Tags: gift, birthday, long-term relationship
I’m not one to demand gifts, but I love to give gifts and I assume others do as well. Especially when you really care for someone; it’s a great way to show appreciation for friendship. My partner at the time was not one of those people, so I didn’t really expect anything from him that year. To be honest, though, I always reserve a little hope that someone might organize a small party or take me out for a surprise dinner. A girl can dream, right?
As my 23rd birthday approached, however, my excitement began to build. I was finally dating a sweet and thoughtful person who seemed to care about me more than anyone had before. How would he help me celebrate? Would it be romantic? Thoughts zipped through my head, perpetually morphing into something bigger and brighter as the Playwright (we’ll call him), became more and more secretive nearing the date. The day of my birthday sealed the deal when he slipped out early in the morning to organize what I assumed would be my big birthday surprise.
I didn’t see him much that day. I like to spend my birthdays with the ones I love, so this would generally upset me, but my excitement was building for whatever great adventure lie in store. I think every year, secretly, I hoped for a surprise party. One that would bring friends from great reaches of the continent, worlds colliding with all of my disparate and beautiful lifelong companions packed into the same, glorious room.
I’m not sure how I occupied my time as I awaited my surprise. Knowing me, I probably cleaned the house in preparation for an evening packed with the bliss of friendship and celebration. Would the party be here? What should I do to prepare? What could I guess the Playwright would forget? I’m sure I spent the day putzing around with these questions filling my anxious heart.
The door swung open around 4pm; I could barely contain my excitement. The Playwright was beaming and held a package in his hands, holding it carefully enough that it could be fragile; small and light enough that it could be jewelry. This was a guy I was seriously considering marrying, so the prospect of an adult gift, one that would really flatter me and express his gratitude, was perfectly in order.
“I spent all day looking for the perfect gift for you,” he began. My heart fluttered. This was it. This was love! This was going to be my life: romantic and thoughtful, caring and supportive. That is what this gift would mean to me. Whatever this amazing 7-hour wait had brought me, it represented the beginning of our life together. I watched as he slowly pulled the gift from the bag, the plastic opaque to obscure its contents.
“…but,” he continued. But what?! But he struggled to find the perfect gift to express his deep yearning for our future? But he couldn’t find anything as beautiful as I?
“But… I just ended up getting myself a Nintendo DSi.”