Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Gift Dilemma

Last year for Christmas Hot Hubby gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble (B&N) and one for Starbucks and sent me on a day out by myself to browse the books while sipping on my favorite latte. To me it's one of the best gifts he could give me. To him it's one of the gifts that I ask for that he understands the least.

You see, while I love to read and write, Hot Hubby despises it. It takes him a sweet forever to get through the first few chapters of a book and then he puts it down for a year or so and never picks it up again. I, on the other hand, can read a novel in one day if I'm allowed (meaning no one demanding my presence for their every whim and desire).

What Hot Hubby didn't plan for was me coming home armed with a book for both of us to read! I had heard about The Five Love Languages for years and after boycotting it for awhile I decided to give it a try.

I sat in B&N and flipped through the book, trying not to read too much so that I could read it with Hot Hubby and not feel the need to speed ahead. When I brought it home I could tell that he was beyond elated.

Or maybe he was the complete opposite. His response wasn't a surprise though. I knew it would take time to convince him to read through the book.

At first all I asked was that he take the test at the end of the book. Simple. Not too demanding. He agreed and we had a lot of fun giving each other the test.

We weren't shocked by the answers. Now we just had words for the differences in each other that we'd been trying to get used to.

His primary Love Language (LL) is physical touch. He scored 10 out of 12. No surprise. You don't get pregnant 5 times in 5 years being married to a man who doesn't like to touch you.

However, physical touch is my lowest LL. I scored 1 out of 12. That explains soooooo much!

Though my primary LL is the same as Hot Hubby's 2nd LL (Quality Time) it means something very different to both of us. He likes quality time with intense snuggling (I won't expound. I promise!). To me quality time involves eye contact and maybe a little hand holding. Talking, visiting, and just being together. Also my 2nd and 3rd LL's just happen to be Hot Hubby's two lowest. Words of Affirmation and Receiving Gifts.

Knowing this you'd think that we have a hard time getting along. Really we don't. We are the best of friends. We just tend to have the same disagreement over and over about what we need from each other.

Anyways, after taking the test and finding this out about each other, Hot Hubby had the idea that the best way to work through this was to convince me that his primary LL is the best of the five. He's spent the better part of the last year trying to convert me. He didn't want to read the book. He had it figured out.

It didn't work. Shocking!

Finally about mid October I decided I would just read through the book by myself and put to practice what I learned and see how it worked.

I also decided that I would take all of Hot Hubby's hunting magazines out of the bathroom and leave this book as the only reading option. Well, minus the Highlights magazine. It didn't take long for him to find out what I had done and he knew right away why I did it.

Every time I would notice him "loving me MY way", as I call it, I would ask if he'd been reading the book. Each time he would laugh at me and then then then tell me that he hadn't. I think he began to see that it was really important to me though.

About two weeks ago he thanked me for making lunch and breakfast. This may not seem like such a big deal except that Hot Hubby is NOT a words person. It's not unusual for someone to ask him a question and for him to just stand there and stare at them. He doesn't mean to be rude and he's not upset. He just doesn't have an answer so he doesn't. Believe me. I have tried so many times to help him understand that it is okay to just respond with an "I don't know" or a "Let me think about that."

He's working on it. Sloooowly, because that's how we roll. Apparently.

So when he thanked me for making breakfast and lunch it caught my attention. When I asked him about it a few days later he told me he had been reading THE BOOK. And he was on CHAPTER 4 already! The last few weeks I've been amazed by his gestures at loving me "my way."

So, for Christmas, knowing that gift buying is NOT on of his strong points, I gave him the list of gift ideas he had asked me for. In the last few years it has bugged me that he waits until the last few days before Christmas to go shopping for me. This year I knew to give him the space. At least he's trying, right?

He did a great job. He even tried to think outside of the list I gave him. I'd give the details but it's a little too TMI for my blog. :) I made me giggle though. He's so cute.

One of the things I asked for was a Fiestaware salt and pepper set. IN SUNFLOWER! I made it easier for him by emailing him a link to their website and showing him the exact set (in the exact color) when we were in Kohl's one day.

Chirstmas Eve morning when we opened our gifts with our kids I unwrapped a new light yellow Fiestaware salt and pepper set. I filled them up and have enjoyed using them every day since.

The other day when I was throwing boxes and paper into the fire place I happened to look at the box from the salt and pepper set and saw that the set is actually Ivory. Not sunflower! I went ahead and burned the box thinking that since I've already been using them I couldn't return them for the right color.

Also, I didn't want to tell Hot Hubby. He's trying so hard and I don't want to discourage him!

But now I'm wondering if I could have and still could take them back. I'm sure that Hot Hubby will understand.

What do I do?!? Have you ever been in this place before? What would/did you do?

(The Amazon link is for convenience. I make no money if you purchase the book.)


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Well, I'm not nope, never been in this type of situation. I'm not sure if you COULD send them back as you've already used them...and it isn't like they are broken. As for SHOULD you, I don't know...if you don't mind these (even if they aren't quite the right set) then I wouldn't worry about it. As you said, he is trying and it's still sweet. Plus, he might not mind, but he could still be a bit bummed he got it wrong.


LaFonda Dunlap said...

Well since you asked, I heard you say you have been enjoying them. I think part of the reason you are enjoying them is because Hot Hubby listened, heard, and responded to his best friends desire. Sometimes I think that in our lives we are given just "less" than perfect. I think these are great opportunities for us to embrace what really matters. Perfect is just our view anyways, at least that is what your less than perfect mom thinks! Loving you, Mom

pistolsnprincesses said...

I received lots of feedback on facebook too and you all seemed to say the same thing. For now I am keeping the salt and pepper shaker. One of my dilemmas was what I would do if he bought something from the same line in the future that was actually in the correct color. I will just cross that bridge when I get there. Thanks for the advice!