So because I know this about me, I tried a new thing this year. I didn’t ask for anything for Christmas. I thought if I had no expectations, I would not be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong...I am rarely disappointed in what I get. I am disappointed when I get something out of left field that isn’t what I asked for, or if somehow I end up going way too overboard, or way worse...underboard because I did not understand what we were doing for the holidays. Christmas is HUGE for me and I love the whole season, but really hate Christmas Day because time and time again, the day itself, is a big letdown. Through our 32 Christmases together often family has changed plans at the last minute, ruining our plans because hey, we don’t have kids so we can just wing it. Sure, we can, but how disrespectful. We like to make and keep plans as well and when suddenly we’re treated as if we don’t count, it’s very upsetting. Or we decided to do something and it seems like it will be so magical, and it just isn’t like the year we spent Christmas in Disneyland. Two of our favorite things together! All I could think of was that our dogs were alone (they had a pet sitter, but still...) and we weren’t with them, and all of our traditions were back here.
Well this one fizzled too, at least for me, and it’s really all my fault. I don’t know why. I guess we had decided on a budget, but I don’t remember discussing that. I can no longer claim to remember things like that because I don’t. My memory is horrible any more. I agonized over his gifts. I really did...and I thought I got him things he would like, but he kept saying he didn’t want anything, he didn’t need anything. That’s so hard for me, because to me this is an outward expression of how much I think about him, and that I saw this and thought, “I know my husband so well that I know he will enjoy this.” or it will make him laugh, or remind him of a specific event, or whatever. He loves all things Star Wars, movies, etc. so I got things that he could enjoy in his classroom and at home.
He painted me this amazing picture of our dogs as Avengers. Unfortunately for my overly emotional brain, I had already seen it because he painted it in my classroom during our LAN party. It’s fantastic, and very romantic because our dogs mean the world to me. The other three gifts were, in my mind sans explanation, a semi-thoughtful gift, a gift that seemed more for him that I’d actually considered getting him but dismissed as too frivolous and way overpriced, and a WTF gift that felt like it was a “I need at least one more thing” gift that was close to a check out or a re-gift.
I was crushed. I knew what the “big” one was so I chose to open the smallest gift first and it was the WTF one. I’m already in this really emotional state lately and my first gift from my husband, oh and I forgot to mention he had not put a name tag on any gift. He has never not done that, and in fact all name tags are usually really clever...is a gift that looked like it was on the sale table at Ross or maybe Goodwill. I mean I’m okay with a gift like that from a co-worker, or as a white-elephant, but it just hit me wrong. The thing that killed me, I could feel my emotions welling up but I couldn’t stop them. So I let him open a few gifts because he had 3 times as many as I did. I picked up a flat one to hide behind, and it was the semi-thoughtful gag gift. It was then the damned tears just wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t even explain it. I was literally just feeling heartbroken. It wasn’t because I didn’t “get great presents”. It was because it felt like they were such afterthoughts. Like he’d said, “Well, I got presents. Is three enough? Yeah. That should be good. I did my duty. Done.”
I hate myself sometimes. There is absolutely no truth at all to him being that kind of a husband. Sure, he has a moment, very very rarely, of being thoughtless, but I probably have 10 times those moments. Even typing this out, I can feel the emotion behind how I felt, even though the rest of the week has been a testament to the love he has for me, that we have for each other.
I have always felt like Roy is the only one who truly loves me. I mean I get, cognitively, that other people care about me, even love me. But I truly feel like he is the only one to whom I am an important person; to whom my absence would mean something. I am feeling so much, lately, that my life has not had the importance I had hoped it would. I’m not talking about fame or infamy. I just had hoped I’d have a legacy, but that’s hard when you don’t have children. So I think Christmas scared me and flashed a “What if he DOESN’T love you???” Card at me and my insecurities all welled up to the surface. I mean on the one hand, part of me is saying, “Why should you even NEED a man to love you?” But the truth is, we all need to be needed; to feel of value to someone and I don’t always feel like I am of value to him. Yes, he loves me and he shows me that a lot. But I don’t know if he “values” me as an equal or adult. He doesn’t confide in me or tell me when he’s worried. He never asks for or takes my advice. I mean never. I don’t know. Maybe I don’t feel better now. I just need to feel better, but lately I just feel awful all the time.
It’s a great picture, but it doesn’t feel like it is for me.