Even though I may not come across this way (like with a lead-in statement like that), I have low self-esteem. I seem to be in need of constant affirmation. Frankly, it's probably part of why I write this blog. It's really not healthy, and I'm not sure why I seek the attention. So, one would think that in a life partner or spouse, I would pick someone who swoons all over me, is constantly showering me with attention and lavish gifts and puts me on a pedestal. Right? Nope, wrong. My husband of eleven years is the opposite. He is not overly complementary. Or even outwardly complementary. And, if I ask him, "Does this make me look fat?" his answer is usually yes. And to clarify, it's usually because, if I'm asking him in the first place, then I know it does not look good, and he is honest. The best response I can usually get out of him is "Meh, looks fine." (Oh dear lord, how I hate the word fine!)
Sometimes, I wish my husband made grand, sweeping, romantic gestures. But that is not who he is. And I know that. But, every so often, I find myself day dreaming, and then I get all pissed off at him for not living up to my over-inflated expectations. It would be like him getting pissed that he's not coming home to Donna Reed or Martha Stewart or Adriana Lima. I'm not them, either.
After all these years, I still feel bah-humbuggy on Valentine's Day. I've given up the romantic dreams, and tried to minimize disappointment about my husband not going over the top for me by not going over the top for him. This year, all I got him was a card and a small box of chocolate turtles (one of his favorites). I give up chocolate for Lent, and, as being the primary grocery shopper, may not buy a whole lot of chocolate in the next 6 weeks, so I figure this gives him a little stash. When he asked me what I wanted, I told him I just wanted a gesture, to know he was thinking about me. Oh, and Valentine's Day is after Lent starts, so no chocolate.
When I got home from work today, there was a small vase of pink roses (my favorite!), dove chocolates and a box of Andes Candies (also one of my favorites) on the table next to my box for him. Part of me sighed, because he didn't listen when I told him that I would not be eating chocolate. But the more I thought about it, I realized that he did think about me, and the things I like, which is what I asked him for. I called him and asked what he thought about dinner, and told him the most romantic thing I could think of would be for him to pick up dinner. He agreed, and we decided on Chinese. This was about 4 pm. He said he'd call when he was ready to leave work.
Fast forward 2 hours. I'm hungry. I'm happy I let the kids have snacks, otherwise they'd be miserable right now. I call Pat's phone...one ring and then right to voice mail. I wait 8 minutes, and call back, and he answers the phone, but it's apparent he's still at work. When he calls back, he agrees to get the Chinese food, but tells me he lost his credit card.
An aside about my husband...he's relatively disorganized. He's pretty much the absent-minded professor, with a really poor memory to boot. My memory is the polar opposite. I question him a little about last use of the card, and the best I can do is last Saturday. As I'm preparing to call that store, I remember that he talked about needing to use his card to pay at a parking garage on Monday. The card is most likely in his car, which is the antithesis of clean. I called him back to confirm the food order, and to tell him my latest thoughts on the missing card.
Although the card is not actually located, it made me feel exorbitantly proud that I was able to think this through and problem solve for him. And that's when it hit me...my husband does make me feel really good about myself. It's not by gushing compliments or treating me like a fragile princess. It is through needing me to help him. His weaknesses are complimented by my strengths and that gives me a chance to shine, and do what I'm really good at. Likewise, my weaknesses (assuming there may be one or two minor ones) are bolstered by his strengths. In this respect, we are the perfect partners for each other.
Realizing that, is the best gift he could have given me. That, and dinner, because I'm pretty hungry right now.