Saturday, May 17, 2008

Nobody + Gifts = ♥

I have decided that holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and special occasions like, my birthday and our anniversary, are like 6th grade science projects for my husband. I'm wondering if this is universal.

I am a big believer in birthdays. I've loved mine since...well, since I was born. I married someone who kind of views the day as every other day. He's not a hypocrite, he feels the same about his birthday. If you tell him happy birthday, that's nice. If you don't...well, let's just say he doesn't lock himself in the bedroom and cry himself to sleep.

He hasn't had the best luck with me on various "special" occasions. The single biggest reason for that is, to him they aren't all that special. To me, I believe there should be writing in the sky. Just. For. Me.

So, after some painful (for him) heart to hearts, and long (for him) nights, and some mean, mean (for me) words, I have to say, with no hesitation, the year of 2008 has thus far been successful for my husband.

After arranging for a lovely (and definitely overpriced, but I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth---well, at least not his molars, it's hard to not notice the big front teeth though...) Valentine's gift to be delivered, he waited anxiously for the "reaction". Much like an 11 year old pouring the solution over the subject of an experiment, he watched with wide eyes, wondering if it really did work like he'd been told it would. His hypothesis (which was given to him by me) finally matched the experiment results. He's learned the hard way that the hypothesis "If I pretend the holiday/special occasion doesn't exist, it will go away quietly" does NOT match his test results. There were some serious explosions, near fatal injuries, and possibly even temporary hearing loss as a result of testing THAT hypothesis.

I heard him say after a successful Valentine's Day, "Wow, that really was easy. I could do this without any help from anyone. A nice basket, some good smelling stuff, mingled with some chocolate, and VOILA!"

Sad. But true.

In a side note, and in my defense, I have told him that he can have a buy for Valentine's Day. It's not that big of a deal to me. I really mean it when I say it. He really doesn't believe me. I suspect it's not a risk he's willing to take.

I did marry a smart man.

Mother's Day has been nothing shy of disastrous for us. Without going into too many details (and because my mother reads this blog), let's just say that this year, was a year of proving one's self. And of making one's self a way out of the dog house, back onto our nice, king-size, often invaded by sideways sleeping children, tempurpedic bed.

He did great. He took the kids to pick out cards and they were darling. Bo's dictation on the card was as adorable and hilarious as the boy himself. Avee's card was perfectly apropos, even though she picked it for the birds on the front. J wrote "Dear Mom, I love you. Please continue to do nice things and give me hugs and kisses like always." Even though Avee didn't dictate that, if she could have, she would have. With an emphasis on the "please continue to do nice things" part.

He accidentally got me something that I had expressed interest in a few months prior. I was so touched that he remembered. He didn't, he just got lucky, but it didn't matter after the fact.

So, nearly a week later, I'm puttering around the house pretending to clean and I'm reflecting on the lovely Mother's Day I enjoyed. And I start to recall J on that day. As I sat opening the cards, he sat across from me, watching....waiting....wondering. I saw the look of, "Well, I'll be, THAT was the right solution to pour over the subject" as my face brightened and my smile remained through out the day. I saw him walk away scratching his head, shaking it, undoubtedly thinking, "Now who would have thought that was all it took?"

I know we are a mystery. Yesterday I watched a movie where a man asked a woman, "What do you want!? What is it that woman want!?" The woman leaned in and said, "We don't know either."

Sometimes I feel like that's true. Especially after I said to my husband this week, after coming home 2 hours later than he said he would, "It would have just been better if you'd never called to tell me when you were coming home!" Now, that made perfect sense to me. I expected him at 7 when he said he'd be home. He came home at 9. I was mad. I feel sorry for the guy when I get like that. Of course, he could just come home at 6 and there would be no problem whatsoever, right?

I married a great guy. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't know how great he is, and there isn't a day that goes by that I am not grateful to be married to such a good person.

Mostly I'm glad he believes in the scientific process, and works it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have an anniversary coming up in a few weeks; there are many unrealistic and unexpressed expectations I need to get to work on....


Sarah Tilley said...

let's see, valentines before last ben was on a business trip, this year i think we were sick. and all the other ones we practically forgot. the only time i ever got ben anything besides something like candy was when we were dating and he complained that i was thoughtless because i didn't get him anything, so i ran to the drugstore and got a monkey in a bag thing and that seemed to appease him. little did i know he'd gotten me an engagement ring... anyway, after we got married he could care less. we're with j on birthdays and holidays, they're just another day. except now that henry's around we have to fake it a little for his sake. on mother's day ben emptied the dishwasher for me. i would've liked for him to have gone all out and loaded it with the dirty dishes in the sink, but i figured i was lucky with what i got. :)

Sketchy said...

I'm glad he finally figured out the right solution to pour over his subject, lol!

And I don't mean that to sound kinky...honestly.

After 14 years my expectations have gotten lower and his efforts have gotten higher. Now we more meet in the middle. Which I suppose is good. Basically it means I give him clear instructions on a few things I would like and he goes and chooses one or two of them.

