17 June 2012

Is This Gift for Me or For You?

With ABM's birthday last week and Father's Day today, I've got gift-giving on my mind. Getting my husband a great gift is never easy for me. I've been living with the man for almost 24 years, so you would think that I could figure out what to buy him. From the very beginning of our relationship, ABM has always been one to buy what he wanted immediately, not leaving me any room to treat him. The past 18 months have been especially difficult because he has outdone himself in buying me gifts, even after the passing of his mother. I've gotten gifts that I asked for ( InStyler hair straightener, sewing machine) as well as gifts that I never expected and that brought me to tears (tablet, iPhone). Because of this I really want to go out of my way to buy him something special, but I seem to keep getting it wrong.

A few years ago, I bought ABM a Roku set-top box. He likes to watch movies but he rarely took advantage of the streaming video portion of his Netflix account because he preferred watching on TV rather than the laptop (he has since adjusted his opinion on that). I figured a tiny box that attached to the TV and let him access the Netflix stream would be a great gift, but guess who ended up using it? Me and the kids. ABM even commented to his friends that I really bought the Roku for myself. I know that he was kidding, but it stung. I mean, if I wanted to buy him gifts that were really for myself, I would have gotten video games or books.

For Christmas I thought I hit the nail on the head when I bought ABM a FitBit. We wanted this fitness gadget when we saw it reviewed a while ago, but it was so popular that it was on back-order for over a year. I snatched one up as soon as it became available. ABM used it for about a week. It has been sitting on the computer desk ever since. I must admit, I have been eyeing it lately. I've started exercising again and all the tracking info would be helpful. However, if I ask ABM if I can use it, then he will suspect that this is another gift that I really bought for myself.

This time, for Father's Day, I decided to go against my instincts. I always try to get ABM something new, fun, and exciting. Last week it occurred to me that when the shoe is on the other foot on Mother's Day, ABM and the kids always get me the same thing: a t-shirt and a Chinese takeaway. Last year, ABM pulled out all the stops and got me an Android tablet. I adored the surprise and use that tablet every day, but a part of me missed getting Chinese food. So this year, the kids got their father cologne, a Superman DVD, and made him a pie. They may be simple gifts, but I think he will like them better.
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