Every year, my wife complains that I am incredibly hard to shop for. I disagree with that assesment. It’s easy to see what I have, just walk into my library. It’s easy to find something for me if you know what I’m into.
Still, she pesters me to make a list. When I make her a straightforward list, she complains that everything on it is impossible to find. That might be true if we didn’t have used bookstores, record exchanges, all of Coventry street in Cleveland Heights or the internet.
So this year, after a couple of weeks of griping at me about getting her a list I gave her a wide open one.
1. A movie with my favorite actor in it (the guy in my favorite movie – his wife was nice enough to send me her autograph). I don’t have too many of his films, and I don’t think I have any with both him and his wife in it.
2. A graphic Novel with my second favorite hero in it. There should be a trade from the current series out. (I’d settle for my third favorite hero or his grandfather though)
3. A standing coat rack I can put in the living room or my Library.
4. An action figure of my favorite Doctor. There’s a set of all eleven, but there’s no point in spending $100 when there’s only three in that set I would want.
5. A book by my favorite author that I don’t have a paper copy of (ebooks don’t count)
She flipped out on me.
Admittedly, this isn’t a straightforward list, but it leaves a lot more room to pick and choose something. She called it a guessing game.
Perhaps trying to figure out my favorite Doctor Who is a little difficult, I’ll give you that one, but you know what? If she asked Johnny, or Rachel, or even my Mom, they would all tell her who it was with no hesitation.
The rest of that list – is it really unreasonable of me to expect my wife of eleven years (who has known me for fifteen) to know who my favorite actor is? Is unreasonable to expect her to know what my favorite movie is? Those things haven’t changed in all the time I have known her. I read at least ten books my favorite author every year. If you look in my Library you’ll see more books by Zelazny than anyone else.
I wouldn’t be offended by a wrong guess either if it were close. After all, I’ve taught classes on CS Lewis and I watch a lot of Peter Davidson other work. I also used to be really into Kevin Costner’s movies, though that was long before I met my wife.
But I come back to the question, is it unreasonable for me to expect her to know these things? I flat out told her what my favorite movie was less than six months ago and refered back to it less than two. I talked about my second favorite hero to her last month when I dressed up as him. If you just read this blog with any regularity (or scroll back through the posts) you will know these things. Of course she doesn’t read my blog (which actually hurts my feelings quite a bit) or my comic strip Violent Blue.
Keep in mind, I don’t have that much to complain about. My wife is faithful to a fault. The very idea of either of us ever cheating is so absurd neither one would ever consider it. When I arrive home at 3:00 AM there are no suspicions or questions. She has no problems with me attending conventions and getting into fandom. (I can think of one person that I almost married, who would have made me give things like that up completely) Let’s face it, she didn’t even get upset when I hit Horrorhound on our anniversary insted of staying home with her. (She got me a cute squishy TARDIS for our Anniversary by the way!). She’s a good mother to our children, and was pleasantly creative enough in the process of making them. She’s happy for me when I get a big yellow envelope in the mail, even though she rolls her eyes at it sometimes. She’s devoted to her faith and will drop everything to come and rescue me if I’m in trouble (usually involving my car). I have a GOOD wife. I don’t want this to make it look like I don’t.
But sometimes I wish she knew me better. I wish she spent time looking into my interests (The ones she dosen’t share) instead of letting me watch TV and go to movies alone. She tried to turn the tables on me asking “Well, do you know what MY favorite TV show is?” I immediately answered correctly “Dance Moms”, although you also never miss “CSI” despite the fact that Lawrence Fishbourn is gone and you really preferred William Peterson anyhow. Close runners up would Be “The Little Couple” and “Little People, Big World”…and actually you watch “Law and Order : SVU” more than anything else but that’s mostly because It’s on TV constantly and you do really like Martiska Hargitay. (I don’t like any of those shows BTW, though I watch most of them with her). I frequently feel like she puts me in this box, like I’m just some stupid guy who only watches horror movies and Doctor Who, and only reads comic books. There’s a lot more to me than that and I wish she saw that.
After all, it would make Christmas shopping a great deal easier for her.