Monday, December 20, 2010

The Art of Dodging (asking) the Question

From days of old, women have struggled with broaching the subject of marriage. Until/unless the guy antes up the proposal, the lady has to sit around wondering. Some of us nag. Others drop hints. I know someone who simply began to plan her own wedding and told her boyfriend that he better show up.

My failed marriage taught me something about myself: don't nag. X truly deserved nagging, because he responded to nothing else, and he had no intrinsic motivation to get a job. So I nagged him. It got old. Even our marriage counselor began to nag. We still exchange a "still alive?" text every year or so, and it seems that his current nag and I share the same appreciation of the concept of WORK. Plus, now she's pregnant, so now he will really get what he deserves.

Yes, as he told me just last week, he's "...going to be a daddy!" Well isn't that swell. I guess one of us was bound to reach such a chapter, only I did wish that it could have been me. After all, he never wanted kids. I never REALLY wanted them, but I can't deny that biological drive that results in true sadness when I think about my future and wonder what life would have been like with children. Then I find myself at the store, screaming kids everywhere, parents who look like zombies, conveniently using their status as undead as an excuse for ignoring the little buggers.

So that brings me to this Christmas. Herc and I have a system, so it seems. I get him crappy gifts that he doesn't want because he has everything he wants, and he gets me something I've included on my list to Santa, which I send telepathically of course. How has he known what I want? I don't know! He just does! But this year something has changed. We are living together, and I found a whole bunch of things he could use. I went kind of crazy buying stuff for him this year, and I was impressed with myself when I finally got everything wrapped and set out prominently next to the little red aluminum tree. But Herc has been struggling. He is still struggling! I marvel at his ability to ignore what he KNOWS I would like for Christmas, or just pick a day for Gods sake. Last week, he was really working undercover, dropping hints to see if I would bite. I tried to tell him not to worry, I don't really care to discuss anything related to a gift for myself. He said, "Well, the only thing is, I think you would want to be there to pick which one you want." My heart fluttered. Oh really? Well, then you just pick out whatever you want. I thought I detected some digression when he asked, "Well, just tell me some things you DON'T want. That will really help." I could help him with that. I mean, I didn't want him to think I had figured it out! I said, "Don't get me anything from Best Buy. Don't get me anything to cook with or clean with. Don't get me anything that will cost me money EVER, and of course you know better than to get me one of those stupid ereaders."

He eyed me suspiciously. "Why not an ereader? You have too many books as it is, but you love to read. Are you going to just CONTINUE to collect books?" Um, yeah. That's kind of what I do. I keep books that I like, and since I have the book cases for it, I'll continue to do so. We had already covered this subject some time ago, when my belongings arrived from Down South. "You certainly have a lot of books," I heard every freaking two minutes as we were hauling the stuff off the truck. At first I took it as some sort of complimentary observation, but when I got around to unpacking all of the books, it turned into a bona fide complaint.

So the mystery was solved. Even though he knew for a fact that I would never USE it, he was planning on getting me an ereader. Bleh. I told him not to bother, for the last time, don't bother. I said, "Why in the world would you expect that I would want to participate in choosing WHICH ereader?" He shrugged. "I couldn't tell if you would want color or not."

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