Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I just realized that the next column I write — after this — is the last one before Christmas. It’s hard to believe that it’s that late in the year already. I was actually going to golf today, if it didn’t rain. And in case you’re from Mars (as my pal, Ray, would say), golf and Christmas in the same month is a rarity – at least, in this part of the country. Unfortunately.
But it’s not that I haven’t been aware of the oncoming holidays. Over the years I’ve learned that waiting to the last minute (to shop) can lead to problems. I’ve learned that if I wait too long, the good stuff is gobbled up and I don’t find the things I’m looking for. That’s when those day-to-day calendars - with a witty quote on each page – you find in the bin by the check-out aisle, start to look better than ever. (Disclosure: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve resorted to Chia Pets on Christmas Eve.)
Nonetheless, my game plan suffered a major setback a couple of weeks ago. I withdrew some money from the bank to Christmas shop; then I proceeded to find the perfect gift for my wife. All was good up to that point, but – much to my dismay — it cost more than I had anticipated. In fact, it was twice as much as I even had on me. I missed out on getting her that special present. And who would have known that the Dollar Store didn’t have a lay-away plan?
I do know there’s one thing that I absolutely have to get this year: a new digital (medical) thermometer. Let’s just say there was a little mix-up with the one we already have. Three days ago, when my wife found it on the bathroom sink, she was puzzled.
“Don’t you feel well?” she asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Why?”
“I see that you had the thermometer out. I was just wondering what’s up.”
“Oh! I’m all right, it’s the dog, Maggie. She was acting a little sluggish – I thought maybe she was sick. By the way, Kath, what’s a dog’s temperature supposed to be? Do you know?”
“Are you crazy!? You took the dog’s temperature with that? You expect me to use it after she slobbered all over the thing?”
“Oh relax!” I explained, “I didn’t stick it in her mouth.”
Things really started to go downhill after that. She was about as happy as my parents the day I told them I was quitting college to become a juggler. (I have this thing for bowling pins.)
I tried to change the subject and make her forget about my faux-pas — I asked her what she wanted for Christmas. Maybe by suggesting something she’d like, I could get her on a happier track – and make her flash that I-forgive-you smile. But, I should have known better. Guys, heed these words of warning: NEVER, EVER, say to your wife: I’ll bet you could use a cookbook.
“I’ll bet you could use a cookbook.” What am I? Nuts?
Well, at least I know what I can get Maggie for Christmas. I’ll get her one of those day-to-day calendars and put it in her doghouse. That way, I’ll be able to use it, too.
And that’s the way it looks from the Valley.