I Pinned my Husband Between the Car and the Garage Wall
When I was young and still believed in unicorns, I thought buying presents was a way to say I care. Isn’t that what the commercials want us to think?
Care enough to give the very best.
So with my husband’s birthday approaching, I desired to find the perfect present. My husband loved golf and had mentioned several times that he needed a new golf bag. Being the attentive wife, I gathered all the hints he randomly dropped and began researching the perfect product. Since I didn’t play golf, my first act was to talk with his friends to determine the qualities of the perfect golf bag. Next, I searched online, compared prices and read customer reviews.
Once I had it narrowed down to the two best prospects, I drove to the golf store and discussed the purchase with a salesperson. Eureka! A feeling of pride brought a smile to my face as I exited the store and loaded the bag into the trunk of my car. This year I would not present him with just a gift, but the perfect gift.
All the way home, the grin on my face reached the corners of my eyes. Now, the only remaining task was to find the ideal hiding place so he couldn’t discover it and ruin my surprise. I didn’t think this would be a problem as he had left the house early saying he had some errands to run and wouldn’t be home until the afternoon.
To my surprise my beloved was home when I pulled in the garage. My first instinct was to place the car in reverse to find a hiding spot at a friend’s house. However, I noticed he was bent over, a large box that had recently been unpacked. He had some accessories nearby as he assembled a new toy, something in a large container. . . maybe something for his shop . . . no, it was four feet tall and narrow . . . it resembled a golf bag. . . black and blue, with a towel hanging from a hook on the side. He was filling it with golf clubs. It was the exact replica of the golf bag in the trunk of my car.
As I got closer, my eyes recognized each accessory that made it the perfect gift that I now realized, he had bought for himself. At first. I congratulated myself on my success of purchasing the perfect gift. Then it dawned on me that he no longer needed my perfect gift. If a thermometer could determine the spike in someone’s anger levels, one assessing my temperature would have been hot enough to explode.
By this time any thought of going in reverse had vanished. I pulled forward until the tennis ball he had hanging down from the ceiling touched the center of my front window. There was a time I thought that ball on a string was ingenious. My husband had created a way for me to easily park in the center of the garage.
On that day, it became an insult that he thought I needed it to park my car, and it became a probable murder weapon for the future. Randy looked up when my car inched closer to him and the damn tennis ball hit the back window of my car.
At first, he shot me a flirty smile, then a questioning, “What the hell are you doing?” smile. Finally his eyes glazed over with fear as my front tires continued to roll forward and the bumper grazed his knees. I slowed down with the thought that I didn’t know if his life insurance was up to date and stopped when any further forward motion would have caused physical damage. thinking the gravity of the situation had been communicated.
When I emerged from the car, Randy looked dumbfounded. As yet, he hadn’t figured out what had sparked my aggressive driving tendencies. I wasted no time before enlightening him of the error of his ways. “What kid of person buys themselves a golf bag two days before their birthday? Are you kidding me? I worked so hard to get you the perfect gift! What were you thinking?!” If my words didn’t concern him, my tone and volume did.
Randy didn’t talk loudly, probably afraid to increase my ire, as he searched for words to create calm. “I can take it back?” His voice raised at the end of the sentence making it sound like a question because he was unsure if he had chosen the correct words.
“Take it back? Take it back! Why did you buy it? You have been hinting that you wanted one for weeks. If I had known you were going to buy it yourself, it would have saved me a lot of time!” Every sentence ended with an explosive exclamation point. “From this moment on, I will never, I mean never, buy you another present,” I screamed as I walked into the house and slammed the door.
At that time in my life, I feared my angry response. I had yelled at the man I loved, stomped off and slammed the door. Metaphorically, my heart felt as if an impenetrable barrier stood between us. I had broken all the rules of marriage, turned my back and walked away. Melodramatic? Absolutely. However, my emotions raged uncontrollably. Maybe, I overreacted.
Now an observer, might be concerned that our relationship was doomed. However, that was over 30 years ago, and we remain happily married. Next week is Randy’s 62nd birthday, and I have remained true to the promise made so long ago. In fact, we have not exchanged presents since that day and neither of us would have it any other way.
We learned to enjoy each day as they come, making every moment special and not waiting for a date on the calendar to celebrate.
Since that time, I have taken up golf and when I purchased my first golf bag, we bought it together. Next month, Randy will receive his first Social Security check in the mail, and I am going to suggest we buy him a new golf bag.
So why do I write this story now in retirement as we drive around the country in motorhome? I wanted to share a lesson learned. If you truely care enough to give the very best, always give patience, understanding and forgiveness. When you survive the embarrassing moments, the highs and lows of a relationshiop, and the person you love still stands beside, you will have no regrets.