Despite my best efforts, I have nothing to give my husband this Father’s Day. I tried. Polo shirts, he suggested. With moisture-wicking fabric. Darker colors that don’t show stains. Stripes, but not busy stripes. What? I said. Like this, not this, he demonstrated using two shirts in his closet. (A closet that is already full, I might add.) A collar that is the same fabric as the shirt. Huh? Made with the same fabric as the shirt, so it just isn’t a chunk of solid fabric that stands out.
I went to the department stores at the mall. Found one dark gray golf shirt with black stripes and a collar made of the same fabric. Score! He didn’t like it. (That was when he gave me the acceptable stripes demonstration.) He thanked me for trying.
I went online, found some other varieties and put them in my cart but had him look before I went through the purchase process. No, but thanks for trying, he said.
If it makes me feel any better, when I went to the mall to return the one shirt I thought matched his persnickety criteria, I also returned four items I had bought myself for an upcoming beach vacation. He didn’t like those items on me either — but since he said I needed more form-fitting clothes that accent my nice figure rather than the flowsy, hide-your-flaws styles I selected, I was perfectly fine with the returns on my behalf. (You may call me an anti-feminist but I do trust my husband’s opinion.)
But I also feel a little silly when I return a bag of women’s clothes I did try on in the store, especially when the sales clerk asks, “You’re returning all of these?” and I respond with “Yes, my husband didn’t like them.”
When she let me return the errant polo to her, I admitted he was incredibly picky and, therefore, was getting nothing for Father’s Day.
“That’ll show him!” she said.
But I wasn’t pleased.
A couple days ago, my oldest son called to ask my advice on a first anniversary gift for his wife. My first suggestion was a card — in which he would write her a personal message and not merely autograph — plus a small gift.
I told my husband about the call and my suggestion, and his eyes sparkled while his head nodded his approval.
This man of mine has everything — five of everything, actually, packaged up in each child who has grown up in our house. This everything is extending — we now have a son-in-law and daughter-in-law and a grandson (and a girlfriend-in-law and her son). In addition, my husband buys what he needs when he needs it.
But words of affirmation?
Such as when my husband shuns my wardrobe choice but tells me it’s because I have a nice shape I shouldn’t hide? Or tells everyone at a family gathering about my job promotion and how proud he is of me? Or tears up when sharing our love story with others and makes it clear how blessed he feels being married to me?
Ah. That is a gift.
And so I know what I will give this man who is a good father and grandfather, who has poured his life out to support and protect and guide. Me, myself, my words of love.
And if he chooses to return those? Double blessing.