Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rising to the Gifts of the Husband

My husband is a different kind of man.  Being a Game Warden, he is more earthy than most.  He hunts and fishes.  He has no concern over the often gruesome tasks of his job, necropsy and autopsy of long passed critters.  He often deals with the very fortunate plantation owners and rich hunters of dove and the not so fortunate "redneck" hunters who are both sporting and shopping for food.

The people he meets, meet is a word which I use loosely, have the variety of values that most have with one difference.  They all have guns.  And knives.  And the will to hunt or at least the belief of the will to hunt. So knowing that about him, one could expect his view of the world is different and his idea of presents and gifts might be unique....

So it started long ago, with valentine presents in heart shaped boxes with red ribbons that either contained pocket knives or garter snakes.  And it progressed to a case of my favorite tea in bottles or a set of camouflage pants.  One year, he gave me a vacuum cleaner, at least an ORECK.

There were no years of jewelry or fancy clothes.  But there were many years of children and toys and relatives and gift wrap.   There were several years of Cape San Blas and cold water polar bear swims!  And as the kids got older and the jobs more demanding, we stayed in Tallahassee or Gainesville or sometimes the farm in Madison.

I have tried to minimize gifts and the marketing side of Christmas and Valentine's day.  A gift of stock or a 401k contribution is nice.  An agreement of siblings to not get gifts and spend money on a holiday that is really not about shopping (blasphemy!) is working well.  Less clutter, less muss.  This year, after the socks and underwear were opened, the entertainment was nerf guns and all had a fabulous time.  With so many boys in the family, we had an all out sponge war going.

But back to the husband gifts.  He bought me a fishing creel once and a net, that I think was more wall decoration than real.  The gifts were never traditional, and usually, not expected.

So this year, it is my turn.  I am giving him something he wanted.  He retires in February, and he bought his retirement boat.  Cash.  Done.  I have to tell you as the household accountant, I felt a shortness of breath when he told me he was paying cash.

So, over myself, I hope he loves it.  I hope the Valentine beginning to his retirement is lovely.  and full of fish for me and mine and his and ours.

Happy Valentine's Day Charles Higman and Happy Retirement!