Early on in our marriage, Brian and I opted to not exchange presents during the holidays and birthdays. It was a gentle way of letting him off the hook. Gift giving is not his talent. I saw the red flags when we were dating. Actually, there were a lot of red flags, but because I was delusional twenty-nine years ago, I thought those would simply dissolve once I “molded” him into the person I knew he could be. Remember, I did say delusional. He ended up molding himself into an excellent human being, so it worked out without my assistance.
My expectations of him in the department of selecting quality gifts were too high. One birthday he bought me a scale. His reasoning was that we didn’t receive the digital scale that was on our wedding registry, so he thought it would be the ideal present. (The real mystery is why we registered for one.) He thought he was “listening” to me. But, it wasn’t the one we registered for, it was another one from Woolworths and, for the love of God, it wasn’t even digital. But, that doesn’t really matter as a man should NEVER buy his significant other a scale. Ever. He presented it to me in the plastic bag from the store. I wonder if he was grateful I didn’t use it to kill him.
At this point in my life, I don’t really want anything but a comfortable pair of relaxed-fit yoga pants and a good book. But, the one gift that Brian is good at giving is in the area of home improvement. Yesterday, he finished laying the new floor in the kitchen. It is gorgeous and completes the first step in the remodel process. So grateful for his talent.
In the spirit of the season, I am reminded that time and talent are ideal gifts and that unrealistic expectations of other people’s abilities will only leave me disappointed. Something to keep in mind during holidays, but an excellent life reminder as well.