Monday, June 29, 2015

In Which I Truly Say What I Feel

I am feeling such anxiety. Today's my husband's birthday, right? And what have I done for him?
Not much. Not much at all.
For days he's been saying that he's wanted no fuss for his birthday. No presents, no cake, no seven-layer chocolate dessert.
I know he's lying about the chocolate dessert. There's no doubt about that.
And today's been just crazy. Lily and the boys and I were going to take a fancy cupcake to Mr. Moon at the bank where he works works to stick a candle in the pastry and sing to him and when I got in my car this morning, the battery was dead and so click, click, click.
Going nowhere.
And of course I called my husband because birthday or not, he's the one who deals with this stuff. And he called a friend who works at a shop around the corner (yes! Lloyd has a very good car repair place) who came right over and gave me a jump and I drove to town and Lily and the boys met us and they brought a cupcake and we sang to him although the candle never made an appearance. Then Mr. Moon and I drove to the battery place and they put in a new battery and then we drove to the airport where he picked up his rental car because he was leaving to to go the auto auction for his business.

Jeez. Great birthday, right?

I met Hank and Lily and the boys for lunch and we had a good time and then I stayed with the boys for just a little while so that Lily could go to work and when Jason got home, I came home myself. I got here just as my darling man was leaving. He'd made his own popcorn and cut up watermelon and had it in a Tupperware container for his journey and I felt like such a horrible, horrible wife.

I've always had a problem with gift-giving. I'm just not good at it. And despite the number of birthday parties I've thrown for my kids and my husband and my mother and even a few friends, I always feel as if I fall short. I think it may be a matter of wanting to give people I love the PERFECT gift, the perfect experience. Giving them something that will represent my love and respect for them. My gratefulness for having them in my life.
And let's face it- unless I'm throwing airline tickets to Paris around or the deeds to new houses or BRAND NEW CARS, that's just not possible.
Even then, it would not be enough.
And so I clutch. I can't figure it out.
And at our age, Mr. Moon's and mine, we pretty much have everything we could ever want or need and we're perfectly capable of finding anything we don't have that we want or need and buying it ourselves.

But still.

I feel like a failure. And he's off to auction and here I am. I went out and picked the garden.

I collected the eggs. I talked to my Lis. I put laundry away and straightened up a few things around here. I did some dishes. And here I am. 
Not with that man on his birthday night. 

I am trying to rationalize it all. Trying to remember that it's not a cake or a many-layered chocolate dessert or gifts that mean love. That it's working together to create a family, a life, a garden, an income, a nest. That it's about always everyday loving. That it's about taking care of each other. That it's about always saying, "I love you." That it's about laundry and dishwashers and putting the chickens up at night. That it's about loving our family. That it's about holding each other in bed at night. That it's about encouraging and respecting each other's dreams. That it's about making smoothies and lunches the night before. That it's about thank-you for mowing the grass and thank-you for tilling the garden and thank-you for telling me how nice our yard looks because of all the things I've planted and thank-you for being so gentle and thank-you for being so strong and thank-you for packing my vitamins and thank-you for folding the laundry and thank-you for not bitching too much about the cat waking you up at night and thank-you for thanking me for our children and thank-you for being the grandparent you are and thank-you for still making me laugh and thank-you for all the private jokes and thank-you for bringing food to our table and thank-you for not mentioning the way my thighs look these days and thank-you for washing the sheets and thank-you for listening to my rants and thank-you for listening to my stories of my day and thank-you for letting me sleep in your t-shirt and thank-you for not leaving me when I was insane and thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. And mostly thank-you for loving me and letting me love you. 

That's all I have to say. It is my husband's sixty-first birthday. It will be mine in a month. 

Thank-you for sharing over half our lives together. Thank you for all the fun. 

Yours truly...Mrs. Moon


  1. Ah, about the gift giving, I too struggle, and about the second half of this entry, I am sure he will read it and feel all that love in it as the perfect gift...

