Not Quite the Gift of the Magi

The next eight days or so are going to be very compressed for me. I have word that the first edit for BLISS HOUSE should land in my inbox on or about December 18th, and after it arrives I will need to hide myself away for about a month to work in those changes. I’ll also be working in a lot of changes of my own that will tie it into the next Bliss House novel in the series. But for some reason, the people in my life don’t think it’s a great idea to put Christmas off until I’m all done with the edit. Go figure. So I’m playing Santa, 8th grade room mother, cookie maker, and gift wrapper and shipper until the book gets here. Anything that doesn’t get done before then…won’t.

Today I did a reasonable job adhering to a semblance of a schedule: getting the boy off to school, dropping off a car to be serviced, working out, writing, kid pick-up, errands, piano (another blog!), making/serving dinner, walking the dogs. I even snuck in a ten minute power nap. You’ll note there wasn’t a lot of Christmas-themed activity there–no cookie-making, no Santa. Somehow I meant to do those things. I knew I wanted to do a blog, too, to be consistent. So instead of checking things off my to-do list tonight, I started writing a very complex blog about Twitter (a subject I’ve covered here before), figured out how to save a screen shot (No, it’s not 2002. I know.), realized I didn’t have all the numbers I needed, and had to stop because there was no way I’d get the piece done before I passed out from exhaustion.

I’m time-challenged. Seriously, I have no concept of the passage of time or how long it actually takes me to do things. Sure, I know how long it takes me to drive into town and back. And I know it takes me 40 minutes to get dressed and out the door from the moment I step into the shower. (But I almost always figure I can get it done in 20, which means I’m late for pretty much everything.) I can poach salmon in 8 minutes, and bake a pizza in 13. Don’t ask me what time dinner will be, though, because unless I’m cooking something that comes in a box (which I almost never do), it is sure to be almost exactly 15 minutes later than I tell you it will be.

The time thing is another part of the ADHD life package. It’s a wonder I get anything completed at all. So you can see why I have to be serious about getting Christmas done a week before Christmas day arrives. And already I’m a day behind!

This was my plan: put up a short, sweet little blog about something silly I did earlier this year when I went to buy a gift for my beloved, then spend the rest of the evening checking off my to-do list. Because I’m stubborn, and want to keep my plan even after I’ve blown it up (I do this all the time–drives the people around me crazy.), here’s my little story.

Beloved Husband and I don’t make a big fuss for Valentine’s Day. We’ve always celebrated it at home, with the kids, having decided long ago that crowded restaurants do not a pleasant evening make. We don’t exchange big gifts. Just small, fun things.

One of the things I bought for Beloved Husband was a custom coffee mug from the delightful Zazzle people. They’ll let you put pretty much anything you want on any surface, but a mug seemed safe. I ran across a sample that said, “In Love With…[insert name here]” I thought it was an adorable idea. So I ordered him one.

You can see that it says, “in love with Pinckney.” And I am.

I confess I had a moment’s pause when I ordered it. Should it say “in love with Laura?” Or “in love with Pinckney?” I chose “Pinckney” because, well, I didn’t want to be presumptuous. Of course, I assume he’s in love with me. He tells me so all the time. But it just seemed pushy to me, to give a man a coffee mug that proclaims that he loves me. We’ve been married 23 years, but I still like to keep a little mystery, make sure I don’t take too much for granted. So I gave him the one that proclaimed my love for him.

Reader, he was astonished! And unwilling to take it into the office. Though we did get rather a laugh over the notion that some of his students might not be too surprised to see he actually does have a high opinion of himself.

The mug did get used often, but always accompanied by amused comment. I was careful not to give it to the kids or guests. That would really be weird, yes? It began to bother me a bit, seeing it there in the cabinet. So plain in black and white, and yet so…complicated.

Finally, I decided to take the pressure off of myself and get him a proper mug for Father’s Day. (No worries, he does not think I’m presumptuous.)

They make a pretty cute pair, yes?

Oh, and if you’ve never read O.Henry’s classic tale, The Gift of the Magi, it’s here, in its entirety.

–L.

(Fiction words written: 364)

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