Mother’s Day Fail: Gift Giving Is Not My Husband’s Strong Suit
I should have known better. I take responsibility for changing a smart, foolproof plan that worked beautifully for five straight Motherâ€™s Days. Gift giving is not my husbandâ€™s strong suit. Heâ€™s a lovely, loving man, but “clueless” is too kind a word to describe his gift-giving abilities (I tell myself â€œpassive-aggressive gift giverâ€ is a more accurate label, but, hey, who am I to judge?). The first two years of his Motherâ€™s Day gifting were head-scratching at best.
Hereâ€™s a rundown:
Motherâ€™s Day #1: my two sisters bought me a gorgeous necklace from a hip Chicago boutique to remind me of my stylish, pre-baby self and celebrate my being a new, hot mama (that I was never stylish nor hot didnâ€™t bother me. Itâ€™s the wonderful thought that counts, right?). My husband bought me a Winnie the Pooh coffee mug and matching stuffed creature. I focused on the fabulous necklace and ignored my husbandâ€™s lack of sense (or death wish). Instead of resenting my husband, I gifted myself a massage. Genius!
Motherâ€™s Day #2: my sisters were over their generous ways, so my husbandâ€™s gift took center stage. He came home from a business trip with a long, thin brown box tied with a bright pink ribbon (think Dick Van Dyke show glam) and a matching proud smile on his face. How romantic! My dashing husband waltzing back home with a cool, retro flower presentation just in time for Motherâ€™s Day â€“ what could be better?
I nearly spit pancakes through my nose when I opened the box to find an intricate, expensive train set that I never knew I wanted. And still donâ€™t. My daughters love the train. I canâ€™t look at it without a smidge of resentment.
Motherâ€™s Day #2 wizened me up. I described the perfect Motherâ€™s Day gift â€“ a gift certificate for a massage at my favorite local spa. I expressed how thrilled I would be to receive one every year ad infinitum. Done deal, I thought. And it was. For the next five years, my husband generously followed my suggestion and I lovingly received his thoughtfulness. And we all lived happily ever after.
Until last year. When I changed the plan.
Because my birthday and Motherâ€™s Day are only weeks apart, my husband has the unenviable task of selecting two gifts in a row. I knew what I wanted. I was direct and clear. â€œI want an iPad, and Iâ€™d like you to buy me one for my birthday and Motherâ€™s Day gift,â€ I announced. â€œHmmm,â€ said my husband, â€œGreat idea.â€ My head sang, Iâ€™m getting an iPad, Iâ€™m getting an iPad!
Motherâ€™s Day arrived and I couldnâ€™t wait to get my hands on my new toy. Our daughters were so excited to show me my gift. I closed my eyes as they led me to our family room. When I opened my eyes, I was shocked! You guessed it â€¦ my husband bought me a beautiful, new red tandem bicycle! And a big red bow! The girls were beaming. My husband was beaming. I had the unenviable task of downplaying my disappointment. I was crestfallen and hurt. Not about the lack of an iPad (yeah, right!), but that my husband was still clueless about giving me gifts after all these years. While I hid my dismay in front of the girls, my head sang: Iâ€™m not getting an iPad, Iâ€™m not getting an iPad.
After several anxious phone calls with supportive friends, I talked with my husband. His thought was truly lovely: instead of a toy that would distance us (iPad), he romantically thought a tandem bike would bring us closer â€“ long rides, navigating and pedaling together â€“ what could be better? Really? This yearâ€™s gift: a heavenly massage at my favorite local spa.
Â This is a reader submission for â€œWorst Motherâ€™s Dayâ€ stories. Please send your story of about 600 words detailing your sucky Motherâ€™s Day to entries[AT]mommyish[DOT]com.