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I hate it when couples talk tell sickeningly cute stories about their relationship but act like it's sort of a problem, but in that sarcastic way, like, "darren is so silly when he brings me mismatched silverware with my breakfast in bed!" annoying enough to make me puke. but I'm totally going to do it, so if you're like me, don't read this.

marc and I have very different ideas about surprises, and when we get presents for each other, that's when it comes to light. I love surprises! Growing up, my dad would randomly tell us to get into the car and he'd take us somewhere without telling us, and it'd drive mom crazy but it was fabulous. I mean, we love him, we trust him, he's not going to make us lay asphalt or something, it's going to be cool! If it wasn't cool, it wouldn't be worth the surprise effort! So my favorite thing about Christmas is along those lines... I love wrapping presents as soon as I buy them, love seeing the packages all lined up, spend forever perfecting bows, and unless I'm a little worried I'll personally forget what's in them, I don't label ANYTHING. I don't want people even knowing that they're getting a present in that SHAPE from me. I mean, there are so many things... shirt boxes, jewelry boxes, DVDs, that are dead giveaways if you look at the box.

On the other hand, there's my boyfriend who can't stand surprises. When I took him to see Margaret Cho without telling him what the tickets were really for, he immediately had to assume we were going to see a movie, just to avoid the uncertainty. And it goes both ways... he can't keep secrets, he's a lot like that spy on austen powers who will tell you anything if you just ask him the same question three times. It's nice knowing he can't lie to me, but he's dying to tell me everything I'm getting for christmas. He's already given me all sorts of stuff, he comes home every other night with some surprise, and it's adorable but I'm starting to feel bad because I haven't brought home anything for him since Christmas officially started. It's to the point now where if he asked me to bring home cereal on the way home, I'd probably have it gift-wrapped and he wouldn't see it for two more weeks.

I've got stuff hidden everywhere in the house so he can't find it. I've shredded the packing slips from packages that came in the mail, and asked my roommate to immediately hide any mail order boxes if I'm not home when they arrive. He asks me all the time when he's getting and I'm not telling him. He asks me if I want to know what I'm getting and I tell him no, and he almost tells me anyway, I have to run out of the room when he gets that look like he's going to break down and spill it all.

So, yup, stupidly cute I know, but I wanted to write about it because I'm kind of curious who's more normal here, me or him. And lots of times when I journal about human nature someone makes an interesting connection about what this all says about us (besides pointing out the obvious ADHD symptoms). am I right, is it okay?



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 15th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC)
since Christmas officially started

I'm confused. Do you celebrate Christmas other than on December 25th? Or do you mean Advent? Christmas shopping season?
Dec. 15th, 2006 12:57 am (UTC)
ah yes. I don't know, in my family, we sort of celebrate holidays that month. Like, all of May is my birthday. so it's not just a commercial thing, it's just that we like holidays I guess. or maybe it is a commercial thing.
Dec. 15th, 2006 12:55 am (UTC)
Honestly, I think you're both normal (except for the whole not tagging presents thing... that's psycho-drugs time :-p ). I'm a lot like Marc, I am NOT a fan of surprises, though I can keep a secret.

S. likes surprises, however he can't keep a secret to save his life (if I ask him enough and he really isn't attached to keeping it a secret, he'll spill). He does, however enjoy torturing me with surprises. This year for December gift giving, he has informed everyone who is getting something for me, should they be buying it off either my Amazon or thethingsiwant.com wish lists, NOT TO BUY IT THROUGH THE LIST OR MARK IT AS PURCHASED AND JUST TO CHECK WITH HIM FIRST SO HE CAN KEEP IT STRAIGHT (so I can't cheat and look at my lists to see what was bought... like I tried to do last night). So maddening!
Dec. 15th, 2006 02:27 am (UTC)
Well, I think you're both normal, just rahter polar ends of normal. But, then agian, I may not be normal, so my judging could be off.
My thing is I have a hard time not telling somone if I'm really glad of hte great fit I found, so I'll tel everyone *but* the giftee. In my house we ususally did all the wrapping in the last week prior and put everything under the tree Christmas Eve-eve or the regular one, so tags weren't much a of a problem. When I got old enough that I wrapped my own ahead of time, I'd label using a small pen somewhere unobtrusive on the paper so that I wouldn't get people's gifts mixed up. I'm also one of those people who, upon wrapping an irregular object, got at it with tissue paper first so that it is less obvious.
Dec. 15th, 2006 02:56 am (UTC)
I always do my shopping on the 24th without any prior idea of what I'm getting anyone. That way there isn't anything to spill :)
Dec. 15th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC)
A few years ago I bumped my shopping ahead to the 23rd. Now that there are more people to shop for (in-laws, friends, etc.) I tend to do my shopping earlier. But not *much* earlier! This year it'll either be the 17th or possibly the 22nd.
Dec. 15th, 2006 06:02 am (UTC)
He sounds a little like Jason and Jen, who can't keep their christmas presents secret from one another and usually end up unwrapping everything the week before christmas, and then re-wrapping it as well.
Dec. 15th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, I hate it when people ruin surprises. I love surprises. You're totally normal; I go to extreme lengths to hide presents from people. If I bought them online, I'll delete the history of me being on that website in case they use my computer.
Dec. 15th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
My wife claims that she loves surprises, but then would constantly try to figure out what I had bought for her as a gift. She wouldn't actually look for it, but would either bug me so much that I just told her, or just gave her the present early.

She's been curious this year, but not ridiculously so. I even suggested that she could have her presents early if she wanted to, but she's happy just waiting until Christmas proper. It's amusing: this year I'm the one who wants to spill the beans, and she's willing to wait. :-)
Dec. 17th, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
Surprises are part of what make gift giving/receiving fun. Even though I make a wish list for everyone to get ideas from, I secretly hope that they know my likes and dislikes well enough to come up with something great that isn't on the list.
The same logic applies when I buy gifts for others. It used to bug me as a kid when my younger sister would search the house to find out what Santa had got her.
My husband taught me a good trick to keep people from figuring out what you bought them by putting it in a strange box. The bigger the box, the better to disquise what you are giving. Got them a pair of earrings or cufflinks? Put one in a shoebox and the other in a shirt box before wrapping.
It used to drive my kids crazy when they would open a package and find a box of AA batteries. It created the illusion of more gifts in their pile while sparing me of having to come up with batteries to run whatever toy they were getting that required that ritual 2 or 4 "AA batteries required, not included."
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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