You Get What You Give—Or Don't Give | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

You Get What You Give—Or Don't Give

On Father's Day, I always wonder what I should get for my husband to adequately express my love and appreciation. Since Mother's Day is only a month beforehand, I try to gauge my gift giving on what he got for me. It may sound a little tit-for-tat, but it helps to keep things under control. I don't want to make him feel uncomfortable with an extravagant gift.

This year, using my "I-don't-want-to-outdo-you" system, I was looking at cards at the grocery store and found the perfect one. It was so funny, so "us." I stood there in the aisle and laughed and laughed while I thought about him. It totally described our relationship, but it cost an entire $3. I thought, "Why buy the card when I can just tell him about it, eh? He's gonna love this. I can't wait to tell him about the card I thought about buying."

Don't worry. That's not all he's getting. That would be ridiculous--crazy, even.

I'm also giving him permission to get a massage. Not an actual gift certificate, mind you. I thought about it, but I'm going to tell him that the same day I saw the card, I thought, "You know, my husband is so amazing. He is such a great dad! He should really do something nice for himself. Like get a babysitter and a massage at some point--just whenever he can get around to it."

In case you haven't figured it out yet, my husband isn't great on special occasions. He looks at cards and never buys them. He suggests gift ideas the day of special events. Instead, he shines in everyday moments. He works hard every single day and loves that I stay at home with our children. He has been known to mop floors totally unprompted. He lets me sleep in every single Saturday and Sunday. He fixes everything I break, and that's a full time job. He does things like check my oil and tire pressure.

After we had been married for five years, I saw him walking through our den with an air-conditioning filter in his hand. He walked to the vent and changed the filter, while I watched in amazement.

"How often do you do that?" I asked.

"Every month," he replied.

"Wow. That's never even occurred to me. Not once."

He just shook his head and went on his way to do other household tasks that had never crossed my mind.

I guess if I'm going to be fair, I owe my husband a lot more than greeting card ideas and snarky gift suggestions. Instead, I will smile every day when he comes home from work so he knows I am glad to see him. I will thank him for breaking up fights between our three shrieking daughters so he knows I appreciate him. I will fold his underwear and match his socks so he doesn't have to think about it. I will hang up his shirts and cook his meals so that he knows I love him.

They say keeping score is a bad idea, but this is a tit-for-tat that's bound to work, even if our greeting cards are only ideas.

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