Thursday, October 04, 2012

Day 11: Ruanita is a Rock Star

Can I take a moment to brag about my spouse?

Ruanita, historically, pretty much sucks at gift-giving. I am not being mean, nor am I saying anything she hasn’t said before herself. It’s simply a fact. She does not like shopping. In all honestly, she despises shopping. Unlike me, she does not find immense joy in picking out that perfect gift based on some random sideways comment the person made six months ago. Unlike me, it doesn’t occur to her to surprise her loved ones with gifts. Unlike me, Ruanita would never think to keep a running list in her wallet of possible gifts for people. Unlike me, she can’t fathom spending half an hour in the greeting card aisle at Target trying to find the perfect card.

She cleans my house and does my laundry and mows my grass and loves my kids and showers me with affection every day. But gift giving? Eh….not her thing.

As you can imagine, being polar opposites on the gift-giving front has been a bit of a thorn in our relationship over the years. I can tell her until I am blue in the face that I do not care about presents, but she doesn’t believe me. She feels inadequate regardless. The last thing in the world I want is to feel that I can’t surprise the woman I love with gifts because she wouldn’t think to do the same. Gift-giving has become guilt-inducing on both sides.

Imagine my surprise when—after weeks of hemming and hawing about what she is going to do for my birthday—Ruanita came up with the PERFECT gift that incorporates her hatred of shopping with my love of shopping. Her desire to buy me a nice gift for my 40th birthday with my desire to not have her stressed out about it. Her financial conservatism with my free-wheeling money-blowing ways.

My birthday gift came in two parts. First, Ruanita put together a lovely basket (all by herself!) with some of my favorite things. Sea salt caramels from Byerly’s that I love. A new hair brush. Some sweet-smelling lotion. A Paula Dean holiday cooking magazine. A t-shirt. A couple packs of my favorite gum. Everything thoughtful and sweet. Everything proof positive that she pays attention and knows what I like.

Included with the basket was a card that said the following:

I truly hope you have a good day on your birthday. The kids and I love you so, so much. Your big present is that I want you to take this Saturday and go shopping all day without us bugging you. Then come home, where we will have a yummy cheesecake waiting for you.

Love You Beyond the Stars,


No kids. No agenda. No budget. A full day to shop and buy whatever I want for my birthday. Of course, I will be reasonable, but still…I can’t even recall the last time I went shopping just for the pure joy of shopping. And for me! Not shopping for the kids. No grounds to even step foot in Gap Kids…or Carter’s….or The Children’s Place…or the Lego Store. No shopping list. Nothing in mind. No reason to rush. I can get coffee…have a Cinnabon…people watch. Shop like adults who have no children shop…if I can remember how to do that.

I can’t think of a better gift. Is it Saturday yet?

Ruanita, you are a rock star.


Jessica said...

Ah, perfection! Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea from Ruanita. Having met her in person she is so wonderful and such a great Mom. Her temperament is calming. I love her and love that she was so concerned for your day by yourself. I can't wait to see what you buy for yourself. I dare you to just spend on yourself. Can you really do it? I love to wander, not necessarily buy, but just chill out with an ice cream cone, a bowl of soup and a massage. Maybe put some spa in your day. You deserve it.

Sara Zuelow said...

I'm jealous. Would Ruanita mind giving Andrew a lesson or two...or a hundred? Have a wonderful time!

Gourmet Coffee Service said...

Love, love your blog! More power to you!

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