The Impossibility of Gifts for Dave

When I was a kid and we asked Dad what he wanted for Christmas, he always told us to buy him razor blades and shaving cream. We always thought that was bullshit. “But I don’t want anything else,” he used to protest. “If I want something, I get it.” It was always frustrating to figure out what to buy for him.

Fast forward to me, now. I’m married to the busiest, happiest DIY-er in the world. Nothing makes Dave’s day more than a pile of supplies and a free weekend. This year he’s done extensive [at first I accidentally wrote ‘expensive,’ ha ha ha] work in the back yard, including adding a fire pit where the swing set used to be. Last year he began a basement hangout room project for the kids, and he did a little more work on that project as well. Finally, he continued his ongoing “replace the trim throughout the downstairs” project.

Side note: did I tell you about our back door? Dave removed all the trim in preparation to have our new back door installed. Then the door guys came to measure, and long story short: the door we chose won’t work and we need to choose a different door. I am acting like a baby about that, since the door we chose had everything I wanted, so that project has been dead in the water for 3 months. The back door, denuded of trim, looks really nice in the meantime. (No it doesn’t.) This is just his thing: Dave loves home improvement projects. And fortunately he is very handy and does beautiful work, and– just as important– knows what he can do and what he can’t.

Okay, so. I had had it in mind to get Dave a watch for Christmas. The kids were helping me choose one, and by “choose” I mean “find the least practical, bulkiest watch that looks the most like it was stolen from Batman.” So I finally went to the source and told Dave what was up. “I feel like you maybe should have a say,” I finished. And Dave’s say was essentially “razor blades and shaving cream:” he asked for flannel pants, and maybe some new work shirts, and a circular saw with a sliding arm. “I wear a watch because I feel like I should know what time it is without taking out my phone, but that’s all,” he said. “I like my watch just fine. What I would like, though, is some more stuff I can use to work on the house.” And then he was off, describing what he wants to change and what he wants to add and what comes next and what comes after that.

How do you wrap a circular saw with a sliding arm?


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