The worst gift I almost got

Lest readers of my last post think the hideous green vest is the worst gift ever, let me tell you about the one that got away.

I was three months pregnant and sick as (ironically) a dog when the call came.

“My husband is out of town,” I told the earnest young woman on the other end of the phone. “Is there something I can help you with?”

“I’m returning his call. He inquired about purchasing our retired sled dog team,” she said.

Retired sled-dog team? Wah?

IMG_0159Turns out my husband had hatched a plan to buy this for me for my birthday – eight retired dogs and a sled. It is true that I had often expressed an interest in riding on a sled pulled by sled dogs. That did not, however, equate to a desire to own one.

I’d had a rough pregnancy. I hadn’t eaten anything but boxed macaroni and cheese in weeks and had spent most of my evenings curled in the fetal position wishing for death. The thought of a future slinging dog food and picking up you-know-what sounded hideous. Fortunately, I was able to plead an upcoming change in family status and get off the phone.

My dear husband is a little hit-and-miss in the gift giving department. There is a lot of thought that goes into the purchase of a sled dog team. Not exactly sure what kind of thought, but I’ve got to give him credit for that. He was a big winner the year he handpicked every pearl for a beautiful long string I received as an anniversary gift. Ditto for the Mother’s Day I arrived home to one of the famous blue boxes. But there was a Christmas where he not only bought me a pair of slippers (unromantic) and left the price tag on (unobservant), but also stuck the box, unwrapped, on a branch of the Christmas tree (unmentionable).

He keeps me guessing, anyway. Maybe a little mystery is good in a marriage that’s lasted as long as ours.

More contributions for the worst gift ever? There have been some doozies so far.

29 thoughts on “The worst gift I almost got

  1. At our marriage, Great-Uncle Herbie and Great-Aunt Fannie took my husband aside and shared their secret for a long happy union. Don’t ever give a present with a handle on it. I did have to add a corollary the year I received the puppy, just after birth #3 brought my third child under age 5. The present also cannot be breathing.


  2. Wow! That would have been very interesting if you hadn’t answered the phone. You would have eight dogs and a baby! My husband definitely had some hit or misses with the presents he’s given me. One year I got slippers and blue nail polish. Not exactly romantic gifts to say the least. lol


  3. A retired dog sleigh team as a gift and you call him “a little hit-and-miss”? That is so off, it’s not even in the same galaxy… thanks for making me laugh!!!


  4. So for Christmas this year my husband and I decided to give each other lists. Make it simple, right? Just hand the other person a list and away we go, off to pick one incredibly wanted item for our lovely soul mate. Items on my list included fancy shampoo, a flannel shirt from Duluth Trading Company, and shoes (black work shoes, brown work shoes, and running shoes). As I tore into the shoe box on Christmas morning, my heart jumped at the possibilities…did he get the brown shoes from Khols? The black shoes from Target? Or did he go straight for the riskiest option and get me some running shoes? Imagine my surprise when I opened the box to find all three “wants” in one deliciously horrific shoe. Yep, he bought me black and brown running shoes. Oh yes. Black and brown, old man running shoes. Next year, the list will be a bit more detailed….and spread out.

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    1. Oh, I laughed out loud! Last year I asked my husband for a new yoga mat and when he asked what kind I handed him my old mat – your average, lightweight mat in a pretty blue – and said “Get one like this.” Instead I got the industrial strength, industrial gray, super-expensive mat that weighs about 20 pounds. A guy’s mat. Couldn’t be more different than the one I had!


    1. It’s the original gift that keeps on giving. Or his way of saying “Thanks for cleaning up all the dirt around here”? OK, sorry, can’t make it sound good.


  5. Aww these men I tell ya. My husband is actually very good at picking out gifts. He got me tupperware for one of my birthdays. Everyone told him he was crazy. I LOVED them. He knows me too well.


  6. Oh wow, that is hilarious! And I thought my stepfather getting my mom a single small dog (something she had never wanted – though I think she likes better now than she admits. Don’t tell her I said that!) was bad. A retired dog sled team and sled tops the list. But, yes, at least he does give some thought and gets a bit creative with his giving. Hope Valentine’s comes with something fun. 🙂


  7. Good thing you answered the phone or you could’ve been the exhausted owner of an entire team of dogs!? And a newborn. Hahaha. What was he thinking?! We spelled it out this year for each other. So practical and not at all magical but… we both got what we wanted!


    1. I have thought many times about what might have happened if I’d missed that call. I think “suggesting” your own gift is a good strategy. My husband thinks that takes the fun out of it but, clearly, I have my reasons to disagree.


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