Sunday, July 7, 2019

Gift Giving the Stimey Way

I posted a version of this story on my Facebook page but then I realized that by limiting my audience to just my Facebook friends, maybe I'm not taking seriously enough my role as Spousal Cautionary Tale and I could probably help more people by posting my foible here as well.

So.

Alex likes to garden in that he really enjoys planning and planting vegetables and flowers, although his follow through is less than ideal. Regardless, he always gets annoyed when he finds his fresh produce all chewed up by wild animals. His birthday is in the spring, so one March about four years ago, I had the brilliant idea to buy him a small greenhouse for his birthday.

Small, not-million-dollar greenhouses come unassembled. Because he usually gardens with Quinn (who is mostly there to eat the vegetables that the wild animals don't get to first), I thought it could be a fun project for him and Quinn to build together.

I bought him what turned out to be a gajillion little plastic and metal pieces that came with 8 million screws and a, like, 90-page instruction booklet in a big, extremely heavy cardboard box. The box lived in our dining room for about a month, then was moved out to the shed and I spent the next four years seething that Alex didn't appreciate my gift and Alex spent the next four years seething that I gave him the worst gift in the history of gifts and it all exploded in a marriage-threatening fight a couple of months ago. 
 
Later that day, in a fit of spite, he started to put the thing together. He built about a third of it, got tired, and said he'd finish it another day. Then it sat there for several weeks. He went out of town a couple of weeks ago and I vowed to finish putting it together before he returned.

I am *not* clever enough.

Katie and I spent a solid half hour trying to complete ONE step. By the end of that half hour, we were tired, cranky, confused, and I'd cut myself on one of the many sharp metal pieces that make up this stupid greenhouse.

I'd made a giant list of shit to get done over this past four-day weekend and in the spirit of optimism, put "greenhouse" on there as well. In the spirit of resigned sufferance, Alex stoically headed to the back yard and made a valiant effort to finish building before an oncoming thunderstorm caught him standing in small structure basically made out of lightning rods.

It's still not done, but it looks like everything but the door is attached. I figure that it will be ready for plants just about right at the end of the growing season and in time to test if it can withstand snow and winter storms.

Moral of the story: Never buy a gift that someone has to assemble unless it is a fucking puzzle.

Alex standing in a small greenhouse looking at the pieces he's holding. He's sweaty. And kinda mad
Objects may be angrier than they appear.