I found the ultimate Christmas gift for the Carpenter this year. I had outdone myself. Wife of the Year.
There was no way anything could top the parcel I ordered online a full month before the holiday and had delivered to my front door. This was the Holy Grail of gift-giving.
It arrived in a cardboard box. Snuggled inside, all stuffed with plastic pillows of air, wrapped in a clear plastic bag was a Seattle Seahawks hard hat. Industry-approved for safety, and fully decked out in the NFL team’s logo, this helmet-like head piece was a certified best-wife-ever, totally-practical-on-the-job status enhancer. It was a field goal of epic proportions. I was so proud of myself. I am just that good. I tucked that box away and smiled for weeks, knowing I had come in on budget, on time and on the scoreboard for victory. Go Kelly.
Despite all the challenges that come from being married to yours truly, I knew this gift could erase a multitude of misfortunes that I may have caused the Carpenter. If I were ever on the Carpenter’s naughty list, (and by naughty, I mean not in the good way; more like in the “how much did you spend on that outfit?” way) this would surely absolve me of any guilt. In fact, this may actually throw me to the other side of the balance sheet of nice, with a good dose of naughty (and I mean that in the good way). Touchdown.
So you can imagine my face when the Carpenter came home from work one night and said his crew had gotten together to give him a gift, and I wouldn’t believe what it was. In that moment, I knew what it was: the boys had bought him a Seattle Seahawks hard hat. Fumble. Blow the whistle. They had sacked my quarterback in the fourth quarter. The cheerleaders dropped their pompoms and walked off the field. I threw a flag on the play, but the referees over-ruled the call. It was too late.
If you’ve ever seen the Carpenter watch an NFL game when the Seattle Seahawks are losing, I can only describe it as an ugly sight. The room gets eerily quiet. The air gets thin. The tension is palpable.
My face, in this very moment of the Carpenter’s bliss, was that face. Heartbreak. Defeat. Disbelief. It was as if the New England Patriots were dancing on my field in Super Bowl 2015 all over again.
The puzzled expression on his face didn’t last long. The realization set in. And because the Carpenter is a remarkably good man, (and also because he would like to be on the nice-naughty side of the Christmas balance sheet), he immediately tried for an interception.
Maybe I could return the hard hat, he suggested. I believe my facial expression (we’ll call it anger on the verge of hostility) ended that play. Return it? Not happening.
He called a time-out. “I can have two Seattle hard hats,” he reasoned, one for work, one for home (right, because renos happen at home). Mind you, the way the Carpenter throws himself about watching football, a helmet might be wise.
My Christmas miracle? The Carpenter in a tool belt and a Seattle Seahawks hat. Hot. I think we will keep one at home. It is better to give than receive, right? Right.