I found myself this year contemplating the perceived difference my wife may see between a present she gets on her birthday versus the one she gets on Valentines. These events come in the same month but in our 11 years of marriage I’ve never thought about it before. Before(or on) her birthday I just went out and bought what I thought was the best present. Usually before(or on) Valentine’s I buy her Godiva chocolate and a little Godiva stuffed bear to go along with it. I was on the way to establishing a tradition that would last our entire married life.
Her birthday comes first and I just went looking for stuff and bought it. As I was looking I saw some things that I liked but instead of buying them I put it on my list of things to buy another time or what is also known as the list of things to completely forget about. When Valentines rolled around I marched up to Godiva to buy the usual. When I walked in the store I noticed there weren’t a variety of stuffed bears like the years before. And they were a little bigger than usual. I picked one up and couldn’t find the price tag but the helpful chocolate pusher came over and told me they were $25. The same price as a Build-A-Bear fully loaded. I placed the bear back with his overpriced friends. The sales guy did give me a free sample of caramel though. I wandered away to look around the store for some chocolate. A lady was making chocolate covered strawberries in the front window like she’s on some street in a quaint little city square where people come to buy delicacies. It’s a mall full of cookie cutter losers for goodness sake! Then, to really make my head want to explode I had the nerve to ask how much her creations cost and she said “a box of 6 for $7 each”. I said “$7 a box?”, “no, $7 each…$42 a box”. And she said that like it was a bargain and I think I said “no way” out loud. I can buy 1/2 dozen strawberries for $2 and four or five Hershey’s milk chocolate bars and make my own delicacies for about $6. The Godiva tradition ended this year. Traditions are nothing but habits if every year I pay more and develope a feeling of guilt if I even think about not buying them. With reckless abandon I refused to go on and broke tradition.
So, since I hadn’t already forgotten the things I saw while shopping for her birthday, I remembered a necklace that had two hearts together that I really liked. In the end I ended up spending about 4 times what I would have spent at Godiva…but its the principle of the thing…right?