Saturday, December 26, 2020


One should NEVER complain about a gift, right? But I am going to. Not so much about the gift itself, but the fact that someone NEVER listens to me.

I enunciate well, I speak clearly, sometimes loudly, I have a good command of the language and I can even dumb it down if I need to. And yet, the message remains unheard.

It is well known in our family that HeWho loves me often struggles to find a gift he decides to bestow upon me. I don't really know why. I am an open book. I will even tell him exactly what I want and then in a misguided effort to surprise me, he will go in a totally different direction.

For example: When we moved to Minnesota as he moved up into a corporate position with American Paging, he apparently thought my personality changed. He thought I would change my frugal ways. He got me every credit card available in the stores in Mall of America. He thought I would embrace shopping as a hobby, as well as lunching out.  I didn't. Not to say that I NEVER shopped or had lunch with the wives of his cronies. I did and I did enjoy it. Just not every day.

I still maintained a budget and one day when I was pinning laundry to the line outside I was reprimanded for not using the dryer. It was a lovely day and I actually like to hang laundry out to dry. Anyway, that Christmas he handed me a rather heavy box that had been professionally wrapped. He was giddy with excitement for me to open it. I was busy watching my kids open theirs to see their faces. He made all activity come to a halt for me to open this gift. He was so excited as I pulled away the wrapping paper to reveal a box ....... that had the name of a furrier on it.

I was already feeling a little um, disappointed. A fur? I don't do fur, I love all the little animals. I was, in fact, pretty happy that the fur coat his mother had in her closet for years was too far gone to save for me. I tried it on and it was so heavy. No doubt it would keep me warm, as I would be sweating from the efforts of hauling it around on my back.

I opened the box to find a full length black mink coat. Supposed to end about mid calf, but hit my ankles. I hope he didn't watch my face as closely as his daughters did. I think it was Adrienne who looked at him and asked, "Do you even know her?"

I don't know that he heard her, as he was too busy extolling the virtues of the extravagant gift. "Look, it's reversible, if it rains, you can turn it to this side!!" All the while I am wondering where I would even wear this coat. He seemed to think I could wear it when I went grocery shopping. You bag your own groceries there and I can just see me now, hefting the coat up and getting down there to bag my produce. Sweating profusely. I think I wore the coat three times. Total.

Our anniversary is also in the month of December. He was agonizing over something he had ordered and it had not appeared. I told him to just give it to me later. It's not like I am a 5 year old Santa forgot. He was headed to a store anyway, so I told him I would love a nice warm robe. Mr. BoJangles had commandeered mine, and I chose to let sleeping dogs lie.

So, on Christmas Eve morning, as I sat with coffee and canines, I watched the UPS driver on the monitor as he struggled with a big box. To be honest, I wasn't even curious about the box. Lots of deliveries come every day and most of them are for my tenants.

As I dressed for the day, HeWho sleeps a lot went outside and managed to drag the boxes inside. He put the big one right up to the desk. On my way to put another coat of paint on a sign for the park. I took note of the location of the box. Knowing that one of my tenants was looking for a box, I yelled into the house and asked who the boxes were for.

HeWho got all excited and demanded that I "get out of there". Now I am curious. He might as well have told me to examine the box. Clever man that he is, he positioned the box so that the Spanish side was showing. Clever man disregarded the ILLUSTATION on the box. What did he think would happen? I read so well that I don't look at illustrations? If he were really clever, he would have told me that all the boxes were for someone else.

I may have been complaining of late about HeWho and his slovenly habits. He does very little to help maintain the household. He will now take his laundry as far as the laundry room and fling them towards the washer. I am happy to be making progress, such as it is. But he is still leaving dishes everywhere. Okay, not everywhere. He is careful to make sure a dog can't reach his cereal bowl and will usually put it in the windowsill. Doesn't everyone do that? Cereal consumption is done in the late evening. Or perhaps a glass of milk. How hard is it to take the dishes to the sink and rinse them?

