Even Then

My husband and I don’t exchange gifts.  Ever.

Not for Christmas.  Or lovey-dovey Valentines.  Or anniversaries.  Not even birthdays.  Not.  Ever.

I’m not one of those wives that expects–or even wants–flowers.  Flowers die.

Nor do I want jewelry; it’s burdensome to wear.

If I want chocolates I’ll stop by See’s and pick out my own.  All milk.  No dark.

Ask either of us and we’ll tell you why we’ve opted out of the obligatory exchanging of gifts: it’s pointless.  It might be different if each of us worked and had separate incomes and separate checking accounts.  But we don’t.  We have one pot to which all of our funds are deposited and from which all of our funds are dispersed.  So dipping into it to buy each other, well, anything, just seems counter-intuitive.

We’re more the save-until-we-can-afford-the-best kind of peeps.  Rather than whittle away our hard-earned dollars on frivolous trips to the local (shoddy at best) county fair, we save for knock-your-socks-off trips to Walt Disney World.  We don’t stop for Starbucks or hit local drive thrus; when we go out to eat it’s very much a conscience decision that involves either heavily discounted happy hours or a bogo coupon from the entertainment book.  In short, we go big or we go home.

Today is Jeff’s birthday.

I didn’t buy him anything.  Not one single thing.

I did, however, plan a treat for the two of us: rock climbing.  At a gym, not on a cliff. (We don’t go that big).

I also made him whole wheat cinnamon rolls and the most delicious egg casserole ever.

Dinner and dessert is his choice, too: turkey enchiladas and homemade apple crisp.  Oh.  And maybe a Modela Especial.  Or two.

This post will suffice as a card. So here goes:

Baby, I know you know this, but since it’s your birthday and all I’m willing to put it in print.

Without you in it, my world would be grayscale.  The sound of your voice smooths the jagged edges of my broken days.  There isn’t a soul I’d rather sit through 4th grade musical performances with.  Or with whom I’d rather traverse the airports of America with our umpteen suitcases and gaggle of children in tow.  You are the cinnamon to my sugar, the front porch to my sittin’.  The course of my life was irrevocably altered on the day you were born–like a magnet.  To fight it is futile, this much I know.  Believe me; I’ve tried.

I love you.  When you’re funny and stubborn and piddly.  When you sleep at me.  When you’re smack dab in the middle of over-explaining?  I love you then.  Even when you’re all meaned up in the middle of Disney shirt or magnet making.  I love you then.  When we’re running from grocery store to grocery store in search of organic this and whole wheat that?  I love you.  I love you for arranging everything just so in the ice chest while I climb into the air conditioned (or heated as the case may be) car.  I love you for working overtime when you can, and lamenting it when you can’t.  I love you for making my chop chop salads just the way I like them.  And for fixing the blog/computer/TV/car/stupid leaky water softener.

I love you for being my man.  For always always always being my man.

You light me up.  Fill me in.  Stretch me out.  Make me whole.

Happy birthday baby.  You’re it for me.

15 Replies to “Even Then”

  1. Oh. my. gosh. Your post gave me chills it was so beautiful! I love the picture. You are a very good looking couple! Happy birthday to your husband!

  2. I love it. Shane and I are the same way, too. No gifts, just plenty of things together that are special and beautiful for us.

  3. OMG – I am teary eyed. Our 37th Anniversary is coming up on November 17 – do you mind if I make a copy of this and just change the names to Al and Gramma Teetsie? I won’t change the picture because it would be awesome to look like to two of you…Happy Happy Birthday Jeff….and Happy Happy Love to both of you.

  4. Thanks Love – you are the bomb. And Shannon was right – we are a HOT couple! Even if we are getting old.

  5. Happy Birthday Jeff!

    I truly admire your family. You are all beautiful on the inside and out.

    Our family has learned that experiences shared together are so much more treasured than gifts. And those Disney vacations sure do bond us together with memorable moments.

    Love the picture. Your words always touch me, Darcie. :)

  6. Sweet.

    We do exchange gifts, but only because I like the surprise element. I like that my husband will take time to choose a gift for me.

  7. I could have written the EXACT intro of your post, except that I’d choose dark chocolate at See’s instead. ;)

    Happy Birthday to Jeff!

  8. So sweet! To quote one of your readers from a while ago, “I love your love”.
    Happy Belated Birthday, Jeff!!

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