For a while now, Jared has been looking for a new briefcase. His current bag was falling apart at its stylish looking, but low quality, seams. When we were in NY he looked at several bags, tried on a few that cost more than our first car was worth, and found one he thought he liked. I told him on maaaaany occasions to go ahead and buy a bag when he found one he liked, but he just didn’t/couldn’t do it.
One day he announced he had found THE bag. And imagine the good fortune that someone in his office had a bag from said manufacturer he could visit! They talked about the bag, they pet the bag, they loved the bag. I became a little concerned because it sounded like he was going to visit this colleague/bag on a regular basis and I was worried his colleague would become worried by all this attention. He assured me everyone equally loved talking about this bag and he was sure this was IT.
But he wouldn’t buy it! It was more than he typically spends on one item (especially for someone who buys nothing but lunch) so he kept coming up with complicated schemes that would automatically trigger the purchase of the bag (if our tax refund is a multiple of the price of this bag — then I’ll get it. When royalties from the book equal the price of this bag — then I’ll get it.
Then the kids and I came down with the flu (103* fevers!!). And he ran around like a crazy man taking care of business like the hero he is. And as I watched him I thought, boy I’ve got to get this man the bag.
We do not really exchange many gifts. (sounds so terrible!) We have a very clear line of demarcation in our family — he makes all the money, and I spend all the money — it is just how it has worked out. Which means I am at the store all the time and he is at the store never. So pretty much when/if I want something, I buy it. And he is soo busy I would really rather he is home with us then at the mall looking for a gift for me. So for equality sake we just say, no gifts. So, the thought of surprising him with a present! and one I know he reaaaaaaly wants! was way too fun to imagine. (surprising people with good presents is one of life’s pure joys)
So I confirm said bag can get here before Christmas. Yes. Do I know what color bag he wants? Kind of. I order bag. I track the bag from Texas to it’s new home with us. But it’s coming when he’s home, and I’m gone. Eek. The manufacturer makes one thing, and if he lays eyes on the box, the surprise is over.
So I am forced to tell him a present is coming for him, so he can’t look at any boxes on the stoop while I am away. Which of course, for someone who is not accustomed to receiving surprise gifts, raises lots of questions. I tell him he can ask questions and I’ll answer some, but if he gets too close I’ll start lying.
When the bag gets here it is huge, and I mean huge. Several cows must have given their life for the creation of this bag (but he tells me it is made out of pigs!) I know if he sees the box, wrapped under the tree, he will know what it is right away because he is talking about this bag a. lot. So, it’s clearly on his mind. I take the huge box and hide it in the back of my closet. I take a small box that can be filled with the heaviest items I can find, wrap it and put it under the tree. And make leading statements that may make him think that that little wrapped box is the box that came in the mail for him (it had come for him! just several days ago holding a book on CD)
So, now he is sooooo curious. And so confused. He shakes the box, he weighs the box. He thinks about it night and day (well, okay, you know where I’m going with this) And we (I’ve looped in the older kids at this point) just keep making it worse, and better letting him ask one question a day, which we may or may not answer correctly. And he knows we’re lying, and honestly, he thinks its the bag, but I keep saying, “that must be the tiniest bag you’ve even seen.”
So Christmas morning Jennie sneaks the real box under the tree for me. He opens it. He l.o.v.e.s. it. He can’t stop smiling. He gets his things and packs it all up. It was so fun.
Every time he picks the bag up and I’m in the room he says, “I love this bag.” And smiles. And honestly, I love this bag too.