How Not to Impress Your Wife

Today is my wife Trina’s birthday. Having your birthday arrive just two days after Christmas would definitely be a bummer. She tells of stories where she would receive a pajama top for Christmas and then get the bottoms for her birthday.

With her birthday in the midst of Christmas vacation for the schools she never had the opportunity to have her mom bring cupcakes to class to celebrate her birthday. For this same reason she rarely had a birthday party as people were gone for the holidays.

When we started dating I made a commitment to always make sure we would celebrate her birthday. After we got married and started having children I made sure that the family made a big deal about mom’s birthday.

You would think after 28 years of marriage that I would have this birthday thing down to a science but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In years past the older kids would do the birthday shopping for mom and they always included a gift from dad.

This was done after one year I made the mistake of giving my wife a weed-eater and a vacuum for her birthday. Trina and the kids still cringe when that episode is recounted during the birthday dinner.

For my own preservation everyone figured they should limit my gift buying expenditures. This year though everyone was busy leaving me to shop on my own accord. Given my past experiences I was determined to show everyone that I had learned my lesson and could successfully shop for my wife’s birthday without any help.

I have to admit, I was feeling a little bit of anxiety and just a little pressure. As the day got closer I started to panic just a little bit. I realized that I had not really paid much attention when Trina would suggest gift ideas.

Finally with just a day before her birthday, I panicked. Rather than going to the mall and doing the proper thing like buy jewelry or some other feminine fluff item I fell back and did the safe thing.

I went down to Chase Field and into the team shop. Surely she would love getting new Diamondbacks gear for her birthday. After all, you can never have too much Diamondbacks team apparel.

Unfortunately for me, the team shop was somewhat depleted from the Christmas season (always a good thing). As I wandered around my choices were somewhat limited. I finally settled on a few items and left content in the knowledge that I had procured the perfect birthday gifts.

This morning as Trina came downstairs I wished her a happy birthday and eagerly wanted her to open the gift from me. As she opened the box the smile on her face suddenly disappeared.

She reached in the box and retrieved a Diamondbacks polo shirt. She looked at it and then looked at me. Excitedly I explained, “I found this cool shirt at the team shop and I knew you would love it.”

Her icy reply was, “It’s a men’s large.” I tried to explain that the team shop had a limited selection. She just stared at me. Finally I said, “Well if you don’t want just let me know. I’d be happy to wear it.”

I’d even tell her happy birthday every time I wore the shirt. That didn’t seem to matter and in the end the children were given specific orders, don’t let dad do any more shopping. That’s messed up.


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