Have you ever received a Christmas gift that left you cold? Literally?
You wanted one of those great ear-flap hats to wear when you attend football games, junior league hockey or shovel snow should we have any this winter. Fur-lined to be exact. Sure they look a little dorky but so what? Who cares? They are warm and cozy and they would protect your precious ears which are highly susceptible to frostbite according to the media.
So, when she asked you what you wanted for Christmas, you said an ear-flap hat.
Uh huh. What else?
Nothing really. Just the hat.
The next thing you know, it's Christmas morning and the giver is clearly excited to see you to open her gift. In fact, she's giddy with anticipation. Meanwhile, you are thinking . . . please let it be my hat . . . please!
Oh, wow. A beautiful designer shirt! Monogrammed no less. (Which means you cannot return it. Drat.) She loves that shirt, got an incredible price on it and is absolutely sure it will fit perfectly and you will look great when you wear it, all of which is true. She knows all about fashion and style. You? Not so much.
Ok. A shirt was not what you wanted, not what you needed, and you are a wee bit disappointed. (What the heck? Are ear-flap hats that hard to find?)
But, here's the thing. Because you are grateful she cared enough to give you the very best, as the ads used to say, and because she is looking at you with such hope in her eyes (even if she did use your credit card), you smile, give her a big hug and say thank you, dear heart. This is great.
In other words, you give her gratitude not attitude.
You are a prince among men.
But I can't help but wonder. . .
Why did I let that Brooks Brothers Christmas catalog seduce me with their photos of perfectly gorgeous men in perfectly fitted shirts, standing in front of a perfectly adorned Christmas fireplace?
Why didn't I just buy the darn ear-flap hat and make his day?