Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

A Birthday without a Lei Isn't the End of the World

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

A Birthday without a Lei Isn't the End of the World

Article excerpt

FELLAS, a tip: if you ever want to get lucky again, do not believe your wife, girlfriend or partner when she swears she really doesn't want anything for her birthday.

She doesn't mean it, you see. Thinking she does will bring you nothing but pain. Reminding her that she even said she didn't want anything will only ensure more pain. Not a risk worth taking.

I'm a woman, so I know. Should you require more proof, I'm a woman who celebrated her birthday last Saturday who told Harry not to trouble himself with the effort of purchasing a gift.

Yes, I said it. Did I mean it? No.

What I really meant was "I am not going to make it easy for you by telling you what I would like for my birthday, and I certainly won't be buying and wrapping the gift for myself, or even leaving any catalogues lying around with the appropriate item circled. I want you to use your many years of familiarity with me to choose something nice and surprise me. If you truly love me, it will be possible. Do not, however, surprise me with a new frypan: I will whack you over the head with it. A new iron may be your death."

Instead, what Harry heard (in much the same way as Marge philosophises and Homer hears only "donuts") was "Do not buy me a present. There is nothing I want more from the love of my life than to be neglected on my birthday. Your 'lucky status' will remain unchanged". I'm sure a "Yippee!" even went through his mind soon afterwards.

So, the 27th rolls around. Harry wakes up, confident he has done everything possible to ensure the happiest of birthdays for his wife - that is, nothing.

I wake up, hoping to find our bags packed for a surprise weekend away, or some new jewellery hidden in my breakfast cereal, or a new dress hanging in my cupboard.

Honestly, I was hoping for just one thing - a lei. I've always wanted to visit Hawaii, and have been trying to prove since April that I can save enough for us to make the trip - so far, there is a princely $77 in the tin. …

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