Valentine Day is coming up, and my birthday is right around the corner. This made me think of gifts. What does every woman want? There is a great King Arthur story that asks the question, "What does a woman want in a man?" But that is another question all together. I am talking about good gifts for women – what do we really like. I can tell you that it is NOT a new shotgun (although a pistol is not so bad). Nor is it a vacuum cleaner (especially one that you have to drag around like a dead pig). Here it is – a woman wants her man to know what she wants without asking. If you have to ask, you’ve already screwed it up. We want you to know us. We want you to put some thought into the gift – it is the thought that counts. Now since that probably won’t happen, I will tell you some of the best gifts I have gotten from my man in the last 29 years of marriage.
When all else fails, jewelry is always a good gift – but the gift still has to have thought behind it. One of my favorite gifts was a Mickey Mouse watch. It was given at a time when we had very little money. I truly needed a watch, and the MM with a gold and silver band was perfect for me. It was silly and fun and quite elegant. Once, Toby gave me pearl earrings. I may have left some hints for this gift, but it was still thoughtful. They were styled just like my necklace that had been my grandmother’s, which had been a gift to her from my father. When we had been married ten years, Toby had his mother’s wedding rings sized to fit me – they are gorgeous and very much loved.
For Valentine's Day years ago, Toby bought me a robe from Victoria’s Secret. It was a big, fluffy, white, terry cloth type robe. It was a great gift because he bought it while driving from NM to OK. It meant he had to get off the highway and go into a mall. I understand that sacrifice. Men do not like to stop when on a trip – much less go into a mall. I loved that robe, and wore it until the threads were hanging loose all over it. The cuffs were yellow with breakfast stains. The other day, I laid it out and asked Toby what I should do with it. It may look ratty, but it is still a warm, soft robe. Toby said, "Have you thought about giving it to a blind person?"
The good news is that Toby has never given me pinking shears. I think my father gave several pairs of shears to my mother. The problem is that she does not sew. Neither do I, but I do do art. Toby knows that he can always get me art supplies. He may have to ask Jesse what kind of art supplies, but I am always thrilled with any art stuff. He bought me a potter’s wheel a few years ago after I told him how wonderful it felt to slam a lump of clay down on the wheel and bring it up into something beautiful and useful. He bought me a set of Rembrandt pastels (which were quite expensive) because it is my favorite medium. I make weekly trips to Hobby Lobby for art supplies, and he never says a word – that is a gift itself. The fact that I have art stuff all over the house – mine and my students and he never says a word is just pretty great. He even takes my paintings and hangs them in his office – you gotta love that.
There is a line in the movie "Phenomenon" where someone asks Doc (Robert Duvall) why Lace (Kyra Sedgewick) would love George (John Travolta). Doc answers, "Because he bought her chairs." Great line and so true! When Toby buys me art supplies or lets me make messes all over the house (rather doing housework) or pays for another art workshop, he is giving me the best gift of all – he is saying he knows who I am, and he loves me anyway.