Sunday, November 8, 2015

There's Nothing More Precious Than a Spouse or Partner Who Really Listens

I'm not trying to brag - really, but I do have the best husband in the world.  He not only puts up with my craziness and my problems, but he actually listens to me and cares about me every day.  He continues to love me, despite my many flaws, and he just made my birthday so great, because he has listened to me for years and bothers to remember what I like.

He can list my favorite colors and my favorite flowers.  He once knew, many years ago, when looking at a full-page print ad for a vintage jewelry auction, which one of the pieces of jewelry on the page I liked the best.  I was shocked that he knew it, but he just pays attention, so he knows my taste.  Not that we could buy any, but the fact that he knew what I liked just made me feel so great.

That's why yesterday he just gave me the perfect presents for my birthday.  He always does, and for Christmas, our anniversary, and Valentine's Day, too.  Of course, he writes a beautiful note in my cards, too, and usually he has to say "and I really mean it" after I read it, because I find it hard to believe that such a wonderful man can love dopey old me, after all these years.

He even knew, when I was taking a picture of one wrapped present up close, why I was doing it.  I said, "It's not about the present, but about art."  (I just liked the way they made the design on the wrapping paper.)  He said, "I knew that."  He just "gets" me, and it's a great feeling.

Even though we've always said that one of our songs is "Danny's Song" by Loggins and Messina (just the chorus part - "even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with ya' honey"), he's always managed to spoil me, at least according to my tastes.

So, the first things I opened were the biggest presents, because he knows I like to end on sparkly presents (which are small), so those go last.  Price means nothing, so even a super-cheap, sparkly bracelet makes a better ending (for me) than something expensive (or sentimental either - I mean, I am very sentimental, but for presents I have that sparkly ending that is necessary).

The first present was a Fart Blaster, from the movie Despicable Me.  Of course, that seems like a weird present for an adult woman, but Dean knew I really, really wanted one.  Our nephew has one, and it makes us all laugh.  It makes a nice variety of farting sounds and we like to sneak up behind each other and pull the trigger.  Dean said once that I'm like Ethan's younger sister, even though I'm his aunt.  We laugh at so many goofy things, and he's 8 now, and I'm still like 5 when I'm with him, so he's my big brother, just like Charlie and Lola, which is the next thing I got.

The Charlie and Lola DVDs.  Two seasons of it, at least.  I just like that show so much.  We first saw it when Ethan was watching it a few years ago, and I just love how silly and fun Lola is.  We even named one cat after her.  What's best about the show is that Lola's older brother is just so patient, kind, and caring with her, even when she's a bit (or a lot) annoying or mischievous (so Charlie is like Dean, when he is putting up with me, too).  I love their British accents, too.  It's so cute.

Ethan and our mom (his grandma) used to talk to each other with British accents and call each other Charlie and Lola when he would have sleepovers at her house and they were going to sleep.  I wish I had recordings of that, too, but those don't come on DVDs.  Darn it. 

Then there were the Stargate Atlantis DVDs, that I've wanted for years.  I love that show, except for parts that are too gross, where I look away, but mostly I love the humor in it (especially the Rodney McKay character), just like I love the humor in Stargate SG-1.  These shows can make me laugh, on some episodes, more than most sitcoms do.  But that's just when you know the characters and how they are, like with most shows.

Dean also gave me some bracelets from Michael's (the craft store).  They have had these beautiful crystal bracelets there for the last few years, from around now until around Christmas, and they only cost $4 each.  They are so sparkly and pretty (better than the photo shows), and I love the new ones he finds, and even to get more of the ones I already have (in case some get broken or scratched up).  Of course, Dean knows which ones I already have (he remembers all that - he has a good brain), but he knows I never mind having more, especially when something is so reasonably priced.

Actually, I did tell him to spend much less on me this year for my birthday.  He didn't really listen, and got me all of these nice things, but I told him that he really had better cut down from now on, because we can't afford it.  It's not like these things are super-expensive, for some people who buy "real" jewelry or designer stuff or give each other cars for presents and whatnot, but to me these things are all treasures.

Still, there is more.  Dean got me a Swarovski crystal bracelet and also he made me an amazing necklace (shown above - it's even prettier in person).  The necklace is made from a piece of quartz from the Star Trek warehouse.  Actually, it's a piece of a big chunk of quartz he bought from Paramount or somewhere.  It may have been used in an episode of Star Trek Enterprise, I think he said.  Anyway, Dean made the necklace himself, from that cool piece of quartz.  We both love Star Trek, by the way.  Matching set of geeks, we are.

It's not about the presents, but that my husband listens and cares so much.  He never complains or criticizes me, and just loves me all the time (no matter what).  We both try to be very good to each other all the time and say "thank you" for little things we each do around the house, etc.  It's just so nice and friendly around our house that it would make most people disgusted, maybe (his aunt used to jokingly complain about our sweetness), but it's how we like to be, for many years now.

He just knew so much this year that what I really needed were things that could make me feel happier, make me feel better - things we could watch together, things I could wear, things that would bring me continuing joy.  We've been through a lot, and he got me so many things that would help us to feel happier, like I've been saying that we need to do. 

I know this is probably all too personal, for those of you who don't know me, but I'm just talking about some fun shows that I like and about being grateful for the good in your life.  If you can find all of this in that special person in your life, you are truly blessed, so just realize it and be grateful every day, like I try to be.

I mean, even though we have grief, loss, and pain, if we have someone like this in our lives, we can make it through everything.

I'm also just trying to write about finding ways to have joy when we are grieving from loss (even losses that are several (or more) years ago and still causing us lingering pain).  My husband bought me things that he knew would make me feel happier to watch them, wear them, or play with them (like the Fart Blaster).  We need to find moments of joy and fun, to be able to live with the pain that is also inside of us.