Wednesday, February 1, 2012
My husband always tells people I'm difficult to buy presents for. He says he can't do anything right even when he's trying to do something special and unique. He says I don't give good hints. He says all these things about my weird taste.
There's no truth to anything he says. I'm easy. I'm so easy that EVERY husband should have a wife as easy as I am.
You see, I have a Red Jeep Wrangler. It's not my first Wrangler and it definitely won't be my last.
The Wrangler is a great vehicle. It's not a car even though the guy at the carwash charges me as if it is. It's not a truck. It's not an SUV. It's not a Mom Mobile. It's a Wrangler, and Wranglers are in a class unto themselves. Nothing else comes close to them, even though many try. In fact, even the Jeep manufactures are trying to change the specs on this classic vehicle. Unfortunately for them, the diehard Jeep owners who are considering a newer Jeep have been known to go into a dealership and ask them to put in crank windows instead of electric and to remove the new fancy features in order to bring their new Jeep back to its classic heritage. I am one of those people.
Let me tell you about my Wrangler, and with it, I will tell you how easy I am when it comes to buying presents for me.
Flashback to Valentine's Day 1998: My current Wrangler was a month old.
"Chocolate?" my husband asked.
"Gloss black grill guard," I replied. "The guy at the off-road place in the airpark knows which one I want."
Flashback to Birthday, 1998:
"Chocolate?" my husband asked.
"Deluxe sport handles and black mesh light guards," I replied. "I folded down the pages in the catalog in the bathroom. There's a coupon with a discount, too."
Flashback to Anniversary, 1998:
"Chocolate?" my husband asked.
"Front and rear slush mats," I replied. "And a black leather t-style hood bra."
The list goes on.
I'm so easy. All my husband has to do is pull into the off-road place or dial an 800 number, and my present is a done deal.
If they make it for a Wrangler, I've got it or I want it. I have dreams about light bars, side bars, air intake scoops, and safari snorkels. My husband knows this because I wake him up in the middle of the night to tell him about these dreams.
"Are you sleeping?"
"I had another dream!"
"Let me guess. Was it about Jeep accessories?"
To put it simply, if my husband wants to buy me a present, without asking and ruining the surprise, all he has to do is buy more bells and whistles for my Wrangler. And if he's concerned about which accessory to buy, all he has to do is pay attention when I retell my dreams to him. I'm so easy.
I take excellent care of my Wrangler. My son's best friend always tells me he knows it's me in the red Wrangler coming down the road even though there are so many red Wranglers these days because he needs sunglasses from the shine. No one's Wrangler shines like mine. My 98 Wrangler could pass for brand new. If you have a cool Wrangler, it doesn't come without responsibility.
For Mother's Day last year, when he asked me what I wanted because I never give him hints or leave him lists, I told him he could wax my Wrangler. He was happy. I was thrilled. Soooo easy.
Unfortunately, my Wrangler obsession has created a monster.
My husband thought he could take our sons camping using my Wrangler. That included taking it off-road and getting it dirty.
It turned into an ugly scene. I stamped my feet and acted indignant, but he convinced me that taking his Mustang off-road was just dumb and dangerous.
"We can't do 45 degree angles in a Mustang," he said. "We'll get stuck....or killed! You wouldn't want your children killed in an off-road accident because we took a sports car instead of the appropriate 4-wheel drive Wrangler. Would you?"
So, I gave in.
When they returned, he said I "RUINED THEIR TRIP." That's in quotes because that's exactly what he said. I was home minding my own business, looking at off-road websites on the Internet, enjoying the air conditioning of my home and sipping iced tea, and I "RUINED THEIR TRIP."
It seems he was so afraid of getting my Wrangler dirty or (gasp!) scratching it, that he took the turns "like a wimp" and avoided all the "cool, macho trails" that all the other Wranglers were taking.
Which is why, a month ago, my husband traded in his Mustang for a second Wrangler. We are now officially a two-Jeep family.
His is a new, very hot color. It's this dark reddish color, but at dusk, it looks brown, and in the sun it looks plum. I forget what they called the color. It's unimportant. I think it is sienna or sierra or something like that. What is important is that my husband is happy.
He pulled his Wrangler into the garage next to mine on the day he brought it home and sang, "My Wrangler is taller than your Wrangler."
I wanted to hurt him, but I am not a violent person, so I just gave him a dirty look and said something about the color being sort of girlie.
This did not affect his mood. He and my younger son then took out the tape measure and proved it.
Two inches taller, in fact.
Of course it was; the tread on my tires has worn down. Mine is the old Wrangler. Mine is the used Wrangler. My Wrangler has been offroad. My Wrangler is in need of new tires.
My husband still looks at my Wrangler and sulks, though. In spite of his Wrangler's extra height, he still says, "You've got the cool Wrangler because you have all that neat stuff on it which I bought for you."
I've told him he'll have to wait like I did and start dressing up his Wrangler as holiday presents.
His birthday is next month. I think the first thing I'll get him a very cool aluminum front bumper I saw at the off-road place. I won't even ask him for hints. Or maybe we'll just pull into the off-road place in our separate but unequal Wranglers, and I'll let him pick out the one he wants.
And when it's my turn for the next present, I think I'll start having dreams about six-inch lift kits or roof racks. Hmmmm….a roof rack. After all, it just isn't right having both the oldest AND the shortest Wrangler in the family.