My Trip Home

There are only four shopping days until Christmas. I know this because my wife and kids have a giant countdown sign that hangs in my direct sight line when I am sitting at the dinner table. They all insist that this is purely coincidental but I am beginning to wonder. The other indication I have that Christmas is arriving shortly is that the number of hints being dropped by my wife have risen substantially over the past week or so. This I think is due to the fact that she knows that I have not done any shopping nor have I taken any of the kids out to do their shopping. She further drove home her point by reminding me of the truck stop debacle of 2004 when all of my gifts appeared to have been purchased at a local 24 hour trucker hang out. Personally I didn’t see anything wrong with a wallet with a chain that attached to your belt and really who couldn’t use a set of mud flaps for their car? Granted the silhouette of undressed women may not have been my first choice but hey I got a pretty good deal on them. No, it was clear that I was not going to get away with that this year which meant that regardless of how much I dreaded Christmas shopping, today was the day. Fortunately, I have the perfect gift in mind and there’s only one place to get it.

After making a few excuses about where I was going, I snuck into the garage and got in the car. I slowly pulled out of the driveway and made my way out of the subdivision. I was pretty sure Trina did not see me leave nor did she know which direction I was going. So unless she calls the police and reports my car as stolen and has them track the LoJack signal she is never going to know where I am at and hence she’ll never be able to figure out what she is getting for Christmas. It was the perfect plan, one that could very well become the plot of an HBO award-winning movie.

As I pulled onto the on-ramp of the freeway I set my car’s cruise control and sat back. I have driven this route so many times that cruise control could easily be renamed auto-pilot. A mere 21 minutes later I was pulling into a familiar parking spot and walking towards my secret Christmas shopping store. As I approached the front door to the store I envisioned walking through and having the employees call my name similar to the greeting that Norm Peterson got whenever he entered the Cheers bar on the television show. I’m not quite dedicated although many members of my family seem to think I am. No, I entered the store unannounced and began to quietly do my shopping. I stood and gazed in amazement at all the wonderful merchandise. I immediately knew I was in the right place. I could do no wrong; regardless of what I bought Trina would love it the moment she opened it on Christmas morning. I thought it was perfect but then one of the store employees introduced herself and stated that much of the merchandise was 50-75 percent off. Perfection just got better. Not only would Trina love the gift I was going to get her; I would also save us money. I could already see myself being fitted for a crown as I was named husband of the year.

I walked around the store and picked up several items that I just knew she would love. There was the divisional play-off T-shirt and the NL Western Divisional champion sweatshirt. I found a home Diamondbacks jersey that I know she will just love. And what Christmas would be complete without a little jewelry. She is going to be speechless when she sees the Diamondbacks earrings and the NLCS pin I got her. And just because I am such a thoughtful husband I tried to reduce her shopping burdens by picking up a couple of things for myself. After all, who could pass up an authentic Diamondbacks jersey at 75 percent off? Yup, this is going to be the best Christmas ever!

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