Do you know the O. Henry story, The Gift of the Magi? It’s a love story. Jim’s most treasured possession was a gold watch that had been his father’s and grandfather’s. Delia’s most treasured possession was her beautiful hair reaching down below her knees. They were very poor. To buy a Christmas gift for his love, Jim sold his watch to buy combs for her hair. Delia sold her hair to buy Jim a platinum chain for his watch.
When John asked what I wanted for Christmas this year, I told him I wanted blinds for the picture windows at the back of the living room and dining room. This was asking a lot. Architects like bare windows, that whole uncluttered look. He whined. He argued.
“Why, all of a sudden after fifteen years, do you want blinds?” “Arrghh!” “Boo.” “Hiss.” Yes, he really said all those things.
I mentioned living in a fishbowl. I mentioned the neighbors on the block behind us seeing everything we did, not that we did anything interesting (the fishbowl inhibits interesting). I mentioned Boogie Men hiding in our yard. I mentioned not liking those two big black squares in the dark of night. I mentioned all the heat escaping out those cold glass panes. I mentioned that this was something I had mentioned for fifteen years.
But I knew I was losing. As backup present, I told him a new sweater would be nice.
Then, last Thursday night, I came home from my book club. Lo on yonder windows - BLINDS! When it was the last thing he wanted, he gave me blinds. He must really love me.
I've been swooning over how wonderful the blinds are all weekend, and he mumbles, "grrrr" and "arrgh".
When he was laid off from the architectural firm five-years ago, the rebel in him started gooing and greasing back his soft dark hair. He’s been going around slicked up like a hit man on The Sopranos ever since. I don’t like it. I miss his old hair. I’ve told him so - many times. He doesn’t listen.
Last Friday morning, while he was in the shower, I went into the cupboard and took his hair goop. I hid it under the dirty clothes in the laundry basket. He’s gone without his Aveda Phomollient for four days now. And looking pretty cute, I must say.
This morning, I finished dressing and was standing near the end of the bed when he came out of the shower. He pushed me back on the bed, pinned my arms and squished me. I couldn’t breath.
I yelled, “Help, help, I can’t breath.”
“Where did you hide my F-ing phomollient,” he demanded.
I laughed, and gasped, “I can’t breath.”
“I’m not letting you up, till you tell me,” he said.
“I forget, I’m old. I forget where I put F-ing stuff.”
More squishing happened. The man takes my breathe away.
"Okay, Okay," I said. "it's in the laundry basket that you took down the basement."
I guess he didn’t feel like going down the basement, because he left the house with his hair un-slicked.