Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Unbirthday Mike!

Ten years ago Mike returned from his mission in Austria (Holy cow, he is so old!). With him, he brought two pictures that he got while doing doors. One is a print of a painting by an Austrian lady and one is the photograph of the street in Austria in the painting. Of course he brought other things home, like those worn out shoes that he still insists are fine to wear, they just need new shoelaces, and shirts with nasty yellow rings on the collar. But anyway, I digress. He saved these pictures with the intent of framing them together. It has never happened.

Every time I drag Mike to a craft shop he peruses frames and tries to find one that would work perfectly, but he never finds one. Part of the problem is the photo he has is a 3x5 and the picture is a 6x8.
Around Christmastime he got it into his head that he needed to find the negative for the picture and print a bigger photo. He looked and looked for the negative, but it was nowhere to be found. He was upset that he couldn't find it.

Well, Mike's birthday is coming up and I decided that as part of his presents I would find the negative (I have far superior finding powers than he does :) and frame a larger photo and the print for him. If I couldn't find the negative I would just order a special mat and have it framed anyway.

I set out to find the negative and found it tucked in between some books on our bookshelf downstairs. I was so excited! It would be the best surprise for his birthday!

I printed a 5x7 of the photo, found a cool frame, and then put the negative and the smaller photo back where Mike had originally searched for it, thinking he would NEVER look in there again.

A few days later, while I was at a Relief Society meeting, Mike went on a search for a picture of Christ he wanted to give Stacie, his sister, before she left on her mission. When I came home he was so sad that he couldn't find the picture for Stacie, but he said, "I found the negative of that picture! It was right there. I must have missed it."

Dang! I had imagined how delighted and surprised he would be when I gave him the framed prints. I was sure that he would say, "Oh Steph! I looked all over for this! Where did you find it?" Which would be followed by adulation and gratefulness. Oh well, he hadn't noticed that the picture itself was missing and still didn't know that I had framed it. So I played it off saying, "Oh that's wonderful!"

Later that night, he was still tearing the house apart looking for the picture for Stacie, since she was leaving for the MTC in the morning. He seemed so sad that he couldn't find the picture of Christ. When he searched one more time through the envelope where we keep the pictures that we want framed he said, "Steph, my other picture is missing! I can't keep track of anything!" He was mad at himself and so disappointed about not finding Stacie's picture.

I decided to play it up a little, "Oh! You can't find it? Are you sure you didn't put it somewhere else?" I had to leave the room so he couldn't see me chuckling. But I did feel bad. He was so sad. I went into our room and watched him through the doorway. He just sat there, holding the disappointing envelope, and staring into space. I hated to see him so dejected.

I finally dug into the closet and brought out the framed picture. "Happy Early Birthday!" I said.
"What the heck? I totally thought I lost this! I was so mad! I love it. This is the best present ever," he said. 

I laughed and laughed. I sure love my Michael. It didn't make up for the fact that he couldn't find Stacie's picture, but it did make him feel a little bit better. I had to tell him the whole story and then we laughed together.


Hollyween said...

It's so fun to surprise your husband, isn't it! I've pulled it off a total of ONE time and it was also with a framed picture. Way to go, Steph!

Tobi said...

I would have given him the picture early too. I love your gift because it's so meaningful. I'm always trying to find a gift that will really mean something to the recipient.