by adding the company mortar section. It was still a challenge, but easy to solve. How bad is it when combat operations in Iraq are easier to solve then Christmas shopping for my wife?

Emily mentioned that she wanted a specific perfume, one that I am not so fond of. But of course, it is not about me. So we conducted a forced family outing to the mall. The mall was full of Christmas spirit, and by that I of course mean that was the spirit of UFC Mixed Martial Arts fighting. So I went to the Macy's, where I didn't like the service. Out of principle I left and went to Sears, where they do not have a perfume counter where a "professional" could help me. Sears does have a great tool department and I considered getting Emily the torque wrench she has wanted for years. But I decided I better just get her what she wanted. So we walked to the other end of the mall to Dillards, which looks just like Macy's.

It was there that Olivia, Vance, and I began the arduous task of picking out perfume. Wait, you may ask, "why would you pick out a perfume if she told you what she wanted?" That is a perfectly legitimate question with a great answer. I am slow. If you remember, I am not a fan of the smell she wanted so we did a triple blind scent test. I would hold up a sample card and the kids would smell it, if they liked it I would place it back in the pile. Eventually we narrowed it down. Many women thought that this was sweet, the way we as a family picked it out. A loving husband and children carefully selecting the scent that was the most pleasing without using an olfactometer.

Being the rocket surgeon that I am, I devised a scheme to see if we had done good. I kept the smell card and casually asked Emily what she thought of it. You guessed it, not only did she not like the smell, she reminded me of the odor she wanted. Being the king of good intentions, I had already purchased it and let the kids pick out the wrapping paper.

There I was, the king of good intentions with my fancy paver creating yet another road to hell. My punishment was having to go back to the mall, exchanging the other odor for the right smell and having it rewrapped so the kids would notice.

AAAAHHHHHH, the holidays

1 comment:

  1. I think that you and Nick would completely hate each other, unless you like UFC, because you are so similar.

    Nick dragged our children all over town on Christmas Eve in order to find the perfect gift for me a and teach them how to pick out a thoughtful gift. He does a great job, but I worry because it seems so stressful.

    If Emily is anything like me, and I'd bet that she's a tougher skinnier version, she wants a token for Christmas, but the real gift is your devotion to her and your children and the little gifts of service you give her throughout the year.