Perfect gift for wife comes with strings attached

What a fool I am. I thought this Christmas was going to be different. Christmas 2020 was going to be the Christmas where I finally had obtained the perfect gift for my wife.

I had visions of my wife becoming uncontrollable in never before experienced joy when she unwrapped the world’s most perfect gift. Well, not exactly a gift to equal her marriage, but we’re talking in the material realm. If you get my drift.

I thought that I had absolutely nailed it this time. I was going to buy for her the world’s one and only PERFECT PURSE! Of course, that was wild-eyed expectation from the very beginning. Every woman knows that there is no such thing. But for some crazy reason, I had thought it had finally been found by yours truly. After more than a half century of searching high and low, EUREKA!

I know that there is no such thing but apparently she is still under that delusion. Anytime that she comes home with a new purse, I know what’s to follow.

She comes out of the bedroom modeling the latest perfect purse; comes up to me with the query, “see my new purse?” I don’t even have to look at it because my years of reflexive training takes over and my automatic response kicks in. Without looking, the words come out for the 784th time, “so what’s wrong with it?”

I think the guys who manufacture purses know that they can build a perfect one, but they really don’t want to do that. If they did it, that would be the end of their business. Once every woman had that perfect purse, their quest is over and these purse makers are out of business.

There’s an urban legend out there that back in 1928, a perfect purse was actually constructed by Joe The Purse Maker.

Rumor has it that Joe was working in his purse cubicle and showed his perfect purse to his boss Vinny (Knuckles) Soprano.

“What do you think, boss, the perfect purse?”

An after his boss looks it over, he takes Joe by the scruff of his neck and whispers a threat, “Let me tell you something, punk. If you don’t want to have a horrible accident happening to your wife and kids, you destroy that purse or your arms could be broken in some mysterious way. Do you get the meaning of what I’m saying? This business has been in existence for over 75 years because we don’t make perfect purses. You capece?”

So the world’s one and only perfect purse disappeared forever. Nevertheless, millions of women continue their futile search for it with plastic cards armed and ready.

My wife believes that someday she will find the Daughter of Joe’s Perfect Purse creation and there will be rejoicing and praise to God on high.

I thought that when my bride of 57 years opened this magnificent production of leather, she would be raising her hands toward heaven, squealing with delight, singing songs of praise, jumping around the house from room to room ecstatic beyond description.

I admit there was a smidgen of a selfish motivation behind my gift of that perfect purse. My wife would have so much gratitude that she may overlook my few flaws; you know what I mean, guys. For example, leaving crumbs on the countertop, fingerprints on the glass, foot prints on the newly cleaned floor. You guys know. I figured the PERFECT PURSE would be my forever thankful to me GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card.

The reason I had hopes for this unparalleled success was because she picked it out! How could I go wrong? She brought the catalog to my attention. She pointed it out to me. Words of caution were uttered like, ” I know that this is too much to spend but I would just love that.”

How could I miss? There’s nothing too good for my little buttercup, right? After years of searching, it has ended. “Ah, sweet mystery of life, I’ve found you.”

As you guys know, you can’t buy your wife any clothes. That would be a silly exercise in complete futility.. Any husband with battle scars from many Christmas failures and birthdays knows that clothing gifts are a disaster.

Let’s say you bought her a sweater using your one and only gift picking functioning brain cell that says to you, “Gee, this’ll look pretty on her.” If you had one other functioning brain cell, it would tell you, “You’re an idiot so keep the receipt.”

Before the wrapping was halfway off the box, that sweater is already on its way back to the store. Before she even sees it, it is on its way to the return department.

I learned years ago that if I was ever out of my mind and bought a piece of clothing for her, I would hand her the gift along with the receipt, have the car running, and pointed toward the store. If the size wasn’t a little too big or small, the color was wrong. If I had nailed those two qualifications, then the fabric wasn’t quite right. Or perhaps the neck wasn’t right. Perhaps the sleeves were a little too blousy. I might have every feature just right but since I bought it and picked it out, there’s that one flaw that is deadly, “Can it survive a nuclear blast?” No? Then it’s going back.

On the other hand, a woman can purchase a sweater for her hubby that’s made from the entrails of a woodchuck, a likeness of Bill Belicheck with a rosebud in his mouth on the front, and he’d say, “Uh, thanks.” and actually wear it with pride.

My little gardenia showed me the purse in the catalog, named Anthropolgie. That name alone just reeks of class all the way. This was going to be a slam dunk. Even if I needed a federal bailout from the Federal Reserve, it was a go.

The White House heard of the search. They contacted me about my quest because the President, too, was in search of at the perfect purse for Melania. POTUS called and offered me the Ambassadorship to Hawaii. “Hey, tell me where you’re getting this purse, Nip, and you’ll help make my marriage great again: you know what I mean after that Stormy Daniels thing.”

I’m guessing POTUS got the same reaction that I did from the purse because I’m not going to Hawaii. I don’t really care because he got my name wrong.

So the magic moment had arrived. It was Christmas morning. My little sugar plum fairy opened the box and lit up when she saw the Anthropologie bejeweled bag. I’m now thinking, Mission Accomplished.

My little orchid removed the 8th Wonder of the World from its decorative container and I awaited the explosion of ecstasy. It didn’t arrive. Oh, oh. Where was the fantastic leap of joy? Oh, no. I could see the purse-killing wheels begin to spin in her pretty little melon. I knew what she was thinking: “Let me analyze what is wrong with this piece of imperfect junk.” Oh, no. I begin to think that my eternal Christmas goose is cooked. Where did I put that receipt?

I could see her analytical God-given womanly skills begin to tear apart that Anthropologie disaster. Her years of experience began to attack the color first. It wasn’t quite the shade she expected. Strike one.

Without ever accessing a tape measure, she could discern with incredible accuracy that it was 2mm too long. Strike two. Without using a scale, she determined it was a 4.7 grams too heavy. Strike three. And just to be certain, she pounded the final blow of execution through the heart of the Urban Tote Bag with the strap declaration that it was 1.2mm too narrow.

If needed, my little bonbon could easily have torn into the inadequacies of the exterior and interior pockets, zippers, and pouches. They were most certainly incorrectly positioned in every circumstance. Within a minute of examination, I had presented her with one of the world’s worse purses. The execution was complete. I was off to my office to find the receipt. Better luck next year.

Nin Privitera is a Fredonia resident. His column appears the second weekend of each month. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com


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