I pride myself on my ability to find the perfect gift for friends and family. I make note of their likes/dislikes and take a very personal interest in matching my gifts to their personality and desires. In fact, I enjoy giving much more than getting……especially if that gift is coming from my husband!
Let me begin by saying he’s a wonderful person; kind, considerate – my perfect mate and my best friend. He is also quite innocently, one of the worst at selecting gifts for people. Sensing early in our marriage that shopping for gifts was not his thing, I made it a point to gently guide him by dropping hints but he generally missed the mark.
One year, just before the holidays, I made a point of mentioning that it would be nice to have a nice pair of diamond stud earings. At some point that month, when I was washing up breakfast dishes, I happened to mention that the teflon coating was gone on our frying pan. Now out of those 2 comments, guess which one he ‘heard’? Christmas morning, under my tree was a brand new frying pan and just so there’d be no element of surprise, he even wrapped in in the shape of the frying pan, handle and all.
Realizing I needed to be a little less subtle with this boy, the following Christmas I specifically told him to I would love a red sweater. (how can you screw that up?) I even told him which store he could find it in and good boy that he is, off he went. He walked into the department store, ladies wear, and luck of all luck, there was a display of red sweaters, right there! He grabbed one, paid, and drove home where he quickly wrapped it and put it under the tree, his holiday shopping done. Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I opened my gift to find a red sweater, a really big red sweater, size 2x in fact, which would’ve been great were it not for the fact that I wear a size 8.
How could I complain? I told him to get a red sweater, and he did. The fact that he bought it in the ladies plus size department was unfortunate but I didn’t tell him to get a size 8 sweater…. I just said get a red sweater. (I really should be more clear)
This one’s the best, and I should set the scene by telling you up front that my husband doesn’t like buying flowers. They’re too expensive and they die. I love fresh flowers and he knows that. Early in our marriage he surprised me one day by coming home with a single red rose, for no reason. I was shocked and so touched because I knew how he felt about wasting money on flowers. It was lovely, came in its’ own box with tissue and everything, beautifully packaged and clearly from a high end florist. Unfortunately the box also included a card (that he neglected to remove) that read “Forgive me, Debbie. I love you, Aaron”
My name isn’t Debbie, and I don’t know any Aaron. Turns out a colleague had had a fight with her boyfriend. He sent the rose in an attempt to make up and she threw it in the garbage. My darling romantic spouse fished it out of the trash and proudly brought it home to me. Ain’t he sweet?
I have to admit that over the years the gifts from my lover have improved dramatically, but all credit goes to my daughters who learned at a young age that dad needs help. It’s even fun to see them scheming behind my back trying to find the perfect surprise for mom. Truth told, I now get more of a kick out of the exercise than the gift these days. Guess that’s all part of maturity. The ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter anymore. (course I could use a new frying pan but I’ll be damned if I’ll say it out loud)
I’ve come to accept that the gifts from my lover are best received for their intention, not their content and while he will likely never be good at the whole gift giving thing, his heart is in the right place. (his head isn’t, but his heart is) After all, this is the same guy who packed up our car and drove us 9 hours to our honeymoon destination, only to find out he’d packed nothing of mine, and I mean nothing. The clothes I wore were all I had for a week. He on the other hand had a suitcase full of clothes, his golf clubs, and his pillow (he can’t sleep without it) ………but that’s another story.