Buying the perfect present for someone you care about is never easy. Unless you really know what that person likes. For example, if anyone related to me is reading this, I find that jewelry always fits. Diamonds especially. In earring form, ring form, bracelet form or necklace form. Pocketbooks also always fit, but diamonds are forever. Now that son #1 is an oreo (wears only black and white) the perfect gift for him will encompass anything you can buy at a Judaica store. I am assuming the same will now apply to son #2, but as for son #3, I still know that there is a wider range of gift ideas. Until, of course, he comes home from Israel and then the scope will, again, narrow.
The gift history between me and the old ball and chain has not been fantastic. One year, I got him mezuzahs. Two sterling silver mezuzahs. You would think a guy who goes to minyan three or four times a day would appreciate a gift like that. Nope. He was not happy. And in the end, neither was I, because you have to polish silver mezuzahs. Or, you can be like me and not polish them…which doesn’t look great.
In truth, what gifts do you get for your spouse? I have given him three sons, thank God, isn’t that enough? I do all of his laundry and prepare all of his meals. It’s like every day is his birthday in this house. For his 40th birthday, we weren’t speaking, I can’t remember why, but I bought him a papercut of the Friday night “blessing of the sons.” I hung it in his sightline, because he occasionally forgot to say it, and this way, he would remember because it was hanging right there. Clever, right? I think he liked it, but I wasn’t entirely sure because we were in a small fight. Quite honestly, I can’t really remember his other gifts. And that brings us to this year.
Husband #1 and I met, initially, when we were 13 years old, at an NCSY regional convention. He had hair. I had a waist. Life was good. Though, as the story goes, we didn’t start dating until 11 years later, I reflect back on some of the early gifts he gave me. He bought me a bracelet from a jewelry store in a mall. This is a big no-no. Gentleman, you NEVER buy jewelry in a mall. You buy it from a sketchy chasid on 47th street. Just kidding. You buy it from someone you know. Someone you trust. Or think you trust. You never buy it in a mall. (Did I make that clear?) This year is another birthday. Not one that ends in a zero or a five, just a birthday that, thank God, husband #1 is alive to celebrate. He often complains that his back hurts, no, that has nothing to do with me, but thanks for thinking that, and I decided he needed yoga.
Now, for those of you who know my dear spouse, he and yoga do not go together. He and a couch, he and a recliner, he and a bed — those things go together. But I thought I came up with the greatest idea ever, so I called my friend who teaches yoga and begged her to give us a private lesson, with son #3 tagging along. “Please make it very, very, very beginner. Very beginner.” Had I known what husband #1 would look like doing the “happy baby,” which my former yoga teacher called the “happy hubby,” for reasons that only yogis know, I probably would have worn a depends because it was that funny… but we survived.
Candles lit in the middle of the hockey room aka the basement, and playing the role of son #3 was a friend of husband #1 who he has known since kindergarten. That friend showed up wearing his wife’s yoga pants, which added a whole other element of humor to the class. But in the end, husband #1 really enjoyed the different stretches and really enjoyed the yoga block that the teacher put under his lower back…so much so, that he asked me to buy him one. And I did. The best thing about it? I don’t have to polish it!
Will husband #1 take another yoga class? Only time and our health insurance coverage will tell, but at least he liked his gift. And no one broke anything.
And I don’t have to worry about another present for a whole year!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is hoping that by the time you read this, all of her monkeys will be home. And not ganging up on her to stop wearing pants….