As you know from prior posts, I am unashamed to admit that my Love Language is gifts. I love presents--they make me feel loved and appreciated. They don't have to cost a lot of money, they don't have to be diamond-studded, they don't have to have a fancy logo. Just the idea that someone thinks enough of me to take the time to pick out something because they think I'll enjoy it is enough to bring a tear to my eye and a smile to my face.
My friend J-Ro (sorry; couldn't resist) does this for me frequently. She'll pick up a little box of chocolates, or a fancy bottle of lemonade, or some hand lotion, put it into a pretty gift bag with some tissue paper, and give me a gift for absolutely no reason! I know, right? We should all be such thoughtful friends. (Now that I think about it, what have I done for her lately? Oh, yeah, there was that time I promised to pick up her daughter from after-care and then TOTALLY FORGOT to do it.)
Eeeeenyway. Another person with really excellent gift-giving skills is...wait for it...of course you know; you're not surprised...it's Mr. Peevie!
On our first Christmas as young marrieds, Mr. Peevie gave me a pair of hiking boots that I still own and wear to this day. I had always wanted that style of boots--do you remember them? The big clunky brown ones with the red laces, like lumberjack boots?--and I probably wept when I saw them. I slept with one arm around them that Christmas night--seriously, I did.
He's given many perfect gifts in the years since then--sometimes for an occasion, sometimes for none. One time it was an entire outfit, including coordinated accessories, from Talbot's. Often it's something little but precisely right--like a book about language or a box of notecards.
(Just so you don't think that I'm a total schlub in the gift-giving department, you should know that I've come up with some memorable gifts for him as well: A visit to a taping of his favorite TV chef, The Frugal Gourmet; a Tissot Rock Watch that took me three months to save up for and which left him speechless; and romantic overnight stay at a downtown hotel. With me.)
Astonishingly, after two decades, Mr. P just keeps getting better and better at gift-giving. Last week he went to Las Vegas on "business," leaving me to handle three kids (one with the flu, one kid with sock bumps, and one with multiple, conflicting after-school commitments), my work, my own mysterious hip ailment, and the household on my own. I understand that millions of single parents do this all the time--but remember, I AM SPOILED! I am used to having a helpful, supportive, fully-engaged partner around to help in the daily struggles, chores, chauffeuring, refereeing, homework assisting, and general functioning of the household.
When he returned, I asked him how much he spent on gambling--not because I wanted to bust him, but merely because I was curious.
"Nothing," he said.
"Nothing?" I asked, disbelieving. "Not even twenty bucks at craps?" He's done the research. He knows that the house has the smallest advantage at craps compared to all the other games, and he occasionally plays the safest bets.
"Nope, nothing," he reiterated.
"Not even ten bucks on the wheel?"
"Not even a quarter in a slot machine?" I pressed.
"No. Nothing. Nada," he said, simply. "I spent my gambling budget on presents for you and the kids."
And that right there, my friends, says it all. It is entirely possible that he is the only person in the entire history of Las Vegas to stay there for four days without spending even one lonely quarter on gambling.
"I just didn't feel like it," he said.
But he did feel like bringing home perfect presents for his little family--all of whom share my genetic disposition toward fondness for presents. He bought In-N-Out Burger t-shirts for the kids, plus little personalized mementos from the M&M store. Mr. Peevie consulted his colleague about a gift for me, and she suggested he buy me something that I wouldn't buy for myself. Mr. Peevie knows that I don't really go for jewely, and I'm currently in an "accessorizing with handbags" phase. So here's what he brought home for me:
Is that not the most perfect gift for a husband to bring his wife from Las Vegas? I practically wept. It's so adorable! It's so fashionable! It's so shiny!
I love that he was so obviously thinking of me, even when he was surrounded by so many distractions--shows, gambling, food, beverages, and women of ill repute. I love that he pays attention.
I'm not trying to make every other woman in the world jealous. Really, I'm not. I'm just grateful to be so loved and cared for.
Also, I consider these "Mr. Peevie posts" to be a kind of public service, like a primer for husbands and boyfriends, and for potential husbands and boyfriends.