A milestone birthday is imminent for Mrs. Henry. At her last milestone, Mr. Henry conspired with 80 people to throw her a surprise party. It was successful, that is, Mrs. Henry arrived in baggy sweatpants and torn T-shirt. But the enormous effort, secrecy, lies, whispers, lies and more lies were not worth the pay-off.
From this experience Mr. Henry learned the bitter life lesson that, while it may be possible to cheat on your wife, the effort required to get away scot-free is honestly too great.
This time he intends to buy her a special gift, a cherished memento of the day, something particularly suitable to her taste (like Shari’s Berries), her sense of self, and our matrimonially-entwined budget. It cannot be a promise of a trip to Bruges, a renovation to the bathroom, or even a week at the Chiang Mai Four Seasons Hotel which no mere mortal can afford.
It must be a thing wrapped up in a pretty box presented lovingly at the birthday dinner. But what? Failure looks inevitable.
Things not to get your sweetie:
1. Scanty panties. They convey expectations of limitless pleasure – but not necessarily for her.
2. Diamonds. They convey the wrong impression about the appropriate use of one’s limited means and, by the way, they are horrible investment vehicles.
3. Power tools. They convey imputations of hard work left undone.
4. Promises such as:
a. trips abroad
b. home renovations
c. weight loss diets
d. cello lessons
Mr. Henry needs help soon. He entreats your suggestions.