Friday, February 28, 2014

Expectation Vs. Reality

Recently I was talking to my good friend, Cori. I was admiring a beautiful little heart pendant that she was wearing, so  I asked her where she'd gotten it.

She replied that she bought it for herself, and then she added that she wished she could say it was from her husband...but he really didn't do things like that. I kind of laughed because I understood completely. I confessed my husband isn't really a sentimental jewelry buyer either. "What about your pearl necklace?" She reminded me.

Oh yes. My pearl necklace.

At some point during our first year of marriage, I mentioned to my husband that by our five year anniversary I wanted him to buy me a pearl necklace. I thought I was being pretty fair by laying out my expectation and desire (so I could be properly hurt if he didn't fulfill my wish). Somehow I'd gotten it into my head that the gift of a pearl necklace was the most romantic gesture of pure love a husband could offer (which probably has something to do with the fact the both my mother and grandmother had been gifted a pearl necklace from their spouses).

Well you can imagine my surprise when on our four year anniversary my husband jumped the gun and bought me a pearl necklace. I opened the box, my body teeming with anxiety, and immediately I knew I'd been let down. Pearl necklaces are not all made alike and this one was not what I was expecting. It was cheaply made, stiff, bumpy, discolored in spots...I was devastated. This is what I'd been waiting for?

Like a good person, I didn't let my disappointment show. Especially since he was excited to have surprised me a year earlier than demanded hoped for. I stayed quiet...that is until one day when I exploded (over something entirely unrelated) and during my rant I accused him of never listening to me and buying a cheap necklace (yes, I went on his amazon account to confirm he bought it on sale from $35 dollars). Before you write me off as a psychopath please note that I was pregnant at the time and my rant seemed totally justifiable in the moment.

My husband, being the darling that he is, instead of becoming defensive and angry started saving up for a real pearl necklace. One that would satisfy the whims of his spoiled wife. I opened a beautiful, classic pearl necklace on our fifth anniversary. You might expect the moment would be marred by the memory of my psychosis, but it wasn't. I was extremely grateful and again was reminded of what a sweet man I'd married, who fulfilled my desire (after I'd verbally assaulted him).

Although I had this expectation of a grand romantic gesture, and I still love my pearl necklace to this day, it was not the most romantic thing my husband has ever done for me. Some of those include:

  • Picking up dinner on the way home from work so I wouldn't have to  make it.
  • Carrying me up to bed after I fell asleep on the couch.
  • Giving me a couple hours to myself so I could go read in the park with an ice cream while he and our daughters crafted handmade Mother's Day gifts.
  • Cleaning the bathrooms before he leaves for work so that my load can be lightened.
  • Supporting our family both financially, and emotionally in every way. 

So really, it is the little things. Would I turn my nose up at a grand romantic gesture? No, of course not. I'd eat it up in a second. But after nine years together I've come to appreciate the little romantic gestures that he makes on a daily basis to show his love for me, and I hope I'm doing the same. Truth be told, the expectations of my life pale in comparison to the reality of what I've been given. I just didn't know I already had what I wanted.

So Hollywood, you can keep your flowers, chocolates, and diamonds. I'm happy with my man who will scrub toilets, fold laundry, and share a frozen yogurt with me.


P & J said...

Agreed! Love this. :)

Laura Anderson said...

My husband hasn't given me jewelry since the day before our wedding, when he gave me pearl earrings, but considering how he changes diapers, tells me to kick him when our daughter wakes in the night so he can help her, does dishes, can keep the jewelry ;)

No no, I'll take it...along with everything else.

Meg said...

For Valentine's this year, we were talking to some people who were saying their wives said they didn't want roses on Valentine's but they knew better because they had been chastised before when they had believed them. I told Eric what I wanted was doughnuts instead of roses this year, and he obliged (yum!), but mostly I felt kind of grateful that he knew he could actually believe that I didn't want him to blow $100 on a fancy rose arrangement. I'm more grateful for a kind, trusting relationship than I am for any number of grand romantic gestures - even if they're fun when they do come.

rashell smith said...

Wow!! This pearl bracelet is looking very pretty and elegant. I always prefer wearing accessories of latest styles and I had a lot of jewellery items in different materials. I also got a pearl necklace on my second anniversary from my husband last month.

He purchased it from an online store and it looks amazing. This month on my birthday he gifted me a pearl ring and bracelet matching with the pearl necklace he gifted me on our anniversary. While buying pearl jewellery one should know some basic tips for buying them and here is great information about pearl grading and buying tips. Now, I have a pearl set with me and I had been to two parties this month and everyone liked my pearl jewellery and asked me where did I purchased them from. On anniversaries and birthday I think gifting jewellery is common, but gifting a pearl jewellery expresses your love and many people gift the pearl jewellery by choosing the right colour of pearl as pearls are available in different colours, size and shapes. I must say that the pearl set will be one the most precious gift for me forever