Hush. Listen. Can you hear it? That slight crinkling sound is being created by thousands of horsewomen flipping through the shiny pages of equine industry catalogs. It’s mid-November, and it’s time for the annual declaration of Things We’d Like for Christmas if Only People Would Get Us What We Really Wanted. The only materials required for this pre-holiday tradition are a felt-tipped marker and a stack of catalogs featuring cover shots of a happy horse cavorting in snow. According to the time-honored rules, multiple pages will be dog-eared and tattooed with circles and arrows. They might even include obvious arrows and the plaintive words (in capital letters for emphasis): GET THIS ONE!
The other day my husband came home from a particularly lengthy trip to Costco. When I asked why he was gone so long, he admitted he’d spent about an hour traipsing up and down the aisles looking for potential Christmas gifts for me.
Me? Has Costco recently opened up a horse lovers section next to the vats of corn oil and the bushels of peanuts?
“I thought maybe you’d like a new rice steamer or a spice rack for Christmas,” he said.
Had my husband forgotten that I have two horses? Is he somehow still unaware of my daily routine: of feed, muck, groom, ride, groom, muck, feed? Where exactly does a spice rack fit into this?
Thus I whipped through the pages of every horse care, horse tack, horseback riding attire and horsey giftware catalog known to womankind (because, of course, I get them all) and marked the pages with a big, fat, red marker. I then politely handed them over to my husband and walked away. He knows the routine. It will require him to pick up the phone or get online and order a few items of which he knows absolutely next to nothing about. But I figure it’s a little less humiliating than me leading him like a Shetland pony up and down the rows of the tack store and pointing out stuff. This way he maintains his anonymity and therefore some amount of male pride. All he has to do is recite a catalog item number and my predetermined choice of size and color. And just for the record, Wally is a Large Horse and prefers blue. Joey is a Regular Horse size and enjoys red. And neither of them wants a spice rack for Christmas.
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