Saturday, October 10, 2015


Today is Larry's birthday and, as is my wont, I was having a hard time finding a good present for him.  He doesn't really have any hobbies (I mean, aside from destroying our home and drinking coffee and beer). One year, in desperation, we bought him a shredder. I know, sad.

We buy him candy, and he doesn't eat it.  One year, we bought him chocolate-covered espresso beans (coffee AND chocolate), and those are still sitting in the cabinet.  All he likes are Altoids and TicTacs, and damned if I'm buying those for him again.

I just made Larry sound like the least fun person in the entire world.  But, seriously, what sort of person prefers Altoids and TicTacs to normal candy?

So, yeah, I was stuck. Until I got an idea.  An awesome idea.  You see, Theo hasn't been home since last Christmas, and Larry misses him.  So Theo agreed to use his 4-day pass to fly home and surprise his father this weekend.

The miracle of flight - making birthdays easy

The surprise is what makes it fun, folks.  That's what I learned this week.  And part of the fun was that the girls and I had to prep for the visit without Larry noticing. Luckily for us, Larry doesn't pay much attention to what is happening in the house unless he is busy destroying it. Think I'm exaggerating? One year - the year Larry tore apart the den - we went out and bought a Christmas tree without his help, put it up in the living room, and strung the lights on it.  When he came home from work, we waited for him to notice.

He didn't.

This was banished to the downstairs fridge
Back to getting ready - because Theo is dairy allergic, we had to batten down the hatches, as it were: remove anything dangerous from the fridge and scrub it down and then clean out all those food containers that were holding things like mac-n-cheese and such. And, yeah, my dishwasher is still broken. Bad timing, right? Only we couldn't SAY it was bad timing, because, well, SURPRISE.  The whole week went like that.

So we all managed to surprise Larry, despite the fact that I was grinning from ear to ear (no, really, that is exactly what it felt like) as we sat in the living room after dinner, Larry relaxing and me waiting for Theo and Anna (she picked him up at the airport) to walk in the door. Best yet, I was off the hook for a decent present. Larry ended up with a key chain (from a brewery in Maine) and a travel coffee mug (from our campground in Maine) and a package of gummy candy lobsters (from guess where) that were a little too chewy, unfortunately.

But hey, if Larry's nice to me, maybe I'll agree to see "The Martian" this weekend.  I figure there's Matt Damon for me and a horribly depressing guy-stranded-on-another-planet story line for him - perfect for the couple who can rarely agree on what to see at the movies. Those casting people really knew what they were doing, I guess.

[Airplane image: Wikipedia]


  1. Your husband and mine could be twins (minus the coffee and chocolate -- my dh is even more vanilla than that) so I really appreciate this brilliant gift idea. And really, doesn't Theo's visit also make a pretty good gift for you, too? Win-Win!

    1. Exactly. It wasn't really an altruistic move on my part.

  2. I clean so infrequently that hubby notices when I clean a bathroom. The kids are not very good cleaners. ;)

  3. I think you should have purchased a dish washer for Larry. Happy wife, happy life....

    1. Oh, honey, I bought that dishwasher online before I went to bed the same night our old one broke. But delivery doesn't happen until Monday, unfortunately.

  4. Great present!
    Happy birthday to Larry!

  5. Sounds wonderful!

    I gave up years ago on hubs--he is the gift giver not the receiver and he seems to like it. He does LOVE Peppermint Patties so thank you Costco for the big one.

  6. Great gift! And how cool that the whole gang was in on the surprise and planning.
    I feel like I should send Larry a sledgehammer. Every time you describe him destroying your house I think of that scene from Fried Green Tomatoes when the woman is just breaking through the framed wall.

  7. Awesome present! My husband always tells me he doesn't want anything. In a fit of frustration one Christmas he received a jar full of nothing...along with a poem explaining what it was...he loved it. *sigh* Happy Birthday to Larry.

  8. That is a fabulous gift! I gave my husband two movie tickets and we went to see Everest. And now I have forbidden my children to ever hike Everest. (My husband had been to some of the locations when he was hiking in Nepal---which kind of freaked me out).

    Also, I got him The magic of tidying up (or whatever it's called) and Not Your Father's Root Beer, since he likes root beer but not beer.

  9. I saw The Martian last week (and had already read the book) and it's actually excellent- not depressing at all. Fabulous effects, good story, and Matt Damon's character is very funny. And you should give David the book, if he hasn't read's got lots of good science. (I *don't* recommend the book to anyone unless they're a hard core science geek. Then it's a must read.)

  10. What a perfect way to celebrate! Happy Birthday, Larry!



Blog Widget by LinkWithin