December 22, 2008

Holiday Horror Stories: I Put The Jerk in Beef Jerky

It was coming up on Christmas and I had no idea what to get my boyfriend of three years. I had been perusing eBay and craigslist for a wacky synthesizer that he didn’t already have, but I kept coming up short. To make matters worse, my life was a total stress mess. I was finishing my first semester of medical school and was snowed under with finals. On top of that, I was having surgery over winter break that would put me out of commission for at least three weeks.

I had my surgery a few days before Christmas. Through my Percocet-cushioned pain waves, I realized that I had nothing to give my sweetheart. My sister was out at the mall that night, so I began racking my brain for a gift that could be purchased at the mall. (Like me, he hates malls so this was a daunting task.)

Suddenly, it hit me. I remembered a few months back, my sweetheart had marveled at a perfume company that prided themselves on making scents that smelled exactly as they were named. They had all sorts of weird scents like “grass” and “tomato,” and each was apparently the exact replica of the scent. I knew they sold it at Sephora, so I called my sister to see if she could pick up a bottle for me.

While on the phone with my sister, she relayed the choices that Sephora carried. Out of my choices, I selected “leather.” My man was the handsome rugged type; he looked just like Jude Law in Cold Mountain, you know, when he’s all scruffy and good-looking. I figured hot men such as these should smell like leather so I told my sister to go ahead and buy it.

When she returned home, my sister presented the perfume to me saying, “Shannon, I don’t know if you’re gonna like this…” This leather perfume had two crucial things wrong with it:
  1. It cost a mere 15 dollars. I figured men’s cologne was more expensive than that and I had assumed this was gonna run me at least 60 bucks. I know it’s supposed to be the thought that counts, but after three years of dating, you really gotta break the twenty-dollar mark.
  2. The leather perfume smelled like beef jerky. It was horrid and I knew it. To make matters worse, my sweetie was on his way over and he was bringing my gift so we could exchange. There was no time to rectify the situation!
When I opened my gift from him, I literally gasped. My sweetie had gotten me the nicest watch I had ever seen. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone has ever given to me. Three years later, I still wear the watch everyday and I get a compliment about it at least once a week.

Needless to say, I was horrified as he opened his terrible, bogus gift from me. He had been so good, standing by me through my toils at school and sticking with me through my painful surgery; I couldn’t believe that all I had to thank him with was this liquid beef jerky perfume. I watched his face fall as he took a whiff.

I guess he was as unenthusiastic about “snapping into a Slim Jim” as I was. I apologized profusely, saying that as soon as I was better from the surgery, I would get him something better. We ended up laughing about the perfume and all was good, but I still feel like such a douche for being so self-absorbed.


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