One thing we won’t be doing for Valentine’s Day this year is going out to eat. This holiday is supposedly the busiest night for dinner out no matter what day of the week it falls on, and when it lands on a Friday or Saturday, watch out. Chances are I’ll cook a nice dinner at home. Then again, most of the dinners I fix are nice, just not fancy.
As for gifts, who knows? We’ve long since reached the stage where gifts are not expected and are a pleasant surprise when they’re given. These days, when one of us sees something we want, if it’s within reason, we buy it. If it’s not within reason, then we don’t need it as a gift. And, we both know what we like better than anyone else does.
That means when I want new jewelry, it works out better if I choose it myself — not that I need another piece of jewelry. The same goes for clothes. What can I never have enough of? Books. I can always use more books, but it’s hard for my husband to keep track of what I have or haven’t read when I can hardly keep track myself.
For Christmas, my generous husband gave me gift certificates for DSW, Chico’s, and Barnes & Noble. Isn’t it funny that even though the funds all come from the same place, paying for something with a gift certificate seems different? Somehow more special?
I managed to use one of them when I went shopping with a girlfriend on New Year’s Day while our husbands watched football. I didn’t have anything particular in mind, but I had my certificates with me. When we walked in DSW, I said I couldn’t think of any shoes I needed. How serendipitous that I stumbled across yet another pair of red shoes I couldn’t live without. I already have two pairs of red winter shoes, but these were Sperry topsiders for the spring.
I also have a birthday in January. You can see the gift-buying season is never-ending at our house, at least for my poor husband. That’s why I asked for two very specific things for my birthday. Christmas before last, he gave me a CD player for my office. This year it stopped working, and after much back and forth with the manufacturer, I found a local repair place for it — in Suwanee. As one birthday gift, I asked that my husband take the CD player to have it repaired.
The second gift I requested was a map. That’s right. I’ve created a fictional Cotswolds village for the cozy mystery series I’m writing, and I asked him to draw a map of the village for me. I’m not spatial at all. Neither can I draw. I sketched out a barely legible version of what goes where and distances, and he drew it to scale.
I can’t help him out for Valentine’s Day, as I can’t think of any other special requests. He hasn’t asked for anything other than a pony in years, and you can rest assured, he’s not getting one of those. Since his joking refrain whenever we’re going out is, “I don’t have anything to wear,” it’s possible I may take him shopping on Valentine’s to pick out some new clothes. Does he need any? Maybe, maybe not, but at least he’ll come home with something he likes.
Heck, if we go shopping Valentine’s Day, maybe we can time it to come home with takeout for dinner. That’s it, takeout food and a movie from Amazon Prime for the two of us. Quite the romantic evening, don’t you think?
Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest and on Amazon. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/KathyManosPennAuthor.