Sunday, December 10, 2006

(Insomniac) Ramblings for the Evening (12/10/2006)

My insomnia is back. I haven't slept much this weekend. On the plus side...well...I have my students to direct my anger at all week.... Ok, I wouldn't do that. No really.

My wife's birthday was on Friday. Every year, I plan a new surprise for her. One year I showed up at her work, and, while she was in a meeting, I laid rose petals all over the floor of her cubicle and then put some roses in a vase on her desk along with some music and a food she wanted.
This year, because of my schedule, it would be impossible to sneak into her work. So...the following ramblings all relate to her birthday and events around them
So without further ado (haven't done this in some time): THE PRICE IS WRONG!
The Gift:
I have found something I hate more than going to the movies (pay attention, Tom): Shopping at a mall.
I wanted to get my wife something special, so, way back in January, I started to pull money from every paycheck. I had enough to buy her something from Tiffany's.
Last Monday, when school was over, I headed over the Edina Galleria.
I have never, in my whole life, felt more out of place than when I was in the Galleria. Even though I had some cash in my pocket, and even though I was wearing my work clothes, I could tell that not wearing a truly "hot" name made me stick out. Several people just stared at me as I passed by.
Beyond that, what is it about shopping that makes people like the living dead. I know that what's George Romero was getting at in Dawn of the Dead, but I didn't get it until that day. People walking in front of me would stop and stare at windows. Then they would walk very slowly while contemplating the most random things. Worse still was when people would be on their phone and walk in the dead center of the lane. How do you go around those people when they weave? See...when a person talks in a movie theatre, you can ask them to shut up, but when a person walks in a way that holds everyone up, you can't just say, "Hey! Walk over there." They just stare.
Even worse, however, is what happened when I made it into the actual Tiffany's store. Every store, if you've never been to one, has security personnel. As soon as I walked in...the guy started following me around. Of course one look at the clientle made it clear why. Suits, expensive dresses, and even tuxedos could be seen around me. There I was in khaki pants and a striped, button-down shirt. I could almost hear the song buzzing in my head:
"One of these things is not like the other....which one is it...LEAB!"
When the guy in front of me finished his purchase, I felt sick. I wanted to spend what I thought was an exorbanent amount, but the guy in front of me spent, and I wish I was lying, $16,000. For those of you who are afraid of numbers, that's sixteen thousand. The price of brand new Hyundai...or something like that. Even worse, however, was the way he bragged about the money he was spending (which shows no's not gentleman-like). He felt compelled to announce to the rest of us that he had bought all this jewelry. When I stepped up and started haggling over price and size, I felt stupid.
I won't tell you how much I spent, but I will tell you that I bought my wife a nice necklace with a diamond centerpiece. This led to part two of the plan....
The Surprise:
With gift in hand, I moved to the next step: surprising my wife. I called her boss (the last person she would think of) and convinced him to help me. His only demand was not to tell his wife, because she would think he's a horrible human being for not being, "so romantic."
So, last Thursday I made my way to her work after the school day (and my club duty) were over. I had everything I needed:
1 mylar balloon
3 dozen roses (yellow, orange, and light green)
1 gift from Tiffany's
1 card (with an evil clown on it...long story)
1 box of chocolates
1 trash bag to hide all evidence
1 bottle of wine (payment to my wife's boss for his help)
1 bottle of water to put in...
1 vase for the flowers
Her boss let me in the building and showed me where her new cubicle is (she moved recently). He left me to go to work.
I tied up the balloon, cut the stems on the flowers and put them in the water, hid the gift, and left some notes around her cube.
After all that work and finding a way to keep my wife from being suspicious, the response I get on her birthday is as follows:
That was nice.
Her co-workers flipped out. One woman asked me if I could teach her husband. Suffice to say, I was hoping for a little more than, "That was nice." I know she was happy, but she also told me she was embarrassed to have all that stuff there in front of her co-workers and boss. Makes it hard to separate home and work.
When work was over, my wife came home to prepare for part three:
The Dinner:
I want to do this in a separate post. I had planned a nice dinner months ago. I had setup a table at Vincent (in downtown Minneapolis) with my wife's favorite wine (a bottle of 2003 Blacksmith Cabernet Sauvignon) as well as flowers spread out all over the table (I have this thing about rose petals). It was canceled on Tuesday of this past week. Why? Because of my wife's boss' Christmas party that was to be held on the same night. That's a whole different post however. Still, I was crushed.
The Bottom Line:
My wife had a good birthday. She was happy. I, however, was just tired and discovered that a ton of hard work can lead to a, "That was nice."
Still, it's about her not me.

Namaste...and happy birthday, honey. I know you'll never read this.


Arthur Willoughby said...

Ah, man...I'm cracking up over your last line. Careful; the blogs I end like that are invariably the ones she dissects with a fine-toothed comb.

Wives are tough to figure out with the gift thing, Leab. I must confess I've slacked a bit in the gift/surprise department since we got married; haven't done anything like you've described in forever. You're to be commended for your efforts and I only wish she'd have explained her response more clearly later. Doesn't exactly lend itself to topping yourself in subsequent years.

Anyway, sorry about the "profiling" in Tiffany's. There's money in this world; I just don't know where it comes from.

Anonymous said...

Leab - Get a clue, you are dying for attention from your wife, now that she has a child, she is truly done with you.

Your blog makes me want to vomit - have you ever done anything wrong in your life, or profiled someone. You are a teacher, clearly you know about profiling?