Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I sold my watch to buy these beautiful combs!

You know, I still think she got the better of the deal--I mean, her lovely chestnut locks would grow out in no time, but no matter how long he wore the watch fob, it wasn’t going to sprout a watch. Eh, call me a cynic.

BUT DON’T CALL ME unromantical!

This being August the 16th, my lunchtime excursion was used to go forth from my office and go hunting and gathering for anniversary presents. Yep, that wonderful time of year has once again rolled back around. Thirteen very propitious years of conjugal bliss have now passed between Miss Reba and me. As you can tell from the usual pile of words that inhabits this spot, they have not been uneventful years at all, but rather some supremely interesting ones.

I forecast more ahead.

In any event, it was time to go out a’gifting to see what I could find. This year’s traditional gift is lace, which sounds like it might good for some naughty underthings. But last year’s attempt at naughty underthing purchasing never really did get off the ground--no matter how many times we attempted to find something that fit (the first one I ordered didn’t, nor the second on the reorder), we just couldn’t make it work right. Which took most of the naughty fun out of it.

The modern gift this year is supposed to be fur, but you know how I feel about using animals for fur. I say that unless I get to kill it with my bare hands, it just spoils the whole mood, you know?

So, back to lace. Or something.

The problem really is that Miss Reba is difficult to buy for--I can no longer walk into a clothing store and reliably find something that fits her, mainly because the concept of standardized sizing has gone the way of the dodo. Unless I take her with me (spoiling the surprise) or find a woman of similar physical stature to paw over (not likely--at least not one willing to allow me to place my rough manly hands all over her…for free), it’s just better to not even try the clothing route.

Jewelry? Too much already. She loves getting it, but has so much it all tends to get tangled into one big pile on top of her jewelry box.

Perfume? Not a big perfume wearer.

Books? Too many already.

So, armed with this lack of ideas, I bounded off to the AmSouth Harbert Center to look at Parisian to see what I could find. BUT FIRST, because Miss Reba is a girl, I stopped at the flower shop to order up some roses. Impractical, temporary; true enough. But for some reason, they work just fine. And anyway, the lady who owns the shop is nice--a beautiful lady who seems to really enjoy flowers and has a wonderful way about her. Always enjoy visiting with her.

Next, while I was on the ground floor, to the card shop for a simple card--the big floweredy things that look like they were thought up by some Baroque sodomite are just too too. Found one with a sweet illustration and an appropriate sentiment, something along the lines of the good fortune of being married to someone who is also my friend. I personalized it with the tender note that not many guys can say they enjoy getting to sleep with their best friend. Hey, what can I say? I’m a romantic.

On then to shop. The first pass through the store on the ground floor netted exactly nothing. They just didn’t have that thing that said, “Aww.” Upstairs to Ladies, and nothing there, either. Out into the food court--hmm--I wonder if she would like some egg rolls? Some Milo’s sauce? Probably not. Nothing lacy about any of that. Hmm.

Back downstairs, and I figured I would take one more stroll through and see what was to be seen. And then, there it was. Over on the wall, in the hunchback space up under the spiral stairs, back behind two racks of things on hooks that were spaced almost too closely for a chubby man to pass through, a small display of silver bookmarks. Atop each one, a lacy-looking doohickey, and one in particular had two lacy-looking hearts. Perfect! She reads all the time, usually with a hunk of paper as the place holder, and I figure lace doesn’t necessarily have to be such an unabstract sort of concept.

Purchased it, and then upstairs to get it wrapped. That’s the thing that’s nice about having a regular department store nearby--they have actual gift wrapping. Parisian is nice too, because they have complimentary wrapping.

Or so I thought.

Got to the window upstairs, and was met by a cheerful blonde girl. Gave her my little present and asked for it to be wrapped, and she asked me if I knew wrapping was $3.50. Well, no. Then I looked up and saw that it was posted everywhere inside of her little area. “Is that okay?” Sure--it would be as inexpensive as getting something to wrap it with myself, so, yep, sure. And anyway, she was just so cheerfully cheerful.

She asked which paper I wanted and I pointed to the sort of whitish-looking swirly paper with the satin bow. “Is it for a wedding?” “No, it’s an anniversary present.” She clipped off the tag, signed off on a delivery from the UPS guy who had been hovering beside me (who asked her name, but I think he was just asking for his own benefit) and then after stowing the deliveries, she walked to the wrapping area in the very far back where all the electrical panels are and got to wrapping.

As I waited, I fished a five out of my wallet and stood there holding it and watching her wrap and wrap. Thankfully, she looked like she was actually taking her time and doing it right--some of the ladies who work there seem to have learned their gift wrapping skills from arthritic macaques, and you wind up with something that looks like you dislike the person you’re giving the gift to.

She looked up and smiled when she caught me staring at her. I wasn’t looking at her cleavage, I promise, just the wrapping paper. But you know how wrapping paper is. Anyway, she finished up and brought it back out to me--but not in the paper I asked for.

It was very pretty silver paper with a big silver satin bow. I started to hand her the five, and she smiled again like she did when she caught me staring at her wrapping paper and said, “No, you don’t have to do that--we wrap wedding gifts for free, and this is sort of like a wedding present.” Well, how very nice of her! Which is what I told her. “Not at all. I hope she enjoys it!” Hey, now THAT’S customer service folks--you bigwigs at Saks should thank your lucky stars you have someone like Miss Cain working for you.

So, with my little bit of lagniappe making me all cheersome-like, I went and got me a hamburger from Milo’s for lunch. I smell like onions now. I will be sure and brush when I get home, I promise.

And just in case at some point in time, Miss Reba, that should you ever stumble upon this corner of the world, let me just say that I love you, and Happy Anniversary.

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