Sunday, February 02, 2020

A Very Happy Story

So, I'm back, because I realized I forgot to tell you the best thing that happened over Christmas. As has been documented in these pages several times, I have experienced a recurring dilemma over what to get for Larry for birthdays and holidays. I mean, I've only known this person for 30 years and shared my life with him for 29, so how the heck am I supposed to know what he would like to get?

I know, it makes no sense to me, either.

Oh, but this year? THIS YEAR was different. Larry has always been stating wistfully how he'd like somewhat current pictures of the kids to hang up at work (the last set I made for him were all from 2006) and I have mostly been ignoring him because, well, overwhelming - I'd have to get some pictures printed (how do you even do that anymore) and then I'd have to find frames and yikes, forget it, okay?

But this year I clicked on an ad for Mixtiles (NOT a sponsored post) and thought, "I can do that!" All I had to do was upload some pictures to their site and they'd send me 8x8 photo squares that had something sticky on the back that you could hang anywhere. Easy!

Or not...

Folks, I spent hours searching for recent pictures of the kids on my phone and on my computer, begging them for selfies from their own phones, etc. One kid, it turned out, I had ZERO pictures of, except one from prom night, and I only had that because her friend's dad is a professional photographer and took the time to snap some fancy pictures of the girls. Granted, it's harder to get pictures of older kids (especially if half of them don't even live here anymore), but OMG this was ridiculous.

Think he'd like a picture of a strange dog?
By the end, I was slightly nuts and begged Brian and Susie to help, because I could no longer figure out what would look good and how close to crop the photos. And when we did get the order? I was scared to look at it. What if all that work had been for nothing? What if everything looked awful once enlarged? Susie had to take the box up to her room and check it out for me.

PERFECT. They came out perfectly. I had each kid wrap a few, so Larry had a pile of presents. And this was the very first Christmas in almost THREE DECADES that I didn't feel like an absolute loser in the spousal gift department. I mean, GO, ME!

What's more, I now have an unlimited supply of gifts for him - Valentine's Day? Mixtile! Father's Day? Mixtile! Birthday? I bet you can guess!

No more discount Christmas mugs and lone eclairs for my long-suffering spouse, nope, nope, nope! I have attained my holy grail - an affordable gift for my spouse that he will actually like.

I told you - it's a happy story.


  1. We just go to dinner on birthdays, no need for a present. So much easier lol. That way I can get what I actually want instead of the version he found ;)

  2. So glad that worked out. I love being able to enlist the kids' help at times like that nowadays. Coach moaned about not having a proper cover for his outdoor grill. I soent a disgusting amount of time meaduring it and scanning Amazon for the right fit. At ladt I called the grill store and bought the one made by the manufacturer. Pricey as all get out, so he STILL has not put it on the grill. It is tossed on the living room floor near where our tree was. He thinks he will find one cheaper. I cannot win here! I am of the mindset that you buy the right one and spend a bit extra because then it LASTS. It's back to plaid button down work shirts for him next year.

  3. Yay for finding a gift that can be recycled over and over again! I have found if (and that's a big if) I pay attention during the year AND make a note of it (also very iffy) that I can usually pick up on something he wants but won't buy himself. If none of that comes together and I have to ask him for a wish list, the standard response it always nothing.

  4. Oh, that's so fantastic! It's super satisfying to nail the gift.

  5. It's the thought that counts. YES, that obvious, but here:

    1. Larry dropped the hint.
    2. You did the work - found the pictures with more than a little effort, and
    3. Larry was happy with the gift.

    HERE, the "thought" is "found the pictures with more than a little effort", not "dropped the hint".

    My dropping of hints has been less successful because
    1. I dropped a bad hint, and
    2. The reaction to the bad hint was a more expensive/elaborated gift than I was hinting at