My husband and I are terrible gift-givers. It's not for lack of trying or that we can't be bothered to notice what the other has his or her eye on throughout the year, but after five kids, we're lucky if we remember we've even gotten another year older. We started our family early: I was pregnant eight months after we'd met and busy being a new wife and setting up our home, presents kind of slipped into the "oh crap, it's 11:15p on Christmas Eve again, isn't it?" category. By then I was ready to eat the candy I'd snuck into his Christmas stocking and take a nap under the tree - forget thoughtful gifts and who the hell really needs wrapping paper?
I didn't have to worry though, for our first Christmas together as a family, Bryan got me socks and a flannel nightgown. Nothing says romance like a chocolate-covered pregnant woman crying in her flannel plaid. Subsequent years weren't much better: boxed toilet paper; a stereo system that by the time he got around to installing it, the system was horribly out of date and unusable; a turkey fryer that probably would have burned the house down if he'd ever taken it out of the box; and most recently - a glass jellyfish paperweight.
He loved those things while we were in Florida so finding one later, I was thrilled that this time I had finally found something he'd like. Okay, maybe love is a strong word; he looked at it and didn't seem repulsed may be closer to the mark but I did notice. I bought a nice little red one and presented it to him when we got home since his original birthday gift didn't work out. I was going to take he and the girls swimming with the manatees in Florida until someone - not naming names - was afraid of being bitten by a rabid sea cow. We ended up scratching the excursion so I figured this would be a good last-minute substitute.
Last night, I asked how he liked it.
"It's weird. It's like a tiny little living being trapped in glass."
"Bryan, it is glass. Don't get squicked out."
"Yeah, but it looks just like..."
"Don't make me call the manatees, Bryan."
It looks like we're going back to boxed joke toilet paper this Christmas.