So, Friday afternoon, I was driving home from work when my car began to sputter the sputter of "Get gas you fucking moron!". I popped in the clutch, coasted down the nearest off ramp and located a gas station. I have no idea why my gas light has stopped working... maybe it's burnt out or it just got tired of being ignored. If my gas tank is as large as I think it is (based on the time that I actually ran completely out of gas), I had .18 gallons left in there.
Well, then I couldn't find my way back to the highway. I went back to where I'd gotten off, but that would only let me go north, and I wanted to be going south. Surface streets it is then.
I was talking to my mother and sister (Mom's visiting Portland right now) on their way to the ocean when I spotted a Target. Steady and my six-month anniversary was yesterday, and I'd been toying with the idea that there should be small token gifts involved in the celebrating, so I pulled in.
I had Pratt on the phone before I was even in the store. Cause you might not know this about Pratt, but he shops a lot, and he's really great at presents. He agreed to help me.
"Alright, we are in Target. This is progress. Except, I'm standing in the purses. This could get out of hand really fast." "Well, first off, you have to get him some sort of card." "No." "Yes. It's your anniversary. You have to give him a card." "He's oppposed to the greeting card industry." "What? Why?" "My boyfriend has some sort of beef with the greeting card industry. Something about mass production and wasting paper. I don't know." "... Okay, but this is just one card for a special occasion. Is he dead inside?" "He's not dead inside. No. I already made that mistake. I got him one when his appendix ruptured. It was not a hit." "But..." "Maybe I'll make a card. I have construction paper and markers at home." "Okay."
"How about some music?" "Can't. He's boycotting the Recording Industry Association of America." "Why?" "Don't ask. He told me once, but I didn't really get it. He has his reasons." "Okay..." "Yeah, it sucks. He hasn't had a new CD in YEARS. But he has his principles."
"Well, what are his interests?" "Computer programming, socialism and baseball." "Could you get him a computer game?" "I don't know if he plays games on the computer. He mostly seems to use it for reading about baseball and programming. Look, he's boring, but typically I like that about him." "Right, okay." "What about a really nice coffee table book about baseball?" "That might work, but he doesn't like stuff laying around. I think if I bought him a coffee table book he wouldn't get it. He'd marvel at how low on content it is and stick it on the shelf." "He's dead inside." "He's just boring. And I like that! I like boring, geeky guys."
I happened upon the women's underwear. "If I buy him underwear is that a total cop-out?" "Underwear for him?" "Well, actually, I am standing in front of lingerie." "That sounds like a great gift. I'd go for that."
Pratt then proceeded to affirm my decision to buy a cute goldenrod and green camisole and thong.
"And underwear for him too? His all look so uncomfortable. They're made out of, like, low threadcount bedsheets and I don't think they fit." "Okay. Yeah, there has to be underwear there that he'd like." "I have a hard time imagining my boyfriend wearing topical underwear. But I bought him some awhile back and that was a big hit."
Four pairs of underwear later, we were really getting somewhere. Then I got too far into the Target and I couldn't talk on the cell phone anymore. I was left on my own. I found a gift bag and some tissue paper. I still felt like I needed one more thing.
A breadbox? No, I don't think he'd be as excited as I would be about having a home for the bread. Although, we have had several dialogues about how we need a breadbox. Wait, I think I did all the talking during those. Well, they don't have any that match the cabinets anyway.
Bar stools? He said he wanted bar stools. They're not terribly expensive. With backs? Backless? Whatever I get will be the wrong one. And what will I do to get them in the apartment? Honey, your present is in my car, come down there with me and help me carry them to the elevator. No.
A board game! A board game is the perfect thing! We like board games! We talk about playing them! We need a geeky board game! Trivial Pursuit? Scrabble! We totally spent, like, twenty minutes dithering in front of the various Scrabble boards last time we were at the mall. Which Scrabble do we want?
I ended up with the old fashioned one in the wooden box. I realized immediately it was more to my taste than his, but whatever. It's a six month anniversary, no sense setting the bar too high.
Then I got to worrying that when I came home with presents, he would feel compelled to go buy me something, although really I figured he would sponser the festivities Saturday night and I'd buy the gifts and that would be a fair exchange, but if he did feel compelled to get me something, the most obvious thing to get me is a Scrabble board.
So, I put that down and kept trying.
Ultimately, a copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends caught my eye. I had as much solo shopping as I could manage. I also picked up a three and a half pound bag of Wint-o-green lifesavers, which have actually remained in the car since Friday. I am not ruining any more teeth with candy. I can learn moderation.
I called Pratt back and told him what I'd ended up with.
"I love that book!" "You'd really have to be dead inside not to love that book. It'll be like a test. Is he a boy or a cyborg?"
Saturday dawned. I spent the entire day on the couch reading. Because Steady let me go to the bookstore on Wednesday and I still had four more books to read. I'm a little bit boring myself sometimes.
Around three, he returned from shopping. He'd been after a humidifier for awhile, and he went and got one. He also got me a present! The super deluxe Scrabble board! Just what I'd almost bought for him so I could have it!
He was really happy about the new underwear. He was moderately happy about the lingerie. He had a little moment of "I love this book". I told him that means he's not dead inside.
I was very happy for a few minutes, and then I went right back to the couch and my book. I have a real problem with reading sometimes.
Around five pm, he started getting antsy about the part where I still hadn't moved and he was hungry. I sent him out to get a sandwhich.
I finished my book around seven. An hour later, we were in the car, all prettied up. I was not feeling especially good about the evening ahead... he hadn't hardly reacted to all the effort I'd put into being pretty...
The place is brightly lit. The tables are really close together and covered in clear plastic. All of the art is Supreme Master Ching Hai originals, complete with little cards explaining when she painted them and what she was going for. It's not a romantic destination.
Dinner was okay. It wasn't great. Then we bickered about what we were going to do next. I thought getting a bottle of champagne and going to the overlook at South Mountain sounded very nice. Steady thought that sounded illegal, and also dangerous (the roads are really windy and steep and he's never been there and it was dark). He suggested Town Lake. I agreed. Then he asked if taking a bottle there might also be illegal. My boyfriend has no sense of adventure.
So, we ended up on our own balcony with the champagne, watching the planes and the trains and the automobiles on the freeway. We drank the entire bottle and had a really great time together, ending in a scene that was fit for porn and may have disturbed the neighbors (the wall around out balcony is solid and tall, and we didn't get around to taking off our shirts, so I'm sure no one saw much.)
It ended up being a really good night. It's been a really great six months.