I planned a perfect surprise birthday trip and managed to keep her in the dark until the last second. That's some tough shit to pull off. Needless to say, I was stoked when everything went perfectly. Yet somehow, she was completely unimpressed.You should've had a baby deer give her that Hallmark card. Like, have it attached to it's neck with a pink ribbon. How funny would that have been, right? Make Bambi swing the ax. I'm laughing just thinking about it.
Several months before, we spotted some deer while on a hike and she mentioned how much she loved deer. Later that night, I added a note about that to the Girlfriend File. A few weeks before her birthday, I pulled up the file looking for ideas. Several phone calls later, I found a friend of a friend of a friend who just happened to work at a zoo a few hours away. And they had deer. And the deer had just given birth to babies. Jackpot!
I kept it all secret, and she had no idea what was going on until the animal handler at the deer paddock opened the side door and called her name. Her expression was absolutely adorable and I filled an SD card with pics of her feeding and playing with the fawns. To paraphrase the immortal Clark Griswold, I was afraid she'd need plastic surgery to remove her smile.
And yet here we are: it is 9:00pm and she's pissed off. Why? Because apparently I, “didn't get her anything for her birthday.” Exsqueeze me?! What does she think that trip was? This ain't Seaworld, where I throw down a twenty dollar bill and an hour later a horny dolphin tries to mount my girlfriend. Zoos don't just let random people off the street go behind the scenes and get up-close with the animals. It took a goddamn month of phone calls, signing paperwork and petitioning the board of directors to get permission to make that happen.
And I really don't see the appeal of giving “stuff” as presents. Books, clothes, jewelry; it's all temporary. Wear it once, read it once, and a few years later it gets thrown out when you move. Experiences last forever, and those are the kinds of gifts I like to give.
I had no idea she also wanted something shiny in addition to that totally awesome trip. I really didn't know what to give her, though I do keep one item for emergencies like this: a Hallmark card that reads, “Congratulations on being single again!” I'm pretty sure that's how this argument will end.
September 27, 2010
I have to say, I'm really enjoying these reader submissions. We have another one from Zack, who got a a big ol' heap of sludge dredged from Dontgiveafuck Bay when he coordinated a special birthday surprise for his girl.