My husband has never been a conventional gift giver. The very first gift he ever gave me he won in a random drawing and pawned it off as his own gift. That’s right, the first gift was a re-gift. It was a tennis bracelet, so I’m not complaining but it was a re-gift just the same.
For our first anniversary, he gave me a blank scrapbook because the first anniversary gift is paper. When our daughter was born, he got me a bear figurine that he bought from one of the nurses. I’m not sure if she was selling it or she felt sorry for the new dad offering her money for a ceramic momma bear holding her new cub in a rocking chair, but he saw it, thought of me and delivered.
One year for Christmas, he gave me some humane mousetraps. We lived with a huge, gorgeous wheat field behind us and the mice were taking over. So, it was needed, but it was thoughtful because of the single word “humane.” I have no idea what happened to the little mice once their bellies were full of peanut butter and cheese. All I know is that he drove them miles into the country and dumped them out, wishing them well. But that’s not really the point.
What is the point exactly? The point is that he’s never been a conventional gift giver but he’s always been thoughtful.
One Christmas when our daughters were just toddlers and hadn’t quite developed a good palate yet, I broke my pizza cutter on dinner that night: a once-frozen pizza. I didn’t just break it; I shattered it with the wheel flying the ten yards from the stove to the dining room table. And it wasn’t just any pizza cutter, it was one that I had accidentally taken in a to-go box of pizza from my first pizza outing in college, some 15 years before. That Valentine’s Day, my sweet guy bought me a stainless, promised-to-always-be-super-sharp-and-super-smooth pizza cutter. He cleared out the knife drawer and lined it with red and white drawer liner. His friends thought I’d never be happy with a pizza cutter, regardless of how awesomely amazing it was, but I was thrilled. In fact, I was so thrilled that I baked that man a frozen pizza that very night and threw on some shredded Colby Jack because nothing is too good for my hunny.
His friends argued that I’d prefer flowers; my husband countered that I didn’t like when things died (including mice) and potted or cut when he delivered them to me, they would be dead within 10 days.
His friends suggested he buy me lingerie but he said a smart man lets a woman buy her own clothes.
It was even hinted that I would like chocolate. He agreed that chocolate was my favorite (aside from frozen pizza), but he bought me that just for fun on an everyday basis. Well, I bought it for myself and told him about it—same thing, basically.
But, the best gift, by far, has to be last year’s Valentine’s Day gift. The girls were so proud of him because he didn’t ask for their help—not even in wrapping it.
That evening, he handed me a shoebox-shaped package and encouraged me to open it up in private, after our girls had gone to bed. I couldn’t wait. I rushed the girls to bed, quickly got on my own pajamas and then sat in bed as I opened the package. It was a pair of shoes. Not just any pair of shoes, but a pair of the foot doctor’s smooth walkers in a size 10 wide. Not only did he think I needed to wear grandma shoes, he thought I had Yetti-sized feet.
I thought I had made it clear to him that our daughters and I were now wearing the same size, which meant that I could start wearing their super-cute teenager shoes and here he was buying me Granny walkers. Next thing you know, he’d want to take me to the all-you-can-eat buffet tomorrow at 3:45!
I sat with the box in front of me, not knowing exactly how to react. After 17 Valentine’s Days together, after 17 Christmases, after 17 anniversaries … this was so out of character for him. I wasn’t sure what to say.
But, my momma raised me right and I said “Thank you?” I said it in such a way that he knew—he knew indeed—that I wasn’t exactly, ummm… thrilled with my gift.
“Open it,” he said.
I sighed and lifted the shoebox lid. And discovered 17 … chocolate bars.
I keep the box in the closet right under our daughters’ noses.
My hubby gives good gifts.
Heather Davis is an Oklahoma momma, a writer, and the wife of a very sweet gift-giver. Her books are available on Amazon, the most recent being “Life With Extra Cheese,” chronicling her journey into the sandwich generation. Her website is www.Heather-Davis.net.