Right. Here I go being a complete selfish bitch again!
A (very) long time ago I was in a (forbidden) relationship (marriage) to my ex. We were totally wrong for each other in so many ways. All celebrations came and went with very little thought going into my gifts yet somehow he always managed to get them right.
Absolutely spot on. Every time (irritatingly).
I really do not think of him much often but we were together for 7 years so he has left an imprint on my life and my relationship abilities.
He never failed to surprise me when it came to gifts. They ranged from the extravagant (jewelery, holidays and the like) to the small (intimate details were never overlooked, my favourite perfume that I was running out of, new underwear, another addition to my Winnie the Pooh collection etc etc. the list goes on.)
Anyway. Due to (oh soooo) many reasons. We parted company.
Ever since I have never met another male who has been able to match his gift buying abilities.
I question whether Mr Ex was particularly good at buying gifts for me to make up for his complete balls up in every other capacity in our relationship. Alas, I digress.
With Christmas coming I have been very careful to detail to my (crap at buying gifts) husband EXACTLY what I would like to unwrap come the big day. I know we don't have a lot of money and I have explicitly explained that I only expect to receive the one gift from him and the children as a collective. I even emailed him the link to the website that sells them. Not because I am totally unreasonable, ungrateful for any other gift he may buy, but because it is something that I really need. Something that I would have liked a long time ago, however it is a replacement to something I have already had and I have been patient and waited until my old one is dying a slow death. Overall, I have learnt my lesson. Hints just do not work...!
Last night, my husband made a big deal about borrowing my laptop and ordering me a gift from him. (So I already know that he hasn't listened.) I hoped that perhaps he had been super diligent and found them cheaper elsewhere or got a good deal or maybe even had a secret stash of money that I hadn't known about and could afford to buy me more than one gift. He was pleased as punch with himself. He is the man that runs out on my birthday to pick up a card and a gift (if I'm lucky!) and the guy that is frantically buying whatever is left for Christmas or Mothering Sunday. I even can't remember the last time he bought me a Valentines card.
I have just discovered what he has bought me. (My hubby is RUBBISH at keeping secrets and has dropped hints all over the place. He also stupidly ordered it on my amazon account and they sent me a confirmation email....Had I not purchased items from them which I am waiting delivery I probably would not have opened the email. School boy error.)
My hubby has bought me something that I really do not want. We had a conversation about the item last Christmas and I explained my reasons for not wanting one quite explicitly.
I can almost understand the logic behind him purchasing one of these for me:
He knows how much I love to read. However, when I explained last year my reasons for not wanting one, I thought I had been quite specific. I love the touch, smell and feel of a real book.
I admit I don't like surprises, for this specific reason; I don't like to disappoint the person who has given the gift. Especially when they will be jumping around like a puppy, giddy with enthusiasm at the anticipation.
He is the gadget man. He has the iPhone, iPhone4, several iPods, BluRay players, HMDI TV, Wii, laptop, Sky+ HD, PSP, DSi etc. He loves a gadget. Anything that takes the effort out of doing, viewing, seeing his entertainment and invariably makes his life easier. He already has his eyes on the next range of TV's we will have to buy to fulfil his gadgetry needs.
I don't mind these items. It keeps him out of my way when I need to get on with stuff. I'm just not overwhelmed by them (until it comes to being able to function any of them when he is out of the house!)
I really am just not that kind of person. It broke my heart to actually purchase and use a sewing machine this year to undertake my sewing and mending jobs that I would love to have the time to do (meticulously) by hand. I just didn't have the time so I gave in.
I like old fashioned things. I like needlecraft's and reading and enjoy them far more than any of the various entertainment contraptions he has in the house. I like the piece and quiet of undertaking my hobbies and the immense satisfaction I get when I complete a project or book.
He just doesn't get it. He cannot understand why I wouldn't want a machine to read a book for me. He probably thinks that it will make his life easier as he won't have to store (yet more) books in his beloved "clean lined" house. I fear he just doesn't get me. Which leaves me reflecting on the way things were.
I like a little bit of homely clutter. If I had my own way (and a spare room!) I'd put bookshelves in there and a comfy chair with a knitting box and I would be in my element.
I wish he could understand the total enjoyment I get from reading a book. In the 5 years we have been together, he has only ever read one book (The DaVinci Code). It was a good book. I read it too. I also jumped on the opportunity to buy him the other 3 books Dan Brown had written at the time with a longing for him to reap the rewards of the written word too. He has never picked any of them up.
Have we really come to a point in society where a real book is dead unless it can be uploaded onto a gadget that will deteriorate our eyesight more so that reading an actual book?
Is it too much to expect the man in my life to know me well enough to appreciate my interests? Or even listen to me when I ask for a specific gift?
I am very happy with my man for the most part. He is my world and he gave me my 3 very beautiful children. I am now worrying with vigour how I gently explain to him my disappointment when the big day comes.