  2. and many more to you both! love is really an action verb. it flows through so many things we can do for those we care so deeply and profoundly about.


  3. I'm guilty of this but no husband would say the same cake...etc. but he really did want those things. I took the easy way out and believed him.The reason I know this is because I said the same thing but he didn't listen to me...he found little things that meant a lot. So for this Christmas I have been gathering...and going to wrap them all up and he will have much joy.

  4. Dear Mary, thank you for this post, i understand how you feel exactly, because this is how I ALWAYS feel on my loved ones birthday, I never feel I have done it right, done enough, found the right gift, set the right mood. I am always so relieved when the day is past and the sense of failure is behind me. I have been somewhat relieved by the fact that ever since he came home from college, our son has instituted a tradition that we all take a tequila shot on each others birthdays and that helps things be a little bit special. but its hard. don't beat yourself up sweet woman. your man knows. he knows.

  5. If that man did not already know how much he is loved and appreciated by you, he would only have to read your blog. Not just today, but all the time. What a sweet entry. The pair of you are very lucky, and I can see you know it.

  6. Mary, everything you do and say is filled with so much love one couldn't NOT know how perfectly you love them. I know that because it comes through in your words and photos, here. Your man knows. I am positive he knows how much you love him. It's about words and actions that follow them up and you do that every day. You beat yourself up so much. It seems the better one is, the more they beat themselves up and judge themselves. Dear woman, please believe what I see and know in my heart. Those you love know with all certainty how much you love them.

  7. The great thing about being older is that you realise birthdays can be celebrated on more than one day. Wait til the next free day you both have. Then make a dinner, and dessert, favourite things, do the things you love together. Don't be anxious, accept, and find practical alternatives to the things that were out of reach today.

    I want the perfect thing I envision too, and I never make it. He doesn't seem to feel that 'life would be great with Mary, if only...'. I think it's ok. You're doing great.

  8. Oh yes, the gift for the man. I honestly think it's a thing between all couples, esp. the long running kind. Never easy, in fact totally impossible here. Since we have just one bank account, there is no chance to buy something secretely and tada! I mean what's the point? I once foolishly saved up cash for something or other but it deflated like any old balloon. So, we usually settle for the cake and maybe a fancy dinner.
    I struggled with this for a while but not anymore and now I secretely bought a present for his b'day in 3 weeks. Silly.

  9. Gift giving is not your love language! That's okay because you have several others! Quality Time. Words of Encouragement. Touch. My book club ladies have taught me about this phenomena. (It's probably based on some religious book) The concept is totally helpful in understanding why people work/don't work well together. As love as you and the Mister are speaking a love language that works for you both, then it's all good!!!
    PLUS, y'all just bought those Crackerr Barrel rockers. That's a gift! Couples gifts count as gifts!
    AND you gave him an opportunity to be your Knight in Shining Armor by sending someone to boost you. That's a gift!

  10. This could be about every birthday of my husband's since we've been together. On my birthdays, I always plan my day and tell him what we are doing. I am even known to send him a list of a few gift ideas and he picks one. Then we are both happy. For his birthday he insists he wants no gifts and to do nothing. It leaves me flailing. I ask him again and again for ideas and he gives none. Then I make some lame gesture and feel like a failure. JEEZ. This was therapeutic.

  11. It's a man thing, it definitely is. I end up buying my husband socks and jocks a lot. He's impossible. As he said this Father's Day, there are things he wants, but they're all really, really expensive.

  12. I know what you mean about the gift-giving. Dave and I are kind of in the same boat. We have everything we need (well, except a house -- ha!) and I just don't see much sense in running out to buy something just to have A GIFT. Anyway, I suspect your husband is happy with the birthday attention. It sounds pretty great, a cupcake and a song in the office!

  13. Late best wishes to your honey :)

    Your post is a gift in itself.

  14. I wonder if you feel just as disappointed with your own birthday? It was my eldest's birthday last week, and he had expected perfection for the day and was obviously disappointed. I used to have that when I was small.


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