I should never underestimate the Carpenter. Just when I think I’ve caught my spouse dropping the ball on an important event, (like my recent birthday), and I’m sure I’ve snared him, he pulls a miracle and comes out looking as dashing as ever.

It’s annoying.

The Carpenter doesn’t buy into the birthday hype. He doesn’t want the attention on his special day and therefore assumes no one else should either. So there.

On the scale of important life moments, birthdays come far behind Super Bowls featuring the Seattle Sea Hawks, Mike Weir winning that ugly green jacket, those times Joe Sakic held a Stanley Cup and the season finale of The Walking Dead. Get your priorities straight.

We agree to disagree.

I think birthdays matter. Life moves fast. We need to make time to celebrate important moments. Let the record show, my birth was a monumentally important moment. So, while I don’t need extravagant gifts, I do hope for some small gesture that means the person I’ve been faithful to for 25 years can come up with a token of affection for me, something unique that I would really appreciate and probably never expect, and not wait until the very last minute to think about it.

How hard is it to think of a special gift for a wife who adores you? (This is not a multiple-choice question).

I see his dilemma. What do you buy a 47 year-old woman who has everything she needs, is too frugal to spend money without justification, and is independent enough to get what she wants with her own money if she wants something?

I could sense that the Carpenter had no definite plan for a gift, a special dinner, or anything celebratory. How did I sense this? I asked. His response, (to be read with a defiant tone): “I’m working on it.” Right. Sure. Okay. I knew I had him cornered. It was less than 24 hours before my birthday and he had nothing. I could tell by how nervous the kids were too; they were guilty by association.

My disappointment set in. I silently vowed never to do laundry, book doctor appointments or drive anyone anywhere ever again. I’d show them.

Never underestimate the Carpenter. Sometime between our chat and Sunday morning, he made the impossible possible, (in other words, he got lucky). My family presented me with a large box. Inside was a lacrosse net. You may think this is weird, but it’s exactly my kind of weird. It’s ridiculous how happy this gift made me. I love lacrosse. I recently bought my own stick and almost every night I play pass with my son. It’s quality time. We share a few laughs. I get exercise (because I miss a lot of passes). But a net? Now it’s serious.

There is something about the feeling of scooping that rubber ball into the cradle and taking a shot at net, so hard that you hear the sound of the wind until it hits the back of the mesh net, because eventually I do score. It’s a work-out. It’s a stress release. Best of all, it’s time with my kids. Unplugged.

 Next up, goalie pads for the Carpenter. Right?

Bring it on.


Kelly Waterhouse