A week before Christmas several years ago, I was out with my best friend Holly doing some shopping when she got a text message from her boyfriend, Brian.

She read it, confused.“What?” she asked aloud. “Brian just texted me ‘Craig T. Nelson.’ What does that mean?”

“The guy from that TV show ‘Coach???’” I asked.

Holly’s high-pitched screams pierced the quiet in Barnes & Noble all the way to the self-help section.

“I knew he was going to get me a Coach purse!!!!” she squealed, as employees gave us a stern look. “Oh my God!!”

“Craig T. Nelson was also in Troop Beverly Hills,” I pointed out, quietly. “Kuuumbaya my Lord…”

Brian and Holly went out for six months after college. He was a cute bartender and (seemingly) loved to buy her things like jewelry, roses and dinner.

They took a winter trip together to the mountains around Thanksgiving and walked around a big, fancy shopping center where Holly saw her dream purse.

She put her hands and eyes up to the glass of the Coach store. It was leather, it was blue and it was…very Craig T. Nelson. It was also several hundred dollars.

“It’s in my hall closet right now,” Brian responded to Holly’s “REALLY REALLY???” text.

Holly was thrilled by the news. She had bought him equally extravagant items as well, practically buying out Banana Republic’s entire men’s collection.

I guess if you like someone enough, you have no problem dropping hundreds and hundreds of dollars on gifts for them.
But it turns out Brian did have a problem with the fact that he spent $300 on a purse.

He really had everyone fooled since he seemed to be so excited about the gift — remembering she wanted it, buying it well in advance of Christmas, even thinking of a riddle via text message to let her know he bought it.

You’d never think he’d throw it back in her face before the Christmas break was over. But that’s what holiday whiskey will do to a person.
(Maybe he just didn’t like the sweaters Holly bought him.)

They exchanged gifts on Christmas day and the purse was PURRFECT, and all was right with the world.

Two days later, however, Brian was singing a different tune, and it wasn’t a Christmas carol.
It was more along the lines of buyer’s remorse.


“It’s not ridiculous if it’s a nice, leather purse,” Holly said. “Why are you bringing this up NOW?”

“I jusss thought about it,” he said. “I don’t see why I had to get you something so expensssive.”

“You didn’t have to,” Holly said. “I didn’t ask you to, we were WINDOW shopping.”

“You just want to be treated like a PRINCESS,” he said, pouring more whiskey. “Do you even KNOW that in most cultures, PRINCESSES are treated like dirt?? They don’t get ANYTHING.”

Holly stared at him.
“What are you talking about?” she said. “Do you want to take the purse back? Is that what you want?”

“NOOOOO!” he shouted. “I want…to KNOW…why your HOUSE smells like a department store.” He picked up a scented candle off the table and sniffed it.

“What? What’s wrong with a house smelling like a department store? Department stores smell good.”


He kept repeating that line over and over.
(He was also wearing one of the sweaters Holly bought him for Christmas.)

Holly said she told him he was crazy and confusing her, and that she was going to bed and he was welcome to sleep on the couch because he probably shouldn’t drive.

(Before turning in for the night, she hid the whiskey and the purse) haha

Holly decided that maybe some princesses are treated like dirt, but she wasn’t one of them. And, there was nothing wrong with anyone’s house smelling like a department store.

She ended things with Brian right after the New Year, and never wished for Craig T. Nelson for Christmas ever again.


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