Update: yes, it was a laptop. We are now a two-laptop, two-desktop family, while millions starve.
So I'm pretty feeling good about myself. I've bought the wife's main Christmas present weeks ahead of schedule. This is nothing short of amazing for me; I've been known to emerge from contemplating the fairies and unicorns in my head on 24 December and been horrified to realise I've done nothing. "Not this year," I chortled to myself. "Done and dusted."
I can't tell you what I actually got her, seeing as it's still Christmas Eve, the wife does read this occasionally against her better judgment, and I want to maintain some pretense that the gift remains a surprise. But I need to tell you that it needed some preparation: setting up, configuration, updating, some other things that I can't go into detail about without giving too much away. I wanted to give it to her so it was good to go out of the box without any stuffing around. So I'm sitting in my bedroom, configuring the thing, thinking that the wife is otherwise occupied. I've told her I was going to lie down for a while - which I need to do most days, due to my high painkiller intake. (Yes, I nana-nap. Wanna make something of it?)
Suddenly she bursts in without any warning. I react badly. "Yaaahh!" I yell, blush a deep red (as I tend to do when I've been caught at something, even if I wasn't actually doing anything wrong), and thrust the thing under the covers in a vain attempt to get out of view. This makes her think I was doing something quite unsavoury that we won't mention here, and I need to do some quick verbal tap-dancing. "No, it wasn't what you think AT ALL. You'll understand later. Really. Really later. Don't ask me any more right now."
Of course, because she's not stupid and did actually see what I had on my lap, she put two and two together correctly and knows what I got her.
This wouldn't be a major deal except that every present-giving occasion - her birthday, whatever - either I don't have a clue what to get her, and I need to come right out and ask, or she finds out because she's convinced I haven't done anything. If I just look smug and say "It's under control," she will find a way to make me so insecure about what I've done/am doing that I need to give key information away to ensure that she will, in fact, like it. So this time I was hoping - and fairly certain - I'd be able to give her something that was, actually, a pleasant surprise gift.
So no surprises for Lorraine this year. And it was fairly expensive, and I really really wanted it to be a surprise. Damn, damn, damn, and bugger.
We've been wrapping the kids' and ther people's presents over the last couple of nights. I note a distinct lack of anything labelled as being for me. So I say, casually, "If you need me to leave the room while you wrap mine, just let me know".
"Um. I haven't bought you anything yet. I don't know what to get you!"
This is the night of 23 December. Two days before Christmas. I'm a little put out by this. YES, I can be hard to buy for. But really I'm not that hard! Books, computer games, anything in that line would be good. I have a little hang-up where I need some sort of toy-equivalent as a Christmas present or the day just doesn't work for me. Just one; the rest can be socks, soap on a rope, whatever, I won't mind - I just need one fun thing and I'm happy.
Lorraine went out this afternoon to finish her Christmas shopping - there were quite a few other things she needed to get, and having worked up until midday today, she hadn't had a lot of opportunity. She came back with a quite a few pressies, puts the bags on the kitchen bench, and asks me to wrap them. I ask, "Is there anything here I shouldn't see?" "No, no," she says. Okay. We start going through the bags. On the third bag, I see a gift that can be for no-one except me. "Um, Lorraine, I thought you said..."
"Oh, no! Did you see it?"
"Did you really see it?"
"Yes. I saw the title. I know what it is."
I do love surprises. Giving and receiving. It ain't gonna happen.
Maybe next year...