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My husband and I don’t really do lovey gifts. Valentine’s, anniversary, whatever. He doesn’t care if he gets a gift on Valentine’s Day.
I used to care.
Mostly because I’d been taught to care. All those TV sitcoms where the goober of a husband forgot a special day and had to scramble to come up with a thoughtful / expensive gift had me believing that if my man forgot any of our special days he was a terrible person.
But that’s not true for us. I don’t think it’s true for anyone, really.
Life is busy. If you add in all the birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Days, you’re on the hook for a few hundred dollars in gifts.
Perhaps worse, a few hundred hours of thinking about gifts. Turns out real love is WAY different than what TV would have you believe.
My love, in fact, is a bonus taco.
My Love Is A Bonus Taco
The first big gift my husband ever gave me was my engagement ring. He didn’t go pick out a ring. He didn’t even get down on one knee.
We’d sort of talked about marriage and agreed that it was something both of us wanted. There was no official proposal.
But I will never forget the day he said, “Yeah, so I talked to my Mom and we shuffled some money around to buy you a ring. Here’s the credit card.”
Boom. That ladies and gentlemen is my kind of love. Uncomplicated and uncluttered.
Did I have a picture of him slipping a ring to a waiter to hide in the bottom of a fancy dessert? Maybe in my wildest fantasies.
But I already knew he wasn’t a grand gesture kinda guy.
Plus, he knew me well enough to know that I had opinions on rings. I probably wasn’t going to be happy with what he picked out. So, he gave me the credit card and let me shop.
That may seem unromantic to some, but it was perfect for me. It shows that he knew me… and me not insisting on him trying to propose in public with fireworks and roses means that I knew him.
We’ve been married now for six years. Anniversaries are acknowledged but we rarely go out to fancy restaurants.
He sometimes buys me flowers. I sometimes buy him Skylanders. But tokens of our love aren’t just given on designated days.
Case in point, last night we went to Taco Bueno. He ordered a platter with a medium drink. I ordered a combo that came with a small drink.
He picked up the cups, smiled, and offered me the larger one.
We ate dinner and we talked about how Batman Versus Superman is a dreadful movie. (This is a frequent topic of conversation.)
After he finished his food, I still had a taco left. I caught him eyeballing it and I offered him my bonus taco.
“You don’t want it?” he asked.
“You can always have my taco, babe.” I said coyly.
He winked. “Yeah, I can.”
Then we fist-bumped and broke down into giggles because we totally get each other.
Our love is a quiet, but constant thing. He doesn’t have a problem spending a little extra cash around one of the designated gift days so he can buy a slightly more expensive board game.
I don’t have a problem with him asking what I want for Christmas and then just handing him a catalog with a couple of things circled in it.
Would I like for my husband to surprise me with an all expenses paid, perfectly planned trip to Disney World? Sure! But then I’d lock him in a closet because I’d know he’s a Pod Person.
We as a society have bought into the narrative that all gift giving holidays need to be filled with grand gestures. But grand gestures can become expensive and time consuming.
We need to remind ourselves that when we see Phil and Claire from Modern Family pull out these amazing thoughtful gifts for their anniversary that we don’t need to let our stomachs clench up in dread.
They have a whole staff of writers, a huge production team, and a generous budget to be thoughtful.
Me? I just sometimes have a bonus taco. And my husband is totally fine with that.