My Christmas present from 2010, let me show you it.

So I have a husband. He’s a good husband–he cooks! He vacuums! He’s smart and cool and makes me laugh, and I think he’s pretty cute. We’ve been together for 22 years, so basically my entire adult life I’ve been attached, in one way or another, to this particular goofball (who is currently sitting on the other end of the couch, buried in his laptop whilst “Bizarre Foods America” plays in the background).

They tell you, when you get married, that your spouse will always surprise you. And it’s true, but as the years wear on those surprises become fewer … then when they do happen, they’re just ridiculously shocking.

The last time I completely shocked Scott, it was 2010 and I tried sushi (I am a notoriously picky eater, mostly because texture is a thing for me) and I liked it!

My most recent surprise, which has been ongoing for the past few years, is Scott’s crafting ability.

(Okay, yeah, I hear “crafting” and I think felt and glitter and maybe poster paint. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Bear with me.)

It’s not his urge to make stuff that surprises me, because he’s always had that. He’s dabbled in writing, he worked in radio production for eleven years, he cooks, he’s a creative person. That he wanted to make decorations for the boy’s room and bottle cap magnets was not the shock. No, the shock came in that his stuff comes out looking really good.

Look, he can’t manage to get his dirty clothes into the damn hamper even when it’s two feet away from him. He only started remembering my correct birth date when we’d been together for seventeen of my birthdays. I love him, but I was somewhat skeptical about his patience and attention to detail.

Yeah, I was proven wrong. In fact, I now have five bottle cap magnets in my office at work, and people constantly ask me where I got them.

Anyway, all of this is to tell you about my Christmas present from 2010. (Because what’s a blog post by Laura without some crazy amount of backstory as a lead-in? I am the Heinz Doofenschmirtz of blogging. Someday I’ll tell you the woeful tale of my time spent as my family’s lawn gnome … no, actually, I won’t, that’s plagiarism and copyright infringement, and I like Phineas and Ferb.)

So! Christmas 2010! I was going through a serious steampunk phase (which I am not completely out of, nor will I ever be), and I’d made some noises about Things I Might Like Were I Able to Find Them.

I opened the box from Scott and got this:

These are actually the ones he just ordered for himself, but they're the same basic thing.  (Wow, hello fingerprints!)
These are actually the ones he just ordered for himself, but they’re the same basic thing. (Wow, hello fingerprints!)

They’re generic welding goggles. I looked curiously at my husband, who said, “I’m going to steampunk them up for you.”

Cue montage (for which I have no photos) of spray paint, brads, lots of internet searches, frantic phone calls to our costumer friend David for instructions, the use and/or discarding of said instructions, ordering things off the internet, swearing and slicing up of fingers with copper wire, and many, many detours into bottle cap magnet-making, laptop decorating, pin making, and other various and sundry projects that were not my steampunk goggles, after which there would be an explosion of progress on said goggles before the next detour project happened.

Three years later, this past Saturday, at the conclusion to one of those progress explosions, Scott emerged from my parents’ garage with my goggles and told me to try them on.

(My favorite part of this process has been sitting in front of Scott while he measured my head for the strap. There’s something very quiet and very intimate about it, like when he fastens my necklaces for me. Sigh. /end schmoop)

“How are they?” he asked after I tightened the strap and shook my head around a little.

“They’re good,” I said.

“Awesome. They’re done.”

Wait–what? Three years of work and he just … handed them to me with no fanfare at all? This is the man who, after completing a chore I’ve asked him to do, has been known to enter the living room and triumphantly yell “BOOM, MOTHERFUCKERS!” Have aliens replaced my husband with a clone?!

I suppose the fanfare is up to me, then.


They are seriously cool. Here, look:

From the front.  Check these bad boys out!
From the front. Check these bad boys out!
From the side (not pleased with this photo, but we do what we can with the iPhone camera)
From the side (not pleased with this photo, but we do what we can with the iPhone camera)

And here they are on me:

Selfie!  With goggles!
Selfie! With goggles!

(The idea is that I, the mad engineer, needed special goggles for my insane plan to take over the world using … I dunno, dirigibles and an army of steam-powered hairless cats, so I cobbled these together out of stuff that was laying around my lair-slash-laboratory. I feel that alternate universe steampunk mad engineer me is very talented and her steam-powered hairless cats would be quite the sinister minions.)

Best Christmas present ever. Totally worth the wait.

Published by Laura E. Price

I read (you can check out my Goodreads if you want; it's linked on my blog). I write (I’ve been published in Cicada, On Spec, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Betwixt, Metaphorosis, Gallery of Curiosities, The Cassandra Project; the stuff that’s available online is linked on my blog). I plan for the inevitable zombie apocalypse and welcome the coming of the gorilla revolution. Or the anarchist rabbits. Whichever happens first. (I also blame my husband for basically everything.)

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