|This is Anson at the Sin Sin Leopard Lounge where the bartender rubbed cherry juice all over his belly, and shot olives out of his navel, all for me, as a birthday gift. Clearly, Anson found his happy place.|
My birthday was this past Sunday. Anson has a terrible time leading up to holidays and special occasions where gifts are exchanged. He frets about getting the wrong thing, is aware of his propensity to procrastinate long enough that he actually buys nothing, and looses sleep over what it all means to the person.
It’s interesting that he has this heightened state of anxiety around gift giving. It’s interesting because I am absolutely convinced that truly, Anson is off the hook. I don’t want him to buy me gifts. It isn’t that I’m a martyr or that I don’t appreciate nice gestures. And I do enjoy receiving presents. But when the holidays roll around, including my birthday, our anniversary and everything else, I prefer that he not get me anything.
The reason is simple, though I haven’t convinced him that it’s in earnest. The life we have together is a pretty big gift. Now before you start rolling your eyes at me and envisioning greeting cards or posters with hearts and “I Wuv You!” and kittens and glitter and rainbows and unicorns, hear me out.
|In my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would be able to take time off from work and live my life. I always have had a job. Sometimes I’ve had a few at a time. But I don’t now – not really. I have time to volunteer at Roan’s school, and I have time to be there at drop-off and pick-up. I am lucky enough to be Roan’s companion to the park, and his competitor when we get home on the Wii. During the day I have time to teach Muay Thai Kickboxing, and write. Most importantly, I am answering to no one but myself, and that is profoundly liberating.|
Anson works hard every day, even on his days off. He is always pushing himself to do more professionally, to be better and to work harder. The reason he is so driven is that he wants to provide for me, for us. And to have a person do that for me, for us, is pretty amazing. I don’t expect it to last because it is too good to be true, but every day I can walk outside with free time on my hands, that is Anson’s Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, Columbus Day, Valentine’s Day and Groundhog Day present to me. I value it more than anything he could buy from a store.
So do me a favor, when you see my husband. Don’t ask him what he got me for my birthday. Or Christmas. Or Valentine’s Day. Tell him he’s doing just fine. Maybe if he hears it from someone besides me, he’ll believe it. Until then, I’ll admit that I do like every gift he’s given me, and Roan’s choice this year – the Wii Fit, is actually pretty awesome. But the best part about it is that I have time to use it. As much as I’d like. That is what’s truly awesome. And it is good to have another year tucked under my belt.