September 27, 2010

I Feel I Failed To Impress Her With Her Birthday Surprise

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.
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.

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.
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. 


joeross said...

Great story. Sorry about your luck, Zack. I've seen it happen to boyfriends and girlfriends alike.

That's the rough thing about surprise *anythings* for significant others. You can't tell them how much work it was because it's like wearing an "I donate to save sick babies" sticker on your chest and wondering why people look at you like you're an asshole.

But when you don't mention the difficulty you had securing for them what you thought (and, in fact, appeared to be) something they really wanted, the assumption is that it was done with the utmost of ease. And that you should have gotten them *real* gift, too.

Jessie said...

I know I would prefer a memorable experience like this than some lame gift that would take up more space in my already cluttered apartment. But whatever, to each her own, I guess.

Zack said...

My all-time favorite birthday was when a GF took me canoeing on a river I hadn't been to since I was a little kid. Just a nice little day trip with a picnic partway through.

Hell, you could take me for a walk in the park and I'd be happy. The important part is the "doing something together" part.

Joe, the really messed up part was that she knew how much work it took. The handler mentioned that this was the first time in 20 years working there he'd ever seen them allow this. I'd never seen her be all materialistic before then, but during the argument it became clear she was expecting an "I love you this many dollars" gesture. Not someone I'm gonna waste my time on, our mindsets are just too different.

Nik said...

That girl totally looks like a jerk for expecting a gift after such a cool and amazing experience. You sound like a very thoughtful person which I'd take anyday over someone who showers you with gifts.

bonnie said...

i totally agree that the girl was an ass about it but the whole part about books and jewelry being temporary or whatever doesn't make any sense. who throws out jewelry when they move? if anything, the deer visit was temporary, because she can't just go visit them again. she could re-read a book though.

Anna said...

@Bonnie Eh, I've thrown out jewelry from ex-boyfriends. And, I've tossed books people have given me too. It's not that strange.

teenie said...

this totally comes down to substance - how someone feels loved. while you appreciate gestures, she wants "things" - it's hard to say that one is more genuine than another, but for her to not acknowledge the effort and at least try to appreciate it is pretty wack. it would be like if she bought you something nice, and you got pissed because it was easy. you just wouldn't do that. what a dick!

my current BF had an ex who got mad because he never gave her little gifts - she obviously didn't notice how he cooked amazing dinners for her, always suggested new and awesome things to do, or would cuddle her and kiss her around her ears just for being herself. now i get to reap those rewards, and laugh - on into the night - at how much of a sucker she is!

dani said...

hate jewelry. i just lose it or break it anyways. i would 10000000% rather a trip to a zoo or any little cute suprise trip than a physical present. what a c-word. yeah, i restrained myself.

Ichael said...

awesome gift dude!!

Anonymous said...

I would love you forever if you did that for me...

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