Secondly, why, oh why, do we do this to each other? You know the definition of insanity...doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Well? Lend a hand here...
If you have a hunny bunny who always gets it right, move on, nothing to see here.
We have this idea that men pay attention to "what" we like. They don't. One of the reasons is that we over-talk. We've trained them to stop listening about 5 seconds into our "presentation". Otherwise, they wouldn't survive us. We have different brains, that's it. Oh, they love us alright, but we're just too too too hyperverbal. They get overloaded and they have to bail out.
A drinking glass and a pitcher of water. Do you keep pouring when it's full? No. So observe your husband and learn when he bails out. Keep your commentary within his "saturation point".
Second, when you speak to your husband, do you "prime, prompt and prepare" him? Introduce the topic, state your information and wind up. You may have to repeat the message if it's really important, but do it at another time.
Third, don't start a conversation with, "Do you remember...?" They don't. Don't set them up for failure. Give them a break.
Make a list and make it clear which items are not negotiable. Structure the list in such a way so that they know what you prefer. Be specific. Color, name brand, size, fabric, store, whatever. Want a gift card? Want it for a certain amount? Don't want chocolates? Let them know.
Make the list "live" within your budget. You know how much money you have. Don't break the bank.
If you're smart, you'll make a list of things they can get or arrange for online. Make it so that the only thing they have to actually go and get is the card. And, tell them if you want it to be funny or sweet or mushy.
I love cookware and bakeware. One year, I gave the hubs and son one thing on the list I absolutely positively had to have before I leave this earth....yes, it's a LeCreuset goose pot. It hold 15.5 quarts of "stuff". I'm not making a goose. But, I do love a big big roast and a garden of vegetables to go with it that we eat over the holidays. Need a snack? Grab a bowl, put a bit of roast, potatoes, carrots, onions, celery and a ton of gravy in it and a chunk of challah or brioche and have at it. It's heaven when I watch them go after the leftovers. No talking...they're just in front of the tv watching sports and the "mmmm" noises abound!
This pot goes for $675 and it is never ever on sale that I could ever find. That's an enormous, tremendous amount of money. My proposition? Get the goose pot and it will "cover" at least a year's worth of gifts. It's hilarious. Let me tell you how I did it.
Because the gift was so expensive, it was a great opportunity for them to be let off the hook for a full year (and more!). Cards were still expected and received even if they came from the Middle East or Iceland or England or France or Germany or Italy or Greece. My kid gets around.
My husband spends his time getting the books I want, the kitchen tools I listed and goodies from Crabtree and Evelyn. I shop for tools. Online, at Lowe's, Home Depot, Harbor Freight. I'm right at home in these places.
His list gives me ideas as to things he might like, but aren't on the list. At times, I buy something for myself that's on super duper sale and put it away. At the moment of gift-giving, he cracks up over the "surprise gift" he's bought for me and says things like, "Wow, I have such good taste!" Regardless, it's fun to watch him open the gifts he thinks he's getting and one's that aren't.
It's fun and anxiety-free. Perfect.
One year, our son and I got him a tool chest like this. Classic American tool chest. It came on a wooden pallet. We wrapped the whole thing. The hubs loved it. Anything that comes on a wooden pallet, he loves. That gift covered his birthday, Christmas, Father's Day...
Please get it for me and wrap it for Christmas. He blanched. "I can't do that!"
"Uh, yes you can". The vacuum has worked great for years. I love it. It makes my life easier on a daily basis. To me, that's priceless. He did something uncomfortable to make me happy. What's love if not that?
Funny part. I told my Aunt Rose in Norristown, PA about it. She asked my hubs to get one for her daughter. Mission accomplished. I told you we're practical girls!
You may not think I'm a feminist, but think again. I've never been quite sure what that word "feminist" means. I think back to those women who crossed the plains in covered wagons, were the first ones in medical school, dental school, law school and who took on any job in order to get the job done. They worked hard enough to make things happen. That's me. I am responsible for myself. My motto? "I don't back up, I don't back off and I never back down." I'm fierce and fiercely independent.
I put myself through school, had a private practice for 23 years and have run my home and my life alongside my husband and son. I choose to be a team with my family. There are times when their needs are subservient to mine and vice versa. It's a ballet. I participate with them to create the "happyhood" where everyone gets at least a little of what they want and all of what they need. That's my definition of feminism and so is getting a vacuum cleaner as a gift.
Give it a little thought. It'll be so very, very worth it.
Just do the best you can. TTFN, Claudia
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