The best Christmas gift of all is the one you really, really wanted, but didn't know you did.
Somehow, this year my wife managed to score a hat trick. Oh sure, there were the things I had hinted and hinted in a subtle fashion (subtle like those advertising planes over Ocean City), like the Indiana Jones and Looney Tunes box sets (hey, is that the fourth DVD, Indiana Jones and the Looney Tunes?), but she also managed to get me the latest They Might Be Giants compilation, which she bought before I started listening to Flood and Lincoln obsessively two weeks ago. But I've liked TMBG since college so that's not too much of a stretch. The real surprise...
...well, it just left me speechless.
It started with the DVD for Unbreakable, which was a movie I really enjoyed but hadn't hinted about at all. For those not in the know, Unbreakable is in large part about comic books. Then, I opened my next present, a history--with illustrations--of D.C. Comics, home of Superman, Batman, and other favorites. And another--a treasury of the art of Alex Ross, a well-known comic artist whose background is painting, not cartooning.
How did she know?
I was never a collector of comics at all. But in my youth (I hate that phrase, "in my youth," mostly because at nearly 32 I don't feel like I've left it) I devoured anthologies of all the classic D.C. and Marvel superheroes, including gigantic ones of Superman and Batman which included comics from the thirties to the seventies; and of course, like everyone else in the eighties, I was stunned by Frank Miller and his work on Batman, and later on by Alan Moore's Watchmen. In other words, I wasn't enough of a fan to have brought my interest into adulthood, but I still have a keen interest in the history of both the characters and the books themselves. And K bought me not one, not two, but three comic book related gifts that I hadn't even thought of. I read the books immediately; we haven't watched the movie yet because of the severe backlog (I bought her what amount to the complete works of Joss Whedon on DVD).
This blog entry seems so inadequate for the rush of feelings I have--not for the gifts themselves, but for their appropriateness--so perfect, yet I didn't even know. I don't have words to express how happy she made me--so happy that I continued the comic book theme and bought graphic novels with the Barnes and Noble gift cards I got from other relatives (including the aforementioned Watchmen, which I always wanted but never got around to buying). Nine years of marriage, and she still surprises me. What else could I ask for?