So, What Did He Get You for Your Birthday?

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.


15 responses to “So, What Did He Get You for Your Birthday?

  1. I love that you can appreciate rather than feel guilty. I enjoy many free days also, but I tend to feel the guilt since my good husband is slaving away in the “coal mines”. He has always been thankful that I am home to handle the never ending kid and home challenges. It is simpler now and I enjoy so many wonderful free zone days!Here is a sappy, but well said verse I just saw on a religious billboard…”Enjoy each day as a gift…that is why it is called the present.” I am glad Anson has given you so many presents!I love you and happy birthday!

  2. This is a pretty amazing tribute to your husband–sounds like a great guy! Hope you had a wonderful birthday–enjoy that gift of time as long as you can. : ) I, too, am celebrating a special event today. I am celebrating my 2nd wedding anniversary today with a man who has been a dear friend for over 25 years. It’s my second marriage, my second chance, my second beginning. His gift to me has been this new life I’ve discovered with him and his ability to make me laugh and smile every single day. That is truly a gift that can never be trumped by something sold at any local retailer. I do make best to make sure he knows that.

  3. Sin sin? It must have been some night. Happy birthday!

  4. I just about spit my coffee out when I read “I WUV YOU”, really funny and forgot about those stupid cards:-) Anyway, I understand your post completely and I feel the same way. I’m so sick of people wanting so many material things. How about just being thankful for a great life? It’s not that i think you shouldn’t get gifts but like you say, your gift is everyday. Good job, Anson!

  5. THAT is completely awesome! I wish we could all be more appreciative of the small but great things in our lives like people and time.

  6. Oh yeh well I do feel guilty sometimes. No doubt about it, especially when he’s leaving in the morning looking at Ro + me wrapped up on the couch eating bagels. That’s gotta be tough. But somehow Anson always manages to thank me (like Rocky does) for running the house. Not a fair trade. I do like it though.p.s. your sappy quote should be printed across the unicorn picture. Awesome.

  7. Sounds like a big day Donna! It’s a great pairing – a friend who makes you laugh and smile – I’m happy that you have that combo in your life.

  8. It was. It was some night. Thanks Emily!

  9. NEVER spit out coffee! Not even for the wuv. Yeh – presents are nice and all but it kinda feels bad when they’re given out of expectation. I’m glad you see it the same way.

  10. YOU are completely awesome for thinking so. Thanks Kat!

  11. I think I might actually wuv your husband a bit. But most of all I wuv the unicorn. Pwetty!Luv/A.

  12. This is beautiful Jodi.I have a husband like that too, one who works so hard for us and allows me to take care of us without a lot of stress even when we both know the extra paychecks each month would be really nice. And he never fails to show me his appreciation over it.You have a gem. A good man, husband and father, and you are truly blessed. Thanks for sharing it with us

  13. Lovely! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Hi, Birthday is always a special day in every body’s life. This is a day when one comes in this beautiful world. On every birthday, one looks back and counts the years of his/her existence in this world. Everyone wants to feel important on his/her birthday. If you’re loved one’s birthday is coming, then make him/her feel special through sentimental birthday gifts.Diamond Buyers

  15. Well well, what do we have here?

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