BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR
A Statute of Limitations?
Like many newly married couples, we didn’t have much money at the beginning. So, I found very clever ways to save and make our dollars stretch. I remember draping a tablecloth over a large cardboard box to use as a coffee table, and hemming sheets to use as curtains.
And the coupons! Remember the days of clipping coupons? I never did get to the level of some of the professionals—I never got a basket load of groceries for free—but I did save an awful lot. In some ways, I miss the game of the coupon clip; I used to know exactly how much things cost. These days, I buy what I need, a lot of things I don’t need, and sometimes I don’t even have a list!! Crazy talk, I know.
But back to the early days.
In the early days of our marriage, we made this agreement not to go overboard on special occasion gifts—NO charge cards. We would put the children first at Christmas and on their birthdays and sent only cards to our parents, brothers, and sisters. At that point they didn’t have their own children.
For each other, we kept it simple . . . he really only ever wanted one thing . . . and guess what that was? And that was easy. Everybody was happy, right?
Well not exactly.
One Mother’s Day, or my birthday, I’m not sure which, I awoke to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers. This wasn’t your typical grocery store bundle. The flowers were arranged in what looked to be a hand-blown vase, and there were so many of them! Over a dozen roses, hyacinth, chrysanthemums, peonies, baby’s breath, lilacs, and sprigs and sprigs of greenery. The presentation was absolutely gorgeous.
And here is where I made the mistake that would follow me for years.
I said, “You shouldn’t have spent so much money.” And then went on, “I don’t need flowers, they just die anyway.”
Well, unlike so many other things I’ve said to my husband during our marriage, he has remembered this! He took it to mean that he should NEVER EVER buy me flowers.
He would even comment, “I would have bought flowers, but I know you don’t like them.”
Don’t like them? What? Is that what I said? Isn’t there a statute of limitations on such things? Of course, I like flowers! Hasn’t he noticed the hours and hours I spend in the garden? The blood, sweat and tears of research I’ve spent planning our landscaping?! Well, probably he hasn’t noticed that.
I guess I have no one to blame but myself. Chalk it up to a learning moment. Why couldn’t I have had an inspired moment and say I didn’t like to cook? Hello, we would be eating out every night! Or that I hated riding in the car for long trips? We could be jet setting around the globe!
Advice I wish I had listened to years ago —be careful what you ask for . . . you just might get it!