spherical map.

When I brought home the fire extinguisher lamp, Josh was suddenly filled with dread. Hidden upstairs was my birthday present. It had been there for the better part of a week, but I had agreed to not peek. He did not quite trust me on this point, one day accusing me of looking, claiming there had been fingerprints on it. I declared my innocence. He asked if I had looked inside.

"There's an inside? With another present?" I guess that convinced him that I had not looked. I think he just randomly accused me because he figured I would cop to it if I were guilty. Men and their mind games.

Josh is nervous about giving me gifts. He thinks I have high standards. I think that if he did not want me to have high standards, he should not have given me such good gifts in the past. If you do not want your girlfriend to expect gumball-machine-level-excitement every year, then I guess you should give her scented soaps or something.

So while he was pretty excited about this year's gift, the super amazing fire extinguisher lamp that I bought for myself made him wonder if his gift would be overshadowed. I told him there was plenty of room for many ridiculous and wonderful things in my life, including him. Actually, it was pretty cute, as I watched him think to himself about what he had bought, and his face gradually revealed his confidence in the present.

Throughout the course of the week, he let drop several clues.

  • You can put things inside it.

  • Made in Italy

  • He saw one in a rich person's catalog when he was little

These clues were pretty much useless.

Finally, on Sunday, he went upstairs and came back down carrying a liquor cabinet globe. A spherical map. That you can put things inside. Yes, please.

Now, we already have a liquor cabinet made out of an old stereo console. That stereo sat in the living room for a year, looking mid-century and cool, but not doing much more than take up space. But then we had the idea to put booze in it, and Josh fixed the sound, and hey, presto! Custom liquor cabinet. We call it Jeeves (we've gotten in the habit of naming our appliances). So we will have to come up with something else to put inside our globe.

We did find the perfect place for it, though we had to shuffle some things around. It's sitting next to a bookshelf in the living room, which is chock full of our random crap. On top of the bookshelf, on the side next to the globe, we have a globe of the moon that I inherited from my uncle Johnny. The placement was unintentional, as the moon was already sitting there. But the effect is like a little model of the earth and the orbitting moon, except that the moon is 3/4 the size of the Earth and the Earth has a hinge where you can open it up and make it talk like a planet puppet.

I am taking suggestions for other things to keep in the globe. It should not be too valuable, as it's not really a secret compartment. And anything roughly bottle-shaped would work well, since the interior is carved to fit that shape. It could be a wine holder, but I already have two of those. I have a lot of things.

In any case, Josh can feel satisfied about his gift giving, at least until next year, when he will curse himself for setting the bar so high.

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