From by Big Day. The gift giver is second from the left.
My good buddy Steve recently relayed to me a tale of inner pain. It’s been tormenting him for almost two years. I was the cause.
He made the admission during a phone talk. I didn’t know what to say.
“Rob,” he tells me with some hesitation. “I’m ashamed – really, I am – that we never got you a wedding present. It’s been killing me these past two years. What do you want? Name it. Anything. We really want to get you something.”
“Steve,” I replied, not sure how to answer. “You took time to be in my wedding. You were there for me. That was gift enough. Don’t worry about it.”
“No. No. No,” he said. “I have to do this. You don’t know how bad we’ve felt. This has really been eating at me.”
“Steve, really, it’s no problem. You in a tux at my side was gift enough.”
So on and on we went, like a couple debating where to eat dinner that night (“Where ever you want.” “No, you decide.” “I decided last time. Your turn.” “No, you decide.” “I don’t care. Anywhere is fine” “Okay, porkchop biscuits at Hardees it is.” “No! I don’t want that.” “Then obviously you do care where we go, NOW CHOOSE!”)
The conversation eventually turned elsewhere. When we hung up our discussion was mentally filed in the “Friends” folder within my “Blessings” drawer. (That cabinet can never get too large).
A few days later Amy tells me we have a package. She picked it up from the post office.
“Your friend Steve sent us a box fan,” she said. “I think it’s supposed to be a wedding gift.”
“Sweet,” I thought. What an awesome gift! What timing! It’d been hotter than Jessica Alba the past few days and a fan was just what a doctor would have ordered. That Steve, always knowing the perfect answer to the unanswered question. What a great friend!
I never opened the box. Instead I retreated to the bedroom to do what all men should – watch Pardon the Interruption while the wife cooks supper. Eventually I fell into a nap.
When I climbed out my wife had great news. They had opened the box. It wasn’t a fan after all! Inside were some books and an outfit all for Gabrielle, for her birthday. And, yes there was indeed a wedding gift for us – a portable DVD player! A nice one too. We’re not talking Wal-Mart. It’s straight Target. That’s bona fide.
While Amy smiled I frowned. My initial reaction was one of dejection. Don’t get me wrong, modern-day electronics rock and you can’t get more rollin’ that a portable DVD player. But the tease of a fan was just to sweet to let go. Damn it I needed that fan! It’s been akin to a bonfire in the Sahara at high noon, and a DVD player ain’t gonna do anything to change that. A three-speed set of copter blades secured behind a plastic white fence would have.
Breathing deep – *SIGH* – I begrudgingly accepted the loss of airflow in lieu of airplay. Yet sadly, this tale grows more morose. When the preteen saw the gift, her eyes went larger than laserdics. She was amazed that someone would send such a magnificent gift. I mean, DVD players are, like, more than $100! Right mom?! Right? That’s a lot of money for a gift!
Struggling to comprehend how this came to be, she came to the conclusion most kids would – “Rob’s friend Steve must be rich.” She then asked the question I knew to expect – “Where does Steve work?”
“He’s a lawyer,” mom replied. Someone slit my wrists now.
That settled it. The preteen now wants to be a lawyer. She’s told three people just that. It’s the epilogue to the Tale of the Really Cool Wedding Gift. Lawyer = rich. That’s the job for her.
So I lose the promise of a cool breeze and gain the promise of tuition bills only John Edwards could love, all in one evening. Thanks Steve. Thanks a lot. Love ya, man. Really, I do. Feel free to come up and sweat like a pig while we watch Clerks on the small screen. Popcorn’s on me.
Editor’s note – Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I love the DVD player and Gabby gifts. This is strictly tounge-in-cheek. So please, mom, don’t call me cussing for being rude. It’s a joke. Promise.