Friday, February 21, 2014

A Full Confession

 Alcy has unexpectedly announced on Facebook that today is my birthday and I am getting greetings from a lot of fellow photographers. I appreciate the greeting very much but my birthday was actually on February 12th. 

I told a lie and it, as lies have a tendency to do, it has come back to haunt me. It is a very long story.

I prefer that my birthday be ignored. That led to the lie which I greatly exacerbated by doing something stupid. So here is the story.

It all started with giving gifts to Janet. I always had a want-list a mile long but Janet would never give me any clues. When I would ask for a hint, she always told me that if she wanted something she went out and bought it, which she did. We both did. I understand that she wanted me to 'understand' what she would enjoy receiving intuitively-like she was able to do. I am not good at intuitively so I usually messed up by giving a gift that was something that I thought someone else would like but was probably what I thought I would like if I were the other person. I once gave my first wife a floor waxer. Now that was a learning experience deluxe inspite of what the advertisement said-probably why I have a first wife and noticeable loss of hearing. I am a pissy gift giver. 

Janet and I did not exchange gifts for many years. When it became impossible for her to purchase gifts for me that would be a surprise it became apparent that she felt bad when I bought her gifts. For a long time we solved that problem by going out together to purchase a gift for the two of us for Christmas, anniversary and for our birthdays since both are in February. But still that was not the same as getting something to surprise the other. It did not take 'gifts' for the two of us to know how much we loved and needed each other. But for a while it seemed a satisfactory solution to a difficult problem. But even that wore on her so we eventually dispensed with gift giving altogether.

I am not good at buying meaningful gifts. Janet embarrassingly always put me to shame. She was great at surprising me with something unique and wonderful. I always got the wrong thing. Therefore, I am not good at accepting gifts because I know that I will reciprocate with something pissy. I have always felt inadequate and uncomfortable in the gifting department. I try to be congenial in accepting gifts because I understand they are given because people like to do thing for each other. It usually ends up more trying than congenial. So I am extremely uncomfortable and awkward in both giving and receiving situations-so it is something that I prefer to avoid when at all possible. Thus the reason for the lie and the stupid thing. 

When Alcy and I were in Galveston for Dickens on the Strand Alcy admired a ring in a jewelry shop. In hindsight I am not sure if she actually admired the ring or whether or not she was just mildly interested. When the jeweler quoted a price she commented that it was out of her price range. She really hadn't meant to buy the ring, she was just 'admiring' it-so it had nothing to do with her price range. She was just letting the jeweler's expectations down diplomatically. I got the impression that even though she did not intend to buy the ring she really liked it so I snuck back to the store and bought it. She was going through a difficult episode at the time and I just thought she needed something that was a good surprise in her life. Now that, buying the ring, was not stupid. I am glad that I did. The stupid thing is that I didn't give it to her the day I bought it. I knew she would object and want me to take it back. I also knew she had a birthday coming up in a few weeks so I waited and gave it to her on her birthday-making it a birthday gift. I knew that was wrong at the time because I knew I would be starting something that I would eventually come to regret by starting the dreaded birthday gift exchange tradition followed by years of my customary pissy gifts. 

So later, when Alcy asked me when my birthday was I pulled a date out of the air and flipped the 1 and the 2 in twelfth to twenty-first. So now I am not exactly sure how to straighten out the 'lie' without a full confession. It is probably best to wait until after the 21st but then if I do I chance that she will feel I made a fool of her so maybe I should do it before the 21st.  Not sure which will create the least difficulty, here I am doing it on the twenty-first. I hope everyone understands that at seventy-five the difference of nine days is merely a grain of sand on the beach of time. 

In the future I plan on going back to my reclusive self and never ever buying a birthday gift again. If I want to give something to someone I will just give it to them-it ain't no birthday gift, or Christmas gift or any other traditional gift. It's just something I want to do and it ain't a tradition and does not require reciprocation. Now maybe that is wrong. If it is I'm sorry in advance. But no more stupid things.

So today is a special day for Alcy and me to celebrate my aged senility!


  1. I'm glad you have each other to celebrate with. I love you both. Relationships are difficult and seems like the older we all get the more impossible they seem to get. Hang in though. You two are each lovely people.
    Happy, Happy whenever, whatever.

  2. Love your stories, and this this one is a prime example of your talent. But I have to ask two things, if you're mixing up numbers, does that mean you're really 57? And it seems like Alcy would already have your real birthday, from when she pulled up your background check. You two stay awesome! :)

  3. Gary That is a fabulous story and it made me giggle.

  4. Nothing wrong with the gift giving - lovely thing to do. The lying....not so much (oh, what a tangled web we weave...) Love the story and I will definitely remember to admire something the next time I see you! Hey, come to think of it, I really do admire that camera you're using now! tee hee!!

  5. If you follow this on Facebook you know I still haven't told Alcy. We had a great evening at the MFA even thought we messed around shooting pictures until it was too late to eat before the movie. Just couldn't bring myself to spoil the evening. Sure hope Alcy gets a giggle! Guess I'll find out tomorrow how long I will be in the doghouse.

  6. are something! No doghouse time required.I love the ring,and you didn't mention the beautiful blown glass ball with tripod that you gave me for Xmas. Actually he does things perfectly..always seems to know what is nice.

  7. Boy is that a relief! I always get much better than I deserve. Thank you for a great evening and for your forgiveness, the shirts, the brownies, the movie and dinner. If you're not careful I'm going to turn seventy-five again.