To begin with, he is a man. As such, he is already impossible to buy for. Add to that the fact that the few things he is interested in--electronics, tools, coffee--he generally just buys for himself as and when he needs them. When he does want something, the thing that he wants is so specific, it almost guarantees that if I try to buy it for him, I'll screw it up.
Around Christmas 2006, we were just getting into the whole mp3 thing. The Captain had been away (as usual) all fall, so he hadn't had a chance to get online and do his requisite 60 hours of research into the matter, so out I went and got him what I figured was a decent deal on a new mp3 player. I was pleased with myself, and when he opened it on Christmas morning, he seemed perfectly happy with it too. It was a blissful 24 hours before he came to me, told me enthusiastically that he'd found a better one on sale, and kindly offered me his "old" one. The fact that I managed not to take a kitchen knife to his head can only be described as an act of divine intervention.
Five years, and many poorly-received gifts later, I came up with a couple of Christmas ideas that had me excited. The Captain has been talking for some time now about how a decade or so ago, I threw away his old, rusty pasta machine that was missing its handle. As I like to have my shopping done by the end of November so I can concentrate on leisurely baking (and relaxing) in December, I planned this month to go to the fancy kitchen store and get my husband a shiny new pasta machine to put under the tree. I also got my brother, who lives in beautiful New Mexico, to send me some hot sauce the Captain has been raving about ever since his last trip down south. Gift buying for the most impossible man on the planet had begun, and I was on a roll!
And then the inevitable happened.
On Saturday morning, the Captain came strolling in with that same self-satisfied look he always gets when he's scored himself a bargain, and informed me he'd just spend such-and such an amount on a great new pasta maker. I gritted my teeth and willed myself not to kill him as I explained my situation and asked him not to buy himself any more presents until after the holidays. He acted suitably regretful and I swallowed my rage.
But that wasn't the end of it.
Today at lunch, he informed me that there'd be a $65 charge to our credit card. That's right. He's ordered himself a large supply of that hard-to-find hot sauce.
At this point, the only thing I can think of to get him is a nice, vintage book. I'm leaning towards this one:
I think I've found the perfect gift.