Will someone begin reminding me next year--long about November--that taking my husband Christmas shopping for the kids' presents is a bad idea?
I don't quite understand how, but we can both hear the same Christmas wish list, such as: a digital camera, guitar cables, a wood burning kit, and a hoodie; and come away with completely different impressions. Me? I hear the list of items and think, "Ah, the kid must want these items." My husband hears it and thinks, "Oh, he must really want a weight set, a really expensive remote control car, and a rocket kit."
This invariably leads to arguments and long angry silences as one of us gets our way.
We argued our way through the remote control car section, and the rocketry section. Then we moved into Sporting Goods.
Him: "The weight set will be for all of them!" Me:"But Sam's only nine!" Him: "He'll like it when he gets big enough to use it." Me: "What? in three years? I'm pretty sure I didn't see the phrase 'weight set' anywhere on their lists." Him: "But they'll like it." Me: "But it will wipe out our budget and no one asked for one." Him: "But they'll have something huge that they can all use." And so on. The only thing that finally stopped him from getting the weight set was the expense.
We left Sporting Goods empty-handed and he was silent for a long while.
We looked at videos, computer games, wood burning kits, settled fairly amicably on three or four items.
Then we looked at clothes, specifically hoodies.
Him: "Why get him one of those?"
Me: "Because he's the only kid in the house without one and he's said more than once that he'd like to have his own. All of his buddies have one and they aren't expensive. This one is cool--see the guitar on it?"
Him: "Well then let's just get him a coat."
Me: "He has one."
Him: "Yeah but it will be warmer than a hoodie. I'm going to go price them."
At this point, I'd begun rhythmically beating my head against a clothing rack.
He returned a few minutes later. "They don't have any leather jackets here."
Me: "Leather jackets? Where on earth did that come from?"
Him: "He'd like it if he had it . . ."
This time, we got the hoodie.
Then on to digital cameras. "Those are too expensive." (Him talking this time).
Me: "It's less expensive than the weight set and he asked for it."
Him: "Yeah, but what's he going to do with it? I know! Let's get him a polaroid."
Me: "Have you priced the film for those? Besides the digital camera is the same price and in the long run it's cheaper . . ."
We left the store without the digital camera, but with the hoodie and three or four other items, hardly putting a dent in our albeit short list.
Oh well, tomorrow's another shopping day. I'm sure we can find something to argue about at Toys R Us while we look for legoes . . .