JWH and I have this running dialog about the fact that we don't need a heckuva lot more stuff. The Sonos speakers I got for Christmas are great, don't get me wrong, and he can knock off the next few holidays by adding a few more to the house...but the general gist of it is, by age, ehhhmm, 40, you tend to have all you really need.
But, holidays persist.
So we vouched to try to buy each other "experiences." One year for my birthday JWH took me to see my all time favorite band, for instance. Yay! So much fun. He then took me to Bermuda. Double yay! For his birthday I threw him a surprise party. See, all nice, and not a bit of additional clutter in the house.
But not wholly sustainable. At least not the parties and the Bermuda parts. Concerts, sure. Dinners? Yes. Maybe a weekend in New York? Sure. Now and then.
So this year I went in a new direction and got him some art for Christmas. Just small, nothing crazy. Even with the framing (which is always so crazy), it's still not a family heirloom. But, I kind of had the bug. Art is a good gift. I know he wants more "real" art.
It went over well. I'd guess he rates it as a B or B+ gift. But, if I were to go further, like into real, real art...well with the investment, it had better earn and A+ grade. But how do you do that? Art is subjective, and non-returnable. It's easy enough to see something and think "yeah, he will like that." But to pull the trigger is hard. Very hard. Do I risk it all and end up with an expensive flop (and a framed thing cluttering the house, oh, horrors!)? Dither and miss the chance? Walk away?
Well, last week I had to decide. I saw something. I thought he'd love it. It was limited edition. It was accessible, at least for now...so I sent an email. I did not give him the name of the artist (step away from the Google), or the price point, but I showed him a few images. These:
(I'm not linking because I do not want him Googling, behave, JWH, if you want artist info, and are not JWH, comment or email me.)
In the end, he liked it (the one I thought he'd like, not the one I liked). And in the end, I will decide over the coming months if I will get one for him. The artist knows I'm interested and promises a chance to purchase before she goes dormant.
So a half surprise? Maybe he will forget and I will get it and he will be delighted? Maybe he will covet it and be sad that it's not under the tree? No one knows for sure.
Maybe there is a better way, altogether?
Dunno. If you know. Tell me.