'Sorry,' I said.
'That's okay,' she replied. When they say that, they never mean it. They can come close to fooling you, though.
I asked if I could make it up by cooking on the grill for her that weekend. Belated, but at least it was something. She said that would be nice.
A few days later my birthday rolls around. Which I had also forgotten, but not her, no sir, I walk into the living room and on my chair are three packages, some cards, and another package on the floor. Everything's been nicely gift-wrapped. The ribbons spiral.
'I know why you did this,' I say. Naturally, I felt like crawling under the house and living there for about a week.
'Happy birthday,' says she.
The first three packages were clothes. That's good, because if she don't buy'em, I wear what crawls out of the drawer. The last package contained a box, and the box contained a Canon digital camera. I was stunned. She knew I wanted one, but also knew I had made my mind up to living without one.
Over the past few days I have been studying it. It's got a lens that goes in and out when you punch a button. It's got a zoom feature. I can look at the pictures on TV, the computer, or hook the camera up to the printer and do it that way. I can stitch small pictures together to make a huge panorama. I can take moving pictures with it. That very night I walked into the back bedroom and took a picture. It was a dark room, hardly any light except for the camera's flash. This was the result, a watercolor from the 1980's:
My indoor picture taking problems have been solved in one stroke.
The moral to all of which is that most women are more thoughtful than most men, and that they take great pleasure in reminding you of it. But more than that they enjoy giving the gift. They know they can't buy your affection, but they also know that you know that feeling like you ought to crawl under the house is a price worth paying to be reminded of just how thoughtful she really is. And thank God, I might add. Imagine the world without her touch in it.
* * *I've been suffering from some physical annoyance I won't bore you with, which makes it hard to concentrate, or to desire some state other than that of sleep. But I would ask you to keep your eyes open for a new website coming soon, a successor to Enchiridion-Militis, which will re-unite yours truly with fellow lovers of the West like Paul Cella, Lydia McGrew, Zippy, Steve Burton, Jeff Martin, Daniel Larison and maybe a few others. The title is still secret, but twill be announced in several places including here.
P.S. A minor annoyance: she won't tell me how much the camera cost. Why do women do that?