The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 20, 2012

Mike Pound: Christmas shopping made easy online

The other night, I walked into our family room and found my wife sitting in front of our fireplace staring into the flame.

She seemed to be in some sort of distressed trance. In case you’re wondering, a distressed trance is much different from a relaxed trance. During the NFL playoffs, I might go into a relaxed trance after watching eight hours of football while drinking beer and eating cheese doodles. A distressed trance is normally caused by something unpleasant, such as an injury, a tragic event or an episode of “Real Housewives.”

You know, bad stuff.

In my wife’s case, her distressed trance was the result of something researchers are calling Christmas Present Wrapping Syndrome. Apparently, the human brain can take only so many hours of exposure to brightly colored papers, bows, ribbons and Scotch tape before it collapses. Since my wife has been wrapping Christmas presents since Sunday, I’m guessing her brain hit the wall.

Because I am a sensitive, veteran husband, I gently touched my wife on the shoulder and said, “Are you through here? I want to watch the KU basketball game.”

You don’t want to know what I would have done if I weren’t so sensitive.

The whole Christmas present wrapping deal is sort of a sore point between us. My wife feels she has to shoulder more of the Christmas present load than I do. I wish I could say that my wife is wrong, but some things are so obvious that even I have to acknowledge them. But the fact that my wife handles more of the Christmas present chores than I do is not my fault.

It’s society’s fault.

In prehistoric times, cavewomen were always getting mad at cavemen because they refused to help out with the gift giving.

Mrs. Grock: Grock, help me wrap rock for Grock Jr.

Grock: No can help. Busy watching drawings on cave wall.

Mrs. Grock: (Bad grunt).

The other thing about the Christmas workload distribution that bothers my wife is that she knows that I haven’t started the bulk of my Christmas shopping. The fact that I tend to wait until the last minute to do my Christmas shopping drives my wife crazy. My wife thinks that waiting until the last minute is nuts. Of course, in response, I could point out to my wife that she is the one in the distressed trance, not me.

I also could pour hot coffee over my head, but I don’t think I want to do that, either.

On Thursday, I got around to ordering a few presents online for some people on my list. It was pretty easy to do, and I didn’t have to wrap anything. Of course, the fact that I waited until Thursday to order the presents means they won’t arrive at their destination until sometime in July. But hey, who doesn’t like Christmas in July?

Because my wife cares about our friends and family, she doesn’t charge me with buying gifts for many people. The main person I have to buy Christmas presents for is my wife, and sometimes she tries to take that responsibility away from me, too.

Wife: Hey, I bought this for me. Wrap it, put my name on it and say it’s from you.

Me: Can you wrap it? I’m watching the KU game.

But sometime this weekend, or maybe Monday, I will buy my wife a few Christmas presents. I’m pretty sure she will like them, but really I won’t know for sure until July.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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