I have a wonderful husband. We are alike in many ways: both strong-willed and stubborn, both determined, both on the strict side when it comes to dealing with our kids, poor things. We have a similar sense of humor (if you aren't considering boy/potty humor), we are passionate about our faith, and we like good food. We love Russia, the Book of Mormon, California Craftsman architecture, and our kids. But like all couples, we also have our differences, some more compatible than others. He likes ESPN, I like HGTV; he likes peace & quiet, I like the house teeming with family and friends; he craves continuity, I crave variety. And there is one difference that I doubt we'll ever agree upon: birthdays.
You see, I love birthdays. There is just something wonderful about having a day all your own (although, now I share mine with Margaret,) on which people you love make an effort to make you feel special. I love getting phone calls, cards, and Facebook messages on my birthday. I love going out to dinner with my husband, having a big family dinner with my kids, and going to lunch with girlfriends. I love birthday cake and presents. I love feeling loved-- after all, don't we all love that? And I love doing the same for my loved ones on their birthdays.
But Jared, you see, CLAIMS that he doesn't care a fig about birthdays. Now don't get me wrong-- as any good husband should, he knows how important birthdays are to me and does all he can to make mine special. But when it comes to his birthday, he always says we should just ignore it. And I am left in a conundrum. Does he really want me to ignore it? Is that what would show him love in equal measure to spoiling me on my birthday? Somehow, it seems like a betrayal to not celebrate the day that he came into the world. Doesn't he need a big, chocolatey cake, at least one present that isn't new socks, and the family gathered around to sing? Doesn't he want a birthday card from me full of all the reasons I'm glad he's mine?
Sometimes I resolve to respect his wishes and treat the day like any other. But I never can go through with it. Instead, I plot to find the perfect gift for him that he hasn't asked for. He says he doesn't want anything, but I'm sure that if I find the right thing, he'll be so overcome with joy and emotion that I'll know I've finally done it. And it never has worked yet. And I am left wondering if he spends his birthday humoring me by letting us celebrate it when he just wants to watch sports and be left alone for an hour or two.
So, what shall I do? His big day (in my eyes, only) is coming up on Thursday and I still am not sure how to handle it this year. I have plead for some direction-- a family outing, a dinner date, an afternoon doing whatever he never does because he gives all his time to his family or business, but to no avail. He won't even tell me what he wants for dinner! How would you handle such a stinker? If you really loved him and wanted him to be sure of that? And in what way are you and your spouse polar 0pposites? Leave me a comment, pretty please!