July 10, 2006

Put Another Candle on That Birthday Cake
Family picnic from the 1950s

An idyllic birthday from my past (that’s me on the left).

My birthday approaches. And as it gets closer I must find a set of goodies to suggest when my family asks: “Daddy/Husband/Favorite Son-in-Law, what would you like for your birthday?” A set of techno toys is lust-worthy, but iconoclastic presents are always nice. I am, after all, a good gift giver so that makes me a very, very difficult gift receiver. I think: I alone know what I want. Oh, the hubris.

So, what do I want? I scour the Web looking for something I just must have. And I scan. But nothing comes to mind. Pretty little designy things catch my eye. I’d love a new video iPod. But I’m waiting for the next gen (that is, the so-called “real video” iPod). I thought it would be out in time for my special day. But alas, it seems that it won’t be here until the first quarter of 07, if that (and quite honestly, I’m quite happy with my 3G in its supple Corinthian leather case). Tivo? I won that in a contest a few years ago. High def TV? A bit premature and a little pricy. Although, at Hamburger Hamlet the other evening I slyly remarked on how sharp that HDTV in the sports bar was. “Look how amazing that fairway looks!” I said to my wife. A seed sown for next year’s gift perhaps. I like to think ahead.

I’m not ready for an Intel Macbook. I’m quite happy with my late model iBook. I’m a sucker for new technology but early EARLY adoption isn’t important to me. I’ll wait a bit even though I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback on that stylish Darthbook.

What to do, what to do. And what to suggest at just that opportune moment.

Nothing cool and cuspy comes to mind. Clothes? Nah. Shoes? I’ve got what I need. And early on my wife and I decided that buying clothes for each other wasn’t our style. We know what we like.

I know what I want when I see it. But not this year.

When it really comes down to it, what I really lust for are those low cost/ high return intangibles. Breakfast in bed? Ummm, overrated. And not very comfortable. Besides, I’m usually the first up every morning. But wait. There is something. Yes, the more I think about it, the more I know I really, really want it.

I want a day, no, a week —no, a month of familial bliss. I’d like no fighting between and with my dear children. And no cajoling. Reminders to clean their rooms and feed the cat would be a thing of the past (at least for 30 days). And the culprit who spilled milk on the laptop keyboard would fess up right away. No dodging responsibility. Boy, wouldn’t that be great!?

I’d like to be listened to for the entire month the first time I make a request. Yes, that’s right. I would like my children to actually listen to my reasonable requests (only the reasonable ones). And, yes, dear sweet wife, a month of “I’m listening dear,” after which we come to mutually agreed-upon decisions on 1) child-rearing, 2) remodeling our bathrooms, and 3) who really has had the worst day when I come through the front door at the end of the worst day ever at work.

A month of nirvana. Those ethereal gifts are what make life sweet (oh, and maybe an iTunes giftcard). Happy birthday to me. Is that enough of a hint, dear family?

Related Post: Special gifts from last year’s birthday.

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That sounds so peaceful. My life without kids doesn’t have any of those daily problems but it’s also without the joys of little smiling faces.

For some reason, all the tech guys said the cost of HDTV would come down about $1-2000 by this September. I’m not sure why.

Posted by: Donna on July 10, 2006 11:45 PM

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