Not to brag, but I am truly a great gift giver. I take joy in knowing that my gifts will be the best, most meaningful, and awesome gifts that you will get from anyone, ever. I tuck away informative tidbits through the year to find a perfect gift that will delight and amaze you.
For those that are familiar with the concept of love languages, I would say I express my love through both giving gifts and acts of service. This is a good thing for my marriage because my [not at all materialistic] husband’s language is receiving gifts. I can entice him into doing things he doesn’t want to do with the promise of something new. I can easily mend a nasty attitude with a new Blu-ray movie. I can apologize for an argument with a new gadget and all is forgiven. Like a kid at Christmas, he lights up and loves the mystery of a present. Sometimes, this appeasement does not work in my favor, like the time we ended up with a new car on the way to a funeral.
On the flip side, my husband has not been the best gift giver over the years. For the record, it’s not that he hasn’t tried. He has had a few winners during our 7 years together: the engagement ring I didn’t know about that he picked out all on his own, the love notes he wrote me every day for months then gave to me on mothers day, and the pair of boots I have had resoled twice because I wear them all the time. In general, I tend to be picky and scoff at surprises. I don’t like wasting money on stuff I don’t want or won’t use. This started when I was a child; you can ask my mom about the hell I put her through at each Christmas growing up. My husband hates giving me gifts. Now, I just pick out my own stuff. I have come to expect this each year, selecting what I want and waiting for it to arrive. Each year I secretly hope for the moment I receive a gift that just totally awes me.
Today, November 9 is our anniversary. For the first time since the proposal I never saw coming, I received one of the best gifts my husband has ever given me. It is an engraved bracelet with the coordinates of where he proposed to me, our initials on the reverse side. I had let the days get away from me, while I knew what I was getting him, I had not yet purchased it. I had nothing to give him in return.
For the first time in my life, I was out gifted in a big way. I didn’t know what to say or do and could not believe that I had forgotten. The truth is our marriage is far from perfect. The addition of our son strengthened but simultaneously strained and tested our relationship. Our lives had completely changed and we haven’t been able to connect the same as before we had a child. More than anything motherhood changed me in ways I never expected, not all of them for the best. Stress, exhaustion, and general defeat have not exactly lead to a thoughtful and generous disposition.
His gift to me was multifaceted. It impacted me in a way he probably won’t understand. I was left with a softened heart and a desire to be my very best self for him. I was humbled in a big way by his gift, next year, I promise to step up my gift-giving game and totally smash his gift to pieces.