The Unexcitable Birthday Boy

DSB and I vary in many different respects, but one of our more glaring differences is in the “excitability” department.  I get excited by many things, by dogs being silly, by a new hair tie, a new shirt, DSB taking the trash to the road, mashed potatoes for dinner.  DSB gets excited about nothing, and I mean nothing.  A cool new power tool for his shop gets you a smile, possibly.  Country fried steak for dinner gets you a big thank-you, but no excitement.  I honestly think he could win the lottery and just say, “Hey, that’s cool,” and move onto welding the next piece of fence.  He just doesn’t get excited.

And he gets the opposite of excited around holidays, including his own birthday.  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “It’s just another day,” during the weeks leading up, as QoB and I try to make dinner plans and figure out what cake he wants.  In the end, we wrangled out of him that he would most enjoy a fish-fry, but would not commit on a cake, giving my mom two options, “so she can do whatever is best for her.”

DSB’s birthday is tomorrow and he will be the big 4-2.  It’s not that he’s worried about getting older, because I know he’s not, it’s that he doesn’t want anyone making a big deal or going out of their way for him.  He likes to go out of his way for other people, but feels awkward when someone does it for him, because that’s just how he was raised and also that is how his life has been over the years.  DSB is not accustomed to people making a fuss over him, and I live in a family of fussers.

I don’t have a lot of money, but I do know how to find a bargain.  There is a discount hardware store in town, and I knew that $50 would go a long, long way.  I also know, from listening to DSB talk about work, that there are a lot of smaller items that he is needing.  Armed with my calculator, a coupon, and a little bit of money on my debit card, I headed out to wage battle with the unwashed masses at the always-packed Harbor Freight.

After grabbing a cart, I headed straight for the screwdriver/hammer/etc aisle.  I have been in the store many times with DSB, so I luckily know where most everything is at.  What I wasn’t prepared for, is just how many different sets of screwdrivers there were.  Picking up each package and holding it right before my nose so I could see, I scrutinized a wall of screwdriver sets that would put Home Depot to shame.  Finally selecting what I thought was the best product for the price, I moved on.

I knew DSB really needed a no-bounce hammer because Mom stole his.  What I ran into, again, is that there was a large variety to choose from.  I put one in the cart, looked at it, put it back.  Put another one in the cart, looked at it, put it back, until finally I found one that I thought replaced the one he had before.

This continued on throughout the store.  Standing in awe in front of massive displays of any kind of tool you can imagine, picking each one up, pondering, considering.  I was in Harbor Freight for over an hour.  That might be a new record, considering it’s not an exactly huge place.

DSB ended up with a screwdriver set, pliers set, no-bounce hammer, two metal C-clamps, utility scissors, large container of bungee cords, and (mostly for my benefit) a huge tub of Goop hand cleaner.  I was excited, I was thrilled.  I only went over my budget by ten dollars, I got some amazing deals, and I was positive DSB was going to like all of my selections.

When I got out to the parking lot, I texted him and said, “Get ready to open some presents.  Soon!”  I know it’s silly, but I was so excited that I couldn’t wait for tomorrow and I was literally foisting these packages on him as soon as I pulled up the driveway to the garage where he works.  I’m happy to say that he had a big grin on his face and gave me a tight hug and a sweet kiss.

I told him the story of my shopping spree, about my indecision in just which set of screwdrivers to pick and the amazing assortment of no-bounce hammers, and I had him laughing so hard that tears were coming out the corners of his eyes.  So, excitable, no.  Easily pleased and amused?  Yes!