I raced down the stairs and rounded the corner of the living room, just as my husband yelled from the basement, “Don’t go in the kitchen!”
I froze… my eyes running over a very large box sitting on the kitchen table. Backing up ever so slowly, I tiptoed back to the staircase and yelled back, “Why not?”
Oh, yeah, I’m good.
“Because I’m trying to wrap your Christmas gift,” he yelled back, now coming up the basement steps. “But I don’t think we have enough paper. I’m just going to stick it in the spare bedroom.”
So I closed my eyes like a good girl, my mind spinning and trying to determine what my husband had bought me for Christmas. The box was huge…. and obviously heavy, judging by how slowly my husband walked up the stairs with it. What, what could it be??
Over a week passed, and in my hurry one morning to grab a book from the study before work, I opened the forbidden door and again saw the huge box. I froze again. This time, because it was obvious to me what was inside that box. A microwave.
Now if you haven’t already gathered this from reading my blog, I’ll admit to you that I’m a hopeless romantic. And microwaves aren’t romantic. They don’t say, “Hey, Babe, you’re the most beautiful wife, and I bought you this present to prove my feelings.” I imagine that a microwave says, “Hey, I love the way you heat up my tea in the morning, but you could do it much more efficiently if you used this new appliance.”
For the record, I can be practical. Had my husband and I discussed Christmas presents and decided to put the money into the house, I would have been fine with that. I don’t for one moment believe that Christmas revolves around me, and we do need a lot of things for the house. But as this discussion hadn’t taken place (and because I was in my usual femalestate-of-mind which was hoping for something a bit more personal), I wasn’t at all impressed that a household appliance had become my present for Christmas. What exactly was he trying to say? Was he trying to say anything at all? Or had he just looked around the house and picked out a gift that the kitchen was missing?
So I sat on the floor and pondered my options. I could just let it go this year and squeal with delight on Christmas morning, exclaiming, “Oh, I’ve wanted a microwave for Christmas since I was a little girl.” That seemed like the kindest option, but I also worried that it would set a precedent for the following years. What if lying about my feelings meant that I’d get a mixer for my birthday and a toaster oven for next year’s Christmas gift? Maybe I’d even end up with a coffee maker for Valentine’s Day instead of roses. shudder.
So I came clean. A bit sheepishly, as I really hadn’t meant to see the present. And honestly, Nate was shocked that I wasn’t thrilled at having received a new microwave. He had put thought into it, even though he made the mistake of thinking like a guy while shopping for a girl. 😉 In fact, he didn’t get it until I explained that I was as excited about the microwave as he’d be if I bought him a scrapbook of our marriage. Being a typical guy, he just doesn’t get sentimental gifts. He can appreciate them and say ‘thank you’ with all the gusto he can muster up. But he’ll also be thinking, “Now what will I do with that?”
To make a long story short, the hubby and I took the microwave out of the box and it has now found its spot in the kitchen. It’s a Christmas gift for both of us, and we decided that we each can buy the other person a little something else. For him, something very practical. For me, something not so much.
We’ve been married two years, but once again we’ve come to realize that we’re still learning about each other. We’re still learning about how different we are and how to embrace and appreciate that. We’re still learning how to be open, honest, and understanding. But after this, we’re just one step closer to where we need to be. Because we talked and laughed through it. We understood where the other person was coming from. We didn’t get angry or defensive.
Yep, I’m officially proud of us…
Currently, there’s a little red box under the tree with a silver bow. And it has my name on it. And I will squeal with delight on Christmas morning when I open it. I just know it.
And I bought him a gift that’s practical (and football related). With my husband, you can’t go wrong if you buy something that’s football related. 🙂
Have you ever received a gift that was well-intended but that was too practical (or not practical enough)? How did you react?