Most of the time, I would rather pluck my leg hairs out one by one with those tiny, flimsy Swiss Army Knife tweezers than try to figure out what to buy as a gift for my husband. Though he participates in every sport known to man, he has very specific ideas about the kind of equipment he wants. For instance, he wanted a new golf club, a hybrid 3 iron. And not just any old hybrid 3, but one with an angle of loft that you can only get by special order. So he got a gift card to the sporting goods store instead. On the rare occasion when I think of the perfect gift for him, he beats me to the punch and buys it for himself. So a year and a half ago, I approached Christmas determined to find at least one gift that would be both useful and something he wouldn’t think of before I did. Thanks to the ubiquitous iPod, I found it.
In our house, winter is for downhill skiing. My husband loves skiing so much, he keeps eight pairs of skis in the garage just for himself. This particular year, he mentioned needing a new helmet sometime in October. I expressly forbade him from buying it himself so that I would have one thing to put under the tree for him that fills a whole box, not just an envelope. At first my imagination was limited to helmets with crazy colors or wild decals, but as I was browsing the selection at our favorite sporting goods store four days before Christmas, I noticed that several models came with an iPod connection.
The clear bell of inspiration pealed over my head. (Inspiration, desperation, whatever.) He was, for possibly only the second time in our entire relationship, surprised by his gift.
The next weekend, he took one test run with the new helmet and claimed sole ownership of the iPod during ski season. Now, it keeps him company while he waits for me to catch up at the bottom of the intermediate runs. And he really enjoys it on the expert slopes, when it’s just him and his favorite songs (plus the other crazies who have lots of skill and no fear) rocketing down a vertical cliff. And, bonus for me, he sings to me on the chairlift ride back up to the top. Just like that, the Nano had a new place in our life. We were content for another year.