I have always said that I did not want a dishwasher, preferring the storage space. It is tight in my kitchen. Not to mention the therapeutics of hot water on my aching hands. There is just the two of us and it doesn't take long to wash the dishes.

Despite this, he got me a dishwasher for Christmas. Yes, I was annoyed. The dishwasher is small and portable. I had to think fast to find a solution for storing the dishwasher while not in use. I will make a top bigger than the dishwasher and create an island of sorts to house the dishwasher and whatever I think of. 

Still, I am annoyed that his take on my nagging about where he puts the dishes wasn't addressed. I am quite sure he thinks this is the solution. It is not. There will still be a milk ring in the bottom of the glass to deal with. I still have much training to do! 



ellen abbott said...

my husband is jewish and so no extravagant gift giving in his house growing up. in fact no gift giving not for hannukah, not for birthdays. at least not after his mother left when he was nine. don't know about before that. the point is that he had no habit or tradition of gift giving. he would go with me to buy gifts for the kids because I made a big deal about hannukah and birthdays but on his own, like, you know, buying ME presents...nada. I tried for the first decade or 15 years to educate him or guilt him. towards the end, one year he bought me perfume and it was really awful perfume, me, his wife who didn't shave, didn't wear make-up, didn't do my hair, and never ever wore perfume or cologne of any kind because it irritated me and made me sneeze.
So I gave up. it wasn't worth the hurt feelings after I would go to the trouble of buying him thoughtful gifts. I stopped buying him gifts for the winter holiday and his birthday (we never did anniversary presents) and I buy my own holiday and birthday presents. Usually a piece of art. our go to birthday celebration is movie and a dinner out though not even that this year. today is his birthday. he usually fixes breakfast on Sundays so all he's getting from me is I'm making breakfast.

Joanne Noragon said...

That's a shame, Kathy. Be careful you don't run out of dishes of silver between the times you run the dishwasher, or he will be gifting you china and glassware and silver.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Ok the main problem is that HeWho is male and males do not listen they hear our words but unless they are really interested those words are stored in the brain as blah blah blah .

RunNRose said...

I am so sorry to read about Ellen's plight. Sad.
As for me, due to unique circumstances, when I married, he was my world. I was cut off from any family. Well, there had certainly been birthdays and Christmases, too, when I got no gifts. But, when I got nothing from him on my birthday, I fell apart. Sobbed and sobbed. He felt really bad. I think he cared. Soon after he bought me a gift. A beaded purse. From that time on, he never forgot. Birthdays, Mother's Day, Valentines Day, anniversaries, and, of course, Christmas. Usually jewelry, sometimes perfume or clothes. The big thing was always the card exchange. Great care went into choosing the cards. I have a box full, right down to the first one from 1964. He has cherished the cards I got him, too. Always put them on display. Right now, there are half a dozen cards on his chest and dresser. From me and our daughter this past year. Alas, this year I did not get a card from him. He can no longer drive, and I didn't want him going to stores anyway, what with Covid. I have been fortunate!

Thank you, Kathy, for the many chuckles as I read your post. Too funny. You do have a way with words. I do hope you will enjoy the dishwasher, even once in a while. Maybe you will have more time to paint!

River said...

I agree with you about the dishwasher, I love getting my achy hands into soothing hot water. If I was the sort of person who cooked and baked a lot I might want a dishwasher.
A full length black mink coat?? Did he win the lottery? Those things aren't exactly cheap. I like fur, but wouldn't want to wear it thinking of all the animals that died to make it.

Kathy G said...

Good grief!

Linda O'Connell said...

They mean well, you know? But they are oblivious to what we REALLY like/want. You will be glad for the dihswasher eventually. And I am with you about fur. hecvk I am at the point where meat makes me truin up my nose, too. Keep your stories coming. I look forward to reading your blog.