By Gina, The Sister Afraid of Failure (Tall, goofy one)
Let me preface this blog by saying I love my husband dearly. After 28 years of marriage, I can honestly say that I am more in love with him now than the day I married him. I’m pretty certain he loves me, too (After all, he never signs cards with “Hate, Mike,” “Like, Mike, or “Indifferent, Mike ).
I will, however, admit that, despite our deep love and commitment to each other, we are not the most romantic of couples. We’re the couple who considers spending quality time together cruising down the painting aisle of The Home Depot, and public displays of affection giving each other the sign of peace at church.
“Peace be with you, Snookems.”
“And with your spirit, Butterbuns.”
We are, however, CRUSHING IT in the practicality department. This is evident with our annual holiday gift planning discussion, which usually sounds like this:
“Let’s not exchange and just get the girls the 75,000 things on their lists.”
“Let’s put the money towards vacation.”
“Let’s just do stocking stuffers, like deodorant and mouthwash.”
This year, however, my husband shocked me with a stunning announcement.
“Gina I want to exchange gifts this year!”
“Really? How come the change of heart?” I asked.
“Well, I know exactly what I want to get you.”
“You do? Is it a Great Big Bertha Epic driver? Or that Ping putter I had my eye on?”
“Nope, even better…it’s a new toilet!” he said, beaming.
“A new what?” I asked, sure that I had misheard him (my hearing like my seeing isn’t what it used to be).
“A new toilet. I’m gonna get you one of those 1.6 GPF dual flush babies.”
“Are you serious?” I asked, waiting for him to say “Gotcha!” or for Alan Funt or the camera crew from MTV’s Punk’d to pop up.
“Yeah. I know how much you hate the way the one we have flushes,” he said, putting his arms around me.
That’s when I realized three shocking things: 1) he was dead serious; 2) he actually did listen to me; and 3) he wasn’t being selfish.
I’ll admit that when he told me about the “bells and whistles” of the toilet he had picked out… the slow lid close and the elongated shape for extra comfort… I was skeptical. I was actually reminded of an episode of The Simpson’s I watched decades ago when Homer presented Marge with a surprising birthday gift – a bowling ball.
Marge, who didn’t bowl, was furious, suspecting that Homer had purchased the ball for himself. Homer, of course, vehemently denied it. Marge’s suspicions, however, were confirmed when she saw the name “Homer” engraved on the ball. To spite her selfish husband, Marge took lessons to learn how to bowl.
That’s when I also realized that though we might not be the most romantic couple, we are far better off than Homer and Marge Simpson. Mike has no plans to engrave the toilet and I need no lessons in what do with one.