selfish gifting

FMG’s birthday was a smashing success. Actually, it was more like a low key affair. We worked a half day. Went by his parent’s house so he could pick up his gifts from them. We basically visit in the garage these days 10 feet from his parents, all of us is masks. But I guess that is the way these days.

His brother was not there, which was good because it is very hard for me to be around him. I know that is a selfish thought since it is FMG’s brother, but he’s just so sick right now and while I know I should have a little more grace for him. I lack a whole lot of sympathy.

I do realize that addiction is a “disease” in some ways, but I feel like people can’t decide not to have cancer anymore. People can decide to get help for drug addiction. People can decide to take better care of themselves so they live a little longer for their children especially if they have been given the tools and the support. But I could go into a long rant about how annoying it is to watch people play the victim when all they really need to do is admit that they have a problem and it is hard and ask for help. I guess we all have problems asking for help. I think Glennon Doyle said it best when she said illness, addiction, specifically is like a boulder in the way of the afflicted. It’s not like they don’t love those on the other side. They can love those on the other side with all of their hearts, but those on the other side won’t be able to see it or feel it because the boulder is in the way. And until the person with the addiction decides that they don’t want that boulder in their way anymore, everyone suffers. That’s not verbatim. It’s just the gist of what I was listening to this morning on audible (from Untamed). I wish he would move the boulder before he dies or before his kids grow up much more without a father. But, neither of those are a choice I get to make, so I will just keep trying to throw grace his way even though it is really, really hard for me.

We left the parent’s house and came home with an armful of cupcakes and a bag full of presents. I gave FMG his presents the night before.

On my birthday, I insisted that he did not go out of his way for anything elaborate, fancy, or expensive. I prefer gifts that are practical. I am the type of woman who would LOVE a vacuum cleaner, a dishwasher, a Kitchen Aid mixer for her birthday. I will take all the practical gifts. So we ended up going to one of those closeout stores on my birthday and he got me a whole bag full of sunglasses. I love sunglasses. I just can’t keep up with them. So he built me a shelf next to the door and piled all the sunglasses on them. I haven’t lost any of them yet and they are always in the same place. So I wanted to do something similar for him.

I went to the same closeout store… by myself. I got him a ton of all practical gifts. He said he didn’t want anything for his birthday. But that wasn’t going to work for me. So I went overboard practical. The first thing I picked up was an insulated lumberjack looking flannel with a hoodie attached to it. So he looks a little country and a little urban. He spends enough time in the back yard cutting wood and starting fires, I figured he’d get some use out of it. Plus, the other insulated flannel he has is very holy…in the homeless way, not the religious way. I’m sure it used to be really nice. Now it looks like it probably smells a lot like despair and broken dreams.

I also got him some candles. He always has a candle lit in the office. The current candle is cinnamon apple. I really hate the smell of artificial cinnamon. Like cinnamon brooms and cinnamon candies. So I got him some cucumber fresca smelling candles. And now I can throw away the horrible cinnamon apple candle. So, I guess, that one was really a gift for me.

I also got him some soap. Like a 12 pack of bars of soap. Not because he stinks, but because of the opposite. I think he goes through a bar a day (not really, but we use a lot of soap). I recently just ordered some handmade soap for myself, but as much as I love him, he is not allowed to use it. It’s my favorite scent and handmade soap doesn’t go as far as traditional soap. So again, I guess the soap was also a gift for me. Or rather a gift for him so he wouldn’t use mine.

Then I got him some coffee beans. Last year, I got him a grinder. He absolutely loves it. He is a coffee snob. We got some ground coffee at the store last week and every time he drinks it, he complains. I did get to turn his words on him and tell him, “you don’t have to like it, you just have to get it in you,” which is what he says every time I try a new healthy meal or supplement. So the coffee beans were an actual gift for him.

Then I got him a few coffee cups. The extra large kind that are really TWO cups of coffee. They all have a beach theme. I’m hoping that while he drinks his coffee daily, he gets the subliminal message that I’m sending. I do love the mountains, but I need to be on a beach and soon. I also got him a book about knot tying. It seems like knot tying is a skill you would want when you are living on the beach and have a boat of your own.

So I guess what I’m saying is that all the gifts I gave FMG for his birthday, for the most part, indirectly had a positive impact on my life. I gave him gifts that will benefit me.

I’m the worst wife ever. Well, I haven’t cheated on him or murdered him, and I did make him a super delicious steak and shrimp dinner, so maybe not the WORST wife ever. But I do need to get better at gifting.

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