My husband is in the doghouse. He’s sleeping there, eating there, and working there. The trail leading back up to the main house is full of potholes and booby tracks. He has a long, hard journey ahead of him.
Yesterday was my birthday. My parents came over to take us out to dinner and have cake and ice cream. The meal was pretty good. The cake was delicious and it was time for my favorite part: the present opening. I didn’t have any actual presents, just cards. My husband turned his back to me, reached into his pocket to get something and then handed two cards to me. The first card I opened had a picture of a college-age cartoon kid on the front and it said something like, “Mom, it’s your birthday and you have something to be proud of.” On the inside it said, “I remembered your birthday and I’m wearing clean underwear.” It was signed, in my husband’s handwriting, with both of my kids' names. There was no homemade card, no picture, and no little gift from the kids, just that lame card. I did not laugh. I did not even smile. I was pissed. There was, however, another card from my husband on the table.
I braced myself for the worst and hoped for the best as I opened the envelope. Inside was a card with a cute, complimentary message. It was a perfectly acceptable card with a short, hand-written note from my husband on the inside. In lieu of a gift, my husband had put a Best-Buy gift card on the inside of the card. This would have been a decent gesture had it not been a used Best Buy gift card that my husband received as a Christmas gift from his boss in early December. It had a remaining balance of between $7-15. He couldn’t be sure. I was disappointed and hurt but, most of all, I was pissed. I still am.
It should be mentioned that my husband did bring me flowers and brought a cabinet into the kitchen that he presented as my gift. It is a tall, thin cabinet that he found on the side of the road and thought it was worth saving. He did some minor repairs and painted it white. This is what he does. He likes to find things of no value and make them valuable. I support this hobby but he does it for himself, not me. I have nowhere to put the cabinet and, while I acknowledge the gesture, I am not someone who appreciates birthday gifts found on the side of the road. I like thought and sentiment. I don’t need expensive things, just thoughtful things. If not for the cake and the birthday song, my kids would never have known that it was my birthday. I still feel a little sting of pain when I think about it. It quickly turns to anger. Wish him luck people. He’s going to need a small miracle to make the trek back to the main house.