XXXI: Birthday’s and Laundry Detergent

This tends to be a rather crazy two weeks for Darco and myself. Her birthday is tomorrow, mine is later this week, and our anniversary is just over two weeks from now. Throw in new teacher orientation this year for me, beginning on July 31st, and the next couple weeks are busy.

I suppose I should have thought about that while having a conversation with my wife this evening. This one I can file under, “Times That I’ve Screwed Up” in our marriage. She asked me about my birthday, gifts, and some past experiences with it. Through the conversation, turned into slight argument, she let me know that for our anniversary she wanted to get me a new wedding band.

Alright, first you need to know something my wedding band. While it isn’t your standard band, it is indeed a Walmart special. When we went shopping for my band we had about $25 dollars to our name.

My ring wound up costing around $19. It’s been a slight joke for the past couple years when people talk about the unique design of the ring; oblivious to the knowledge of its origins. I just learned to live with it, enjoy it, and occasionally get a solid laugh out of it.

As it turns out, my wife wanted to surprise me with a new wedding band. Something a bit more ‘chic’, modern, and me. This is when I made the mistake of simply asking,

Why do I need a new wedding band?

Women’s Intention For Men: 1
Men’s Appreciation For Women: 0

It turns out that, that isn’t necessarily the right time to ask why something is needed. The remark I got back was that it was something that she wanted to do for me. Here’s the laundry detergent (title) comes into play. There are some aspects that are different compared to how Darco and I have grown up over the years. Personally, birthdays meant more about needs then necessarily wants. I need new clothes, I need new shoes, and during the college years…I needed a new bottle of laundry detergent. Sure, I hated my birthday because the idea of surprises were non-existent. No, I wouldn’t be surprised with a new car when I turned 16. No, I’m not going to get that new computer game when I turn 14. No, there probably won’t be some fun family outing when I’m 18. It’s just something that came to be expected after my mom and dad (biological creature) stopped their Cold War of 1-upping with Christmas gifts.

That’s the reality that I know and that I’ve come to accept. Receiving gifts is about what I need, it’s not the time to think about what I want. Personally, that means birthdays, Christmas, and in this case anniversaries. As the real world has demonstrated multiple times; it isn’t always about me, what I want, and my expectations to so society.

As I’m sure you could tell, Darco was very upset that I ruined her surprise. Thankfully, I’m here sulking after apologizing for being the world’s number one worst husband.

Is there much logic to this piece? Nope. I made a mistake, I’m admitting my mistake, and I’m learning that in some cases in life, people really do want to surprise* you.


*Note: My wife did successfully surprise me last Christmas with tickets to Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Just thought I’d throw that out there…

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