Right so I'm married to a lovely guy - he's extremely laid back, to the point he often gets walked all over by other people and fails to notice.
DH is the elder of two brothers. He's always been a high achiever in terms of his career, while his younger brother (they are 37 and 35) has drifted around from job to job, once being laid off because he'd failed a drugs test, that sort of thing.
Now I'm not suggesting his brother walks all over him, not at all, but his brother makes no effort with anything in life and whenever there's an important family occasion for their parents, the parents are lucky if he even remembers.
Like many blokes, DH never has a clue what to buy his parents for Christmas and birthdays and it always ends up falling to me to sort something out. His parents are not easy to buy presents for because they have no hobbies or interests (Dad just watches television) and their Mum is a bit of an old moaner (think Pauline Fowler).
When their father was fifty I thought of a present and DH's mum suggested to my BIL that he could simply go halves with us, thus saving him the effort of going to any trouble to think of anything or get around to buying it. I was livid because she didn't check with us whether this was okay beforehand.
When FIL was sixty (last year) the same thing happened - I thought of a present and the two brothers went halves. In fact, BIL had no idea it was his father's sixtieth at all.
So now their mum is about to turn sixty and she's already told us what not to buy her ("I don't want jewellery, what's the point at my age?" that sort of thing). DH had no idea what to do for her so I've booked them both into a really top class hotel, booked afternoon tea and tickets for a show. I've bought the card and made a "gift voucher" and DH has simply signed it.
BIL has no idea it's his mum's sixtieth. DH is probably going to remind him at the weekend (the bitrthday is a fortnight away). I have told DH I'm sick of doing all the thinking on behalf of his brother and that this present is from us and the children and he's not to agree that BIL can bung us some money and write in the card.
their parents are particularly difficult to buy for. We've never really been sure if they even like what we've bought because they just don't show a reaction either way, which makes the whole process a bit soul destroying.
I suspect DH is soul destroyed by it all too but someone has to make the effort.
"What are we going to buy her?" I asked
"I just don't know" came the reply.
The problem is, that's the end of the conversation, he goes back to watching the footie or reading the paper and the weight of it seems to be left with me.