Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Incident with My Wife's Birthday Present

I asked my wife one week before her birthday what she would like to receive as a gift. "Perfume," was her reply.

A few days later, my wife called me to say that she had just purchased her birthday present, and hoped that this was okay with me.

I felt relieved, knowing that I would not have been able to select a suitable scent. Perfume comes in a wide variety of fragrances; it's something that one should choose for oneself, I thought. (Author's note: my wife and I have a stable enough marriage that surprising each other with gift selection is not necessary. Birthdays are a time to celebrate; after all, it's the thought that counts.)

"I put it in the computer room," she informed me that evening. And that's the last I thought about the purchase. Little did I know, at the time, what would happen to that bottle of perfume.

My wife's birthday arrived, and I woke her up with a kiss. I left the house early in the morning, as is my habit. When I arrived at my office, I thoughtfully typed her an SMS birthday greeting. Followed by an email wish of Happy Birthday. And I made plans for our birthday celebration that evening.

This paragraph is from my wife's point of view: "I came downstairs, expecting to see the bottle of perfume waiting for me on the dining room table with a birthday card. But, there was nothing there. I assumed he would give me my present later in the day."

Back to me. I made dinner reservations and we met in downtown Jerusalem. We arrived at Gabriel, a gourmet meat restaurant where we had never previously dined. Seated at an outdoor table, we enjoyed the ambiance and toasted her birthday with glasses of chardonnay. The meal was excellent - entrecote steak for me and filet mignon for her. We finished with a shared dish of refreshing sorbet.

This paragraph is from my wife's point of view: "I expected that he would give me my present at dinner, but this didn't happen. I assumed I would receive it when we got home."

Should a husband dare to select perfume for his wife?

Back to me. We returned home and I quickly went to the television. My wife turned to me, a bit embarrassed, and asked, "Can I ask you a question? When are you going to give me my present?"

I went into the computer room and looked for the plastic bag with the box of perfume inside. It wasn't next to the keyboard, nor was it on the dresser or the bookshelves. "Where is it?" I asked.

My wife joined me in the small room. The bag was nowhere to be seen. "Maybe you left it in your purse?" I suggested. My wife retraced her steps. "I know I took it out when I came home that day and put it here. I told you I put it here."

The bag wasn't on the drier. It wasn't in the garbage pail, but wait. It may have been thrown out with the trash when the house was cleaned. Unless it was elsewhere. We searched in the living room, upstairs in the bedroom. Maybe the bag had fallen behind the washing machine?

Our daughter had visited during the week. Perhaps, she had taken the perfume home by mistake when she packed up my granddaughters' toys and bottles? We called her, but no, she didn't have the plastic bag.

"Oh, this is upsetting!" my wife lamented. "The perfume was on sale and I got it at a very good price."

She would need to purchase another birthday gift for herself, I said.

We went to sleep.

The next morning dawned and both of us were still upset by the mysterious disappearance of my wife's birthday gift. Until, my wife went back to the computer room and sat down, adjusting her feet on the metal foot rest below the desk. The foot rest moved, and looking down, my wife saw a small bit of blue plastic sticking out from underneath. She lifted the foot rest, and there it was. The plastic bag with the box of perfume inside.

The culprit - the footrest under the computer desk

"Happy birthday!" I wished my wife, when finally, after our frantic house searches, the gift was in her hands at last.

P.S. It smells very nice.

Related stories:

The Incident with the Solar Garden Lights

The Incident with the Beard


  1. LOL!! A sweet story. Glad you found it.

  2. We don't buy gifts for each other, like you we just make the day special with our actions, not a physical gift. My question though, why did your wife expect you to present her with the gift she purchased? I don't think I would venture to purchase perfume for my spouse either...and wouldn't want him to purchase it for me either. Its too personal, and can smell so different on different peoples skin.

    Glad you found the perfume, strange how it ended up under the desk like that. Happy it ended well and you love the scent.

    Happy Birthday to your lovely wife!

  3. Ellis, very funny one :) Enjoy the reading. Do you think of some plan "B" if the bottle wasn't find?

  4. How did the bottle get under the foot rest?

  5. Great story. Sounds familiar. We do give each other gifts on birthdays but often it'll be a shared experience - journey, theatre trip, meal out. At Christmas we buy joint treats.