I would still love for him to plan a whisk-me-away-to-Paris-or-at-least-a-really-romantic-dinner, but I've come to understand he cannot plan anything without getting some input from me. He is too worried I will be disappointed if not given the opportunity to say, "No let's not do that."

Camille said...

Heh, I actually think of holidays as just any other day and really mean it when I tell Bob not to get anything. He's too scared to go that route, though, because he has burned into his brain the ordeal of our first Valentine's Day.

I expected that since it was our first valentine's day together and it was the first time I'd ever been dating someone on valentine's day, that he'd plan something huge. He figured that since it felt like valentine's day every day (his words), all he needed was a gift to complete the day. I guess I wanted flowers, gift, fancy dinner, music playing in the background, etc., etc., etc. I got pretty mad when I found out he wasn't planning some elaborate, day-long event. Now he's very afraid of that ever happening again.

However, now that I got that whole thing out of my system, I tend to just get annoyed at the huge number of holidays that I have to buy gifts for... birthdays, anniversaries, mother's/father's day, christmas, valentine's. We should just keep it to the essentials- birthdays and Christmas.

Kikibug said...

I ditto what Sketchy says.. I have lowered my expectations and give him clear instructions. It seems to be working.. I also feel bad b/c he is scared that I will hate everything he does for me. Not true, I just want him to THINK about things BEFORE the occasion and to not ask me to go with him to pick up something from Costco ON my birthday.
This Mothers day Michael was THE BEST! He reacts like Jay and sits back and waits for my reaction and is in awe at the little things that make it special. I think he is finally getting the hang of things as well.

Congrats on J for finally getting it. It is all worth the effort in the end.

Mamarazzi said...

LOVE IT!! i need to send my man over to read this...and learn. i love the guy...he USE to be totally romantic and would shower me with lots of gifts...mostly stuff i mentioned in passing that i wanted or would looove to have someday.

but of late....have totally sucked! i know my expecations are high...but it is his fault he set the must be maintained!

No Cool Story said...

Nobody deserves writing in the sky just for her! Surely, Nobody does.

Way to go J!!! :D :D :D :D And many happy returns to you!

No Cool Story said...

At home it's the opposite, Daily Hero is the romantic one, hence the "daily", he's constantly doing sweet things for me. On holidays he gets an A+++ every single time.

Me? I'm just lame.
Make that Super Lame.

The Child Family said...

Around here we call it "birthday month" Cause we WANT it to last the whole month long. But in reality, if it is something nice that he does, I'll gladly take a week. What can I say, we are holiday people! I grew up that way. My mom would even buy us funny St. Patty's day socks, just so we could get something fun on that day. I know, Crazy. But its FUN!!!

omar said...

I'm extra lame on the gift giving. I'm really good at getting things that people ask for. Not so good at getting them things they don't ask for.

S said...

Yeah J! I actually could see the head scratching. I on the other hand happened upon a little gift you gave J a while back with a forward/preface note. Does Ice Ice baby sound familiar. Funny stuff. great post.

Rebecca said...

yea for you.. and for j getting it right... a little bit is all it takes.. just a bit.. love that you had a great mothers day.. we are not that complicated once you can read minds.. !!!

Barnecked Lady said...

I totally remember last mother's day! lol. lol. lol.

AndrewP said...

What? You mean there's work after marriage?

Just kidding. Dear J: Flowers, my man. Lots of them. Not as "I'm sorry I forgot" make up presents, but randomly, and more of them on special occasions.

Based on the population sample of other guys I know, most of us think very much like J, but we can be taught.

Cindy said...

I am glad J fianlly got it. Those "little" holidays are important to me too. Ben still does not get it. Groeing up my mom always got us something small for the holidays and went all out for birthdays and christmas. I guess I was just used to that and expected ben to do the same. You would thing after 8 years of dating and marriage. Sitting him down and explaining that these things are important to me, that he would get the hint, but nope. J is definately going to have to tal to him.

No Cool Story said...


Breit Mama said...

If only all men knew how little it really takes to make us happy. Hey J. that could be your money maker idea!

Suzanne said...

Oh my goodness, Nobody! I could have written this exact post! Are we kindred spirits? :)

Christina said...

Okay,I am not up on blog etiquette. I have only been blogging for a couple of months. But I was looking a friends links and found yours. You made me laugh. So, now every once in a while when I need a good laugh I stalk on over. So, thanks for the entertainment. I had to introduce myself so I don't feel so weird about reading about someone that doesn't know me.

Big Jay said...

While I'm here I gotta say...

Barry White's greatest hits was an awesome gift. What went wrong was the positioning (in the marketing sense)...

What I should have done:

I don't know, but I'm still kind of surprised how flat it fell.

True, I did buy the Barry White CD the day of your birthday.

And it was given in a little gift bag with tissue paper.

But I love you baby! I just love you!