My wife and I have been married for just under a year. We were dating for nearly four years before that. Which is to say that she knows me pretty well. She can predict my moods. She knows that when I pour myself a glass of milk at night, I’m liable to leave the milk out. She knows that I don’t make things.
Which is why I’m nervous.
Today we came home to a large box next to our door. Both of us were quite puzzled as to its presence. It was addressed to “Valerie Evans,” a fictional personage whom I do not know. There is, to my knowledge, no Valerie Evans in existence. There had been at one time, but she is no longer, and she certainly never resided at our current address. Yet there was a box, uncannily addressed to her. The box had originated from somewhere in Texas, as indicated by the return address, but the sender was someone neither of us had ever heard of. We were at a total loss. So we opened it.
The box was filled with those nice Styrofoam fillers lovingly referred to as “popcorn.” Green. And, digging into its contents, we discovered an assortment of cylindrical objects wrapped in bubble wrap. Still utter confusion. Unwrapping one of the items, I discovered that it was a beaker. As in a scientific measuring glass. Complete with liquid measure indicators and a diminutive pour spout. Not a clue. Valerie grabbed a second object and began unwrapping. Peeking past the wrap at the glass beneath, she suddenly cried out, “Oh! I know!” and promptly shut the box. “It’s your birthday present.” She began giggling.
This completely and utterly terrified me. My birthday is in 3 weeks. There is not one thing that I can even remotely imagine that I might want which involves scientific instruments of any type, glass beakers or otherwise.
“Valerie,” I began, “You know… I don’t like making things.” This only served as the cause of much raucous laughter.
“I know,” she said, and laughed again.
The box has been resealed and lies ominously in the bedroom. I remain utterly mystified as to what within it lies. The fact that I am hopelessly confused, *despite having seen its contents*, seems to serve as an even greater source of amusement for her.
Which is to say: I’m nervous.
But don’t you worry, folks. I’ll win in the end. No matter what she’s gone and got for me, our anniversary is only a few months away. I still have time to outbid her. There’s no way she can hope to compete with the thing I’ve got for her!