The NOT So Perfect Christmas Gift
I would rush home, throw open the door to hear the television cranked up as loud it could go and see Vic sitting the recliner. Vic would look up, smile, and say, “Oh, hi Ralph, you’re home kind of early.” My heart would be racing, my blood pressure up, and my hands together as if they wanted to strangle him.
We would talk about why he didn’t answer the phone. The conversation would always end the same way, Vic would say, “I guess I didn’t hear it.” Well, no kidding! His hearing was bad, half the time his hearing aids were turned down or the batteries were dead, and the television was blasting away.
This gave me an idea on what to get him for Christmas. I hate shopping but I shopped and shopped until I found the perfect gift. I bought Vic the grandest of phones. It had every feature I was looking for and more. It had adjustable volume on the earpiece, an adjustable volume on the ringer, a light that would flash when the phone was ringing, a large LED display so you could see who was calling or the number you were dialing, one touch speed dialing, and a speaker phone. As an added bonus, the touch-tone buttons were slightly larger than a quarter for easy dialing. I had found the perfect Christmas gift – the deluxe Big Button phone.
Finally, Christmas morning arrived. DOR (Daughter of Ralph) was home from school, SOR (Son of Ralph) came over and we were ready to open presents. When I handed Vic my present he smiled. He unwrapped it, stared at it for a minute, then uttered those now famous words, “I knew I was hard of hearing but didn’t know I was blind.” He laid the phone down and sat there like a kid waiting and hoping the next present was something he wanted.
After the gifts were open, everyone was going about their business and I started cooking breakfast. Vic took his usual place in the recliner. That’s when I noticed the deluxe big button phone hadn't moved.
Much to her credit, Char stepped in. She took the phone out the box, hooked it up, and started showing Vic all the features the phone had. Occasionally I’d hear Vic say the words “not blind” or “pretty big buttons”.
Vic never used the phone. Sometimes the size of the gift does matter.