Sunday, May 2, 2010

Days Of Birth

I'm not very good with birthdays.

I NEVER tell anyone when it is mine... that's too embarrassing.

I sometimes forget other's birthdays.  That is also embarrassing.

I am pathetic with figuring out gifts.  I try to think of creative, fun gifts, but most of my ideas end up being more practical than exciting (I can blame my paternal genes for that, though.  One year my dad got my mom a bag of combs for Christmas.  I say "one year" but really I saw it happen more than once.)

My shortcoming is starting to be a problem.

Christmas 2008 (2 weeks before we got married), I gave Ray a carry-on suitcase because his had a broken handle.  I gave him a pair of shorts and a sweater from J.Crew.  I found the shorts in his side of the closet last month and asked him if he thought he'd EVER wear them.  He said, "no."  I returned them and felt lucky J.Crew was still selling those shorts even 15 months after I bought them.  The sweater made ONE debut this past Winter... when I dressed him for our Christmas pictures.  Basically, my gift-giving experience with Ray had a very weak and lame start.

(The Sweater)

Birthday 2009, I gave Ray a pair of hair clippers.  I'm laughing right now because I can't think of a stupider gift to give anyone than a pair of hair clippers... except of course, a carry-on suitcase.

Christmas 2009, we decided to spend our gift-giving money on things other than gifts for each other.  It was glorious, mostly because the "things other than gifts" made it so, but selfishly it was also glorious to not worry about coming up with a gift idea that was at least better than hair clippers.  I know what you're thinking, that it can't be hard to come up with an idea better than hair clippers.  That sounds good, but remember my genetics.  I'm plumb retarded in this department.  I'm genetically MISSING the part of my brain that thinks of good gift ideas... only practical ideas come out.

Birthday 2010, gave hope.  My gift wasn't amazing, but it was BETTER.  It gave us both hope that my gift-giving performance was trending up.

Without further ado:

Birthday 2010...
~  I gave Ray a large homemade breakfast the night before, because he isn't a big breakfast eater.
~  I gave Ray an indoor lemon tree which he named Snicket.

(Venus decided not to sprout, so I felt we could handle another house plant)

~  And, most of all, I gave Ray homemade pizza for dinner.  This was a real labor-of-love because it took me all day to accomplish this task.  I spent the morning Google-ing "The Best Pizza Dough Ever."  I read about 20 recipes and ALL the reviews that went with them.  I spent an hour debating between all the recipes wondering which was true.  I finally decided to make the hardest one simply because it was the hardest, therefore logic would demand it must be the best.  The recipe said I must use bread flour because of it's high gluten content or else my pizza would taste like c _ _ p.  I ran to the store and bought bread flour.  For three whole hours I stirred when the recipe said stir.  I punched when it said punch, and I watched when it said watch.  I EVEN USED A TIMER!  No sir, I wasn't going to over stir or under stir.  Nothing but the best for Ray's birthday.

(Strategy Planning)



Nothing but the best intent, at least.  Pizza dough is obviously an art.


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh my goodness! You TOSSED it? I am so impressed. Your gift-giving with Ray makes me's a hard one that giving gifts is. I have only given your dad five gifts that he really loved (you, Abe, Ty, Ande, and a holster).

And by the way blog world, it is Cali's birthday next SUNDAY.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I forgot to mention--Ray looks so handsome in that sweater.

Tiffany Fackrell said...

this post cracks me up. and I think he needs to wear that sweater more often. i really like it!

Julie said...

You make me laugh Cali. I love that you used food and your time as a perfect gift. It works everytime for men. (Although so does the holster-idea) Tools are always a hit at our house. I'll bet Ray would like a camping trip or hunting trip that you willingly go on. Those are harder for me to be enthusiastic about. :)I'd rather spend 2 days making pizza dough. (email me, I have a really yummy recipe that's EASY) And...Happy Birthday next week!

Ande Payne said...

Whoa! Fancy! And impressive!

deidra said...

I got hair clippers a few years ago for Christmas. I asked for them, and they are a gift that helps us be self-reliant, so I'm sold. My mom is Mrs. Practical Gift Giver, and as I get older, I appreciate it more and more.

Homemade treats and candy have always been a hit with my husband. And experiences-- that way you don't have to store random "treasures" when the gift flops.

Your home is beautiful!

maddie jane ellsworth said...

I love your dress. and i cant believe you tossed that's that's like pro stuff way to go.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal with pizza dough: make it the night before, put it in the fridge until an hour or so before dinner starts, pat it out (or throw, if you must) and cook the pizza at 400-450 degrees. The other best tip is to purchase McCormick's spicy pizza seasoning---it's fantastic! I sprinkle it on the top of the pizza before cooking. Yum. One other thing. If you use mushrooms, either slice them paper thin or saute them first as they can make your pizza soggy. And Ray's shirt says it all, "MMMM!"