Stellar Cities and Swear Words

My husband isn’t great with gifts. If you give him a gift, he truly appreciates it — and then over-analyzes how to say ‘thank you’ enough and worries his gift, if there is one, in return is insufficient, and all around wishes other people would just give gifts and he could crack jokes in the background. His birthday was about a week ago, and the entire process of his gifts cracked me up. (Sorry, handsome! Your awkwardness makes me laugh.)

Lance buying gifts isn’t much better — and that’s his opinion, not mine. We’ve been together for more than seven years, and I’d say he’s pretty good with buying gifts, but I think it comes at the cost of any remaining bit of relaxation. He stresses out trying to think of something, and then after he gets it, he stresses out that he didn’t do it right or it won’t be enough. It’s equal parts “You’re so thoughtful — how cute!” and “OMG please relax,” but with a track record of kinda odd, totally perfect presents like a mega-pack of 50+ heart rubber ducks for our second Valentine’s Day or a jumbo Betsey Johson retro camera necklace for our third Christmas.

A few years ago we adopted a solution that was a huge help: Lance would pick the place and the category, and I’d pick the gift. He’d make it into a fun and festive outing, and then we’d show up at a boutique I loved and say, “You’ve been talking about getting a new statement lamp for the living room. Pick one out from here!” That has worked really well for a few years. If one person in your relationship has gift-induced anxiety, I’d say you should consider this method.

This year things were a little different: we both each wanted a big item — a laptop for him and a Cricut for me — so we splurged on those and decided to get each other a few fun little things to open. We celebrated Christmas just the two of us, so we thought it would be nice to still do a bit of unwrapping on Christmas Eve, but neither of us wanted to wait on the tech items we ordered in November. (Impatient adult problems.) Instead of shopping together, I gave him my Amazon wish list and said he should check out the $10-or-less items on there. It was perfect! The list is huge, so there was still the surprise factor he wanted without the ability to buy the wrong gift. No stress!

When the holidays arrived, there was one item not on the list. Lance had me unwrap it first.

“This is the only one I picked out myself,” he said.

Well dang! I didn’t know you were doing that at all. Rad.

“I went down to Cherokee Street with some friends, and I knew you had to have it…”

What a sweet husband I have.

“…because you love St. Louis…”

I really do.

“…and also cussing.”

…Huh?

Currently wearing… Saint Fuckin Louis shirt, STL-Style [HERE] | Skirt, TJMaxx [SEEN HERE] | Jilly Ann Booties c/o Diba True [HERE] | Moto jacket, Express [HERE] | Purse, Rebecca Minkoff, Nordstrom Rack | Charm, DIY with Cricut

I think it paired perfectly with the new STL bag charm I made with my Cricut, don’t ya agree?

If you’re local (or looking for a better souvenir than what you find in the gift shops), I cannot recommend STL-Style more. I’ve been meaning to buy one of its neighborhood prints for literally six years, and now that I see it at an 11×14-inch size I know I have to have it. And how cute are these baby gifts?! I need to stop by the store ASAP.

Fantastic eye, husband. This gift was perfect. I DO love St. Louis and cussing. And also this shirt. You know me so well.

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