Sinking In A Birthday Paradox

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - August 31, 2005
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You would think that by now, after nearly 18 years of marriage, I would know my wife. There are times in the year when she’s a complete stranger to me. Her birthday is one of those times.

The other month when I was on vacation, my wife begged me to replace our bathroom sinks and fixtures. In particular, the one in our bedroom’s bathroom had fixtures corroded to the point of being disfigured and the sink was chipped and stained.

It was actually like that when we bought the house some 13 years ago, I just never got around to changing it. I rationalized my way out of it, saying that no one will see it since it’s our bathroom and besides, the water ran perfectly fine.

So my wife finally convinced me, saying that if I did that, I wouldn’t have to buy her anything for her birthday. So my brother and I changed out the sink and fixtures, and my wife was almost as happy as the day we got married.

Fast forward to last week a few days before my wife’s birthday. She didn’t say a thing about it, nor did she remind me about the “pass” I had on buying her a present.

I was in a quandary with my wife’s birthday present paradox. Do I not get her anything and risk looking like a jerk on her birthday in front of the rest of our family? Or do I get her a present and get lectured by her for spending money when she got her wish with the sink? Of course, I’m not a complete idiot, so I erred on the side of caution and decided to buy her a present — an outfit that I remembered she liked at a boutique. I went to buy it but fell into double jeopardy because I wasn’t sure what size to get her.

I went with a “can’t lose” choice. I bought her a size zero, petite.


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