Paralysis by Analysis

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image Pleasing a woman is never easy, even in the best of circumstances. Pleasing her while she’s pregnant…why, that’s just a Pandora’s box that is perhaps best left unopened.

Perhaps my first memory of displeasing a woman, came back in the 80s. I don’t remember if it was my mother’s birthday, or actually Mother’s Day, but I found this really cool, under-the-counter can opener that I thought she’d love (remember: this is the 80s). With my little 10-year old money, I bought it and presented it to her on the now-forgotten holiday. Expecting her to be “wowed” by my selection, I was devastated when she started crying and even moreso when, after many months had gone by and she had not asked my dad to install it, I realized she didn’t like the gift.

That was an important lesson; one which, if you judge by the media and locker-room talk, many men would do well to learn.

The Lesson: A “good” gift is one part selection, and one-part timing.

For instance, had I given my mom the can opener at Christmas–at the same time she got a really pretty sweater or some jewelry–it probably would have gone over OK. However, having that being the “only gift” at the time, made what might normally be a good gift, instead something that reminded her that her young, active lifestyle of jogging and reading books like, “The Sugar Blues,” while partying and driving around on the weekends in her little blue Mustang, were over.

So it is with much trepidation that I approach May. In addition to Mother’s Day being in May, it is also the month of CareerMom’s birthday. In fact, there are only three days between the two this year (I know…yay me!). What does one get a pregnant woman whose self loathing is at an all time high? Sure, I could go the “spa” route, but really…a “pregnancy massage”? Really?

I could go with some nice clothes, which she’d only get to wear for a month or two before (hopefully) putting them into a storage bin for the last time.

Jewelry is always nice, but my bank account isn’t that lucrative right now.

What’s a man, and his two boys, to do?

I pose this question to my readers:

CareerMom asked that I give her money to purchase a new swimsuit for our beach trip at the end of the month. Ok, that’s doable, but…ho hum…BORING! Come on…she’s 6 months pregnant. She isn’t going to go buy a sexy bikini or even a moderately revealing two-piece (I know…it’s not for ME…).

I then thought about getting her a gift certificate for some clothes at a trendy-ish clothing store for women, like Chico’s or Boston Proper. But that would be for after the baby comes and after she’s lost some of the baby weight, which…I know, is a goal of hers.

But this idea is fraught with perils. My thought is that this would be a personal incentive for her to lose the weight so that she could get some fun new clothes. I know she’s going to lose it anyway, so is it really so bad? But, what if she gets offended that I “want” her to lose weight?

Is this a good idea, or is this a Pandora’s Box that I would be well-advised to just put back in the hole and cover up with some dirt?

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10 thoughts on “Paralysis by Analysis

    Paula said:
    May 2, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Speaking as someone who has gone through the trauma of losing the baby weight 4 times, DO NOT buy her anything that she will not be able to use until months after the birth. If she is already feeling bad about her appearance, which I think every woman does during pregnancy, it will just remind her of how beautiful (skinny, fit, etc)she USED to be before this parasite invaded her body! I love all my children, but I hated what being pregnant did to my body. If my hubby reminded of that on a holiday, I think my pregnancy hormones would have helped me kick his a$$.

    Sorry. Not the answer you were looking for, I know! Good luck!

    Stacey said:
    May 3, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I’m pretty sure jewelry is always the right answer. There are all sorts of spring festivals going on (at least around here). You can probably find something unique and pretty for cheap.

    pamajama said:
    May 4, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Oh my. Please, please, please do not give her any indication that you are even THINKING about the need for her to get back into shape as quickly as possible. It’s really hideous & disgusting, no matter how much perfection means to you, and I know it means a lot. But those are your issues, not hers, and she doesn’t need more issues right at this moment. It’s her birthday & mother’s day combined, fer God’s sake. You either do this well or you blow it big, there’s no middle ground.

    Do what she wants you to do (money for a bathing suit that doesn’t make her feel like a decorated cow), plus a little something else. A couple of gift certificates like $20 at Barnes & Noble for a book to read on vacation & another $20 to a movie theatre, rolled up in a scroll upon which you type up a beautiful note about how she means the world to you and you want her to enjoy herself because you love her. You are a writer! Use that talent to remind her why she loves you so much that she wants 3 little minis (God bless her).

    Plus the roses. Splurge, man. Force yourself, no matter how ridiculous it seems.

    Allison said:
    May 4, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I am completely with pamajama on the writing idea. There is nothing better than something personal and meaningful. Have fun with that, Shakespeare. πŸ™‚

      dobeman said:
      May 5, 2009 at 6:42 am

      RE: I’m still not sure if CareerMom reads this blog or not, so I’ll refrain from giving anything away. But, suffice it to say she’s NOT getting more clothes. She asked for her BD cash early and is already the proud owner of a maternity swimsuit! Now, if I can just get the boys’ Mothers Day gift done in time…

    javajunkee said:
    May 10, 2009 at 10:50 am

    SHUT THAT BOX NOW….cover it with dirt and forget where you buried it. (insert screams like a girl)…if my husband did that there would be another box out in the yard being covered up with a shovel.

    I know it’s too late for this post to give you ideas..since we are now here in the midwest about 4 hours into moms day. My kids got me a little IPOD shuffle and plaid bag and my husband unplugged my sink (WOO HOOO) almost like moms day and christmas in one!

      dobeman said:
      May 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm

      RE: Is “unplugged my sink” code for something, or did he actually unplug the sink? I mean, either way he’s a hero, but I’m just wonderin’!

        javajunkee said:
        May 11, 2009 at 9:08 am

        ROFLMAO — in this particular case the “unplugging” of the sink was indeed literal! I can see how some might see “code” in that. LOL!!!

    dobeman said:
    May 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    RE: You’ll all be happy to know that the Holidays went down thusly:

    Birthday: An emerald and diamond pendent (OK, so the emerald is lab created, cuz emeralds are actually more valuable than Genius Sperm in a sperm bank!) She also got the money for the bathing suit. For Mother’s Day, the BOYS got her a matching pair of emerald and diamond earrings.

    She’s feeling pretty good about herself. And even better, a similarly sized friend of hers gave birth a bit early and she racked up all her friend’s maternity clothes. KA-CHING!
    Thanks for all the advice!

      javajunkee said:
      May 11, 2009 at 9:11 am

      SCORE — sounds like you and the boys did a good job!

      love the value on the genius sperm. I wonder if there is a test for that? So like a cubic zirconia would be the same value as the dumbass sperm? πŸ™‚ just thinking about this value to value thing now! It doesn’t take my mind much to rabbit trail.

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