As I sit in my swivel chair I can't help but wonder: Do I know my long-time girlfriend at all?

I like to think that my powers of observation are second to none, a fact that should have been proved when I diagnosed a man on the basis of the colour of his wife's shoes. Yes, that's right, I am a genius.

I used to think that this problem wasn't my actual inability to find and purchase said presents but to actually remember the dates which apparently deserved to be commemorated with a meaningless gift that only proved I could walk into a store and make a transaction. This was my world view up until now, and it hadn't failed me yet. What had failed me was that I may have forgotten our last anniversary and that may have resulted in a pissed off Dean and a cold shower for me. Lets just say that I do not want to repeat that experience - though I have gained some useful skills in dodging flying crockery.

Feeling newly empowered with the potential for Cuddy birthday sex, I fire up my computer and click on the internet icon. How hard can it really be to buy a gift for someone who's so open - well, who's blouses are so open. And I must admit, since I've gained my all access pass to the twins I've become quite fond of them, and - I guess - the person they're attached to. And the thought of losing that pass is enough to motivate anyone.

Okay... Cuddy. Birthday. Present. Ooh, Cuddy...

I shake myself - hard - and try and get that particular M-rated image out of my mind so I can concentrate on the task at hand before my pants become too strained to get anything done. I'm completely screwed - not, unfortunately, in the literal sense of the word - if I can't focus for more than two seconds without erotic images scrolling across my pre-frontal cortex.

Back to the screen. Hmm, what does Cuddy like? I would get Wilson in here to give his opinion but he finds it uncomfortable enough as it is to hear about our relationship and I think he's given up all present-helper duties after last Christmas, where I went into a little too much detail about her penchant for leather. Safe to say, he's never looked at Cuddy in quite the same light again.

On that note, Cuddy does have a thing for lingerie. Which is certainly a bonus for me. Hmm... I click on the Agent Provocateur website. Oh yeah, this is more like it. Who knew present shopping could be so much fun?

Wow, so much choice. I'm in over my head here. Cuddy in the red lace? Or that smoking blue silk ensemble that's nearly making me drool all over the keyboard? Phew, I'm getting all hot and bothered imagining her in each of the sinful get-ups. And, oh my, look at that black one. I'm practically salivating.

I feel a new sense of luck and pride as I realise that none of these twenty-something models can hold a candle to my love muffin. Mental note - tell her that. Compliments of that nature of end up paying off very well...

Sky Ranger Bra? Now this I've got to see.

Turning my head, I take in the glory that is this blue and red beauty with silver stars covering the nipples. Oh yes, this'll do nicely.

But... Just one bra? Does that really convey the respect I have for her bountiful breasts? Not in my book it doesn't.

Skimming through the rest of the bra section - and then the knickers, corsets and suspenders for good measure - I pick out a few more nice sets. Well, nice in the sense that they make all the blood neglect the rest of my body and pool somewhere that it appears to be needed. Same goes for all the moisture in my mouth.

Pressing 'Pay', I notice that my final amount has come to a little over $600 dollars. Oops. Ah well, this my Cuddy, and no expense should be spared!

I put in my American Express details. Delivered in five to fourteen work days... Yes, that works for me. Her birthday is not for another three weeks which will give me time to survey the goods and make sure they're fit for the dirty girl she is. Behind closed doors, of course. And occasionally behind the closed doors of the janitor's closet, but that's only when she's having a bad day.

Shutting down my laptop and gathering up my cane, I feel a sense of accomplishment come over me. In only three hours - what can I say? The Agent Provocateur site was captivating - I have successfully purchased a present for my girlfriends birthday. Now... Do I give them to her in front of the whole family or in private? I share a laugh to myself as I imagine her elderly grandmother having a heart attack right on the floor as I bring out the lace suspenders. At least there would be plenty of doctors around to save her.

.

Okay. Maybe, just maybe, buying all that underwear was a mistake. Maybe.

The party was going well! Everyone was talking, and drinking - which is a unavoidable at a Cuddy family soiree, where you're forced to hear her father repeat the story of how he broke his leg falling through a window for the bazillionth time - and generally having a good time.

So was Cuddy. I told her that she would receive her present later, the telling accompanied with an ear nip and a chaste kiss, and she seemed satisfied to wait.

Ugh, I don't want to spend the whole night contemplating my faux pas, but this futon is surprisingly uncomfortable. I think I've got a knife or two poking into my back. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Cuddy put them there.

The presents weren't degrading! They merely accentuated the female form in all it's glory, for the enjoyment of the male species. But when I said that, I was met with more flying china. I must say, I'm getting pretty good at ducking out the way.

It appears I can't win. I don't get presents for her, she's mad. I get presents for her, she's mad! How do I satisfy this woman? And I mean that in a completely non-sexual sense. I don't want you getting ideas about my manhood and whether or not I know how to use it. I do, for the record

Even if we were grooving along in perfect boyfriend/girlfriend harmony - oh my aching sides! - she's made it pretty clear that that gift had not been appreciated. Apparently, it demeans her. And when I say otherwise, I'm met with a plate to the face.

Hmm... Maybe next year I'll just go with a card.