Every year my birthday falls within a few days of Mother's Day, which isn't exactly like being born on December 23, but close enough that it creates quite a challenge for my husband.
This year it's on the same weekend.
He can usually handle about one gift giving holiday a year. And by "handle" I mean cobbling together some sort of odd last minute something or other after calling my friends to get ideas that he could also get from the shopping site THAT I PUBLISH.
But combine two days where celebrations of some kind are required and his anxiety takes over and he under shoots. Like waaaaaaaay under.
A couple of years ago he flew Liz and Thalia down to surprise me, which was by far the best gift I've ever gotten, so much so that when I get the fake wood display case for my running medals, raise my eyebrow, and say something like "Hmmm, now this is nice..." he gives me the "Remember that time I flew Liz down!" speech as if that's supposed to cover me for at least five more birthdays to come.
So every year, save the "Liz and Thalia year" (Yes, it totally has a name), he asks me what I want and then tells me how hard it is to pick something for me "even though you have those gift guides and stuff" and I just tell him not to worry about it because I bought myself a "little something" while I was in NYC last month and he says "what did you buy?" and I say "oh nothing much" which is code for "I was just trying to pick up a lipstick for Liz at Bendels and this Rebecca Minkoff bag gagged and bound me and wouldn't let me leave the store until I bought it."
What I really want is to enjoy the company of myself, perhaps some close friends, toss back a few tasty drinks, and not have to say "We don't talk about 'ginies' or 'butts' at the table" while I eat delicious food that is hot and served to me.
I was fortunate to get just that and more last year, which I fondly call "The Day Chef Sam Talbot Told Me I Was Too Hot to Be a Mom and I Nearly Forgot I Was Married and Pregnant" followed by "The Night MetroDad Got Us Thrown Out of a Karaoke Joint" as well as a few weeks ago, so I told my husband during the yearly "I waited until two days before your birthday to get you a gift can you tell me what you want" talk that I'm perfectly happy just getting a little extra time in my bed, a little extra cake on my plate, and for the love of God, one evening where I don't have to participate in the bedtime routine of at least 3 out of 4 children.
But then when I was out yesterday afternoon, I remembered that I'd been wanting a pancake griddle and a real tea pot, not just a regular pot like my mom who uses her wok for everything (tea water, popcorn), so I sent him a picture and a few links to help him out.
And then I told him to include a membership to AARP.
Apparently, I wasn't that far off.