I have a flaw.
Shocking, I know.
But it is something that has had a history of making people misunderstand me. Think ill of me. Wonder what the hell is wrong with me.
My flaw is that I don’t seem excited when I am, in particular when something is big. Like, big-big.
Sure, I never know quite what to say when anyone gives me anything more than a cup of coffee. I blunder through a Thank You like I’ve got marbles in my mouth and am barely able to maintain eye contact.
But my reactions are horrifyingly inadequate when the situation calls for outward displays of excitement, thrill or thankfulness.
Concerts? Everyone around me flails and screams and seems out of control with joy at being there and love of the talents before them. I appear stoic as I close my eyes and move quietly to the music, swimming in the lyrics, the rhythms rather than ogling the talent.
Life-altering news? Girls screech and jump about when they hear about proposals and pregnancies. I apparently seem unimpressed as I offer congratulations, hugs, warm smiles and appropriate questions. But inside I am praying it all goes well, hoping the person is getting what will really make them happy.
I’m just not a freak-out person.
The more excited I am about the news/gift/information, the less excited I appear about it.
I would not be a good fit for an audience member at The Oprah Winfrey Show. Of course I’d clap and laugh and “woo-hoo!” as need be, but I don’t think there is much that would make me fall to my knees or grasp the stranger beside me in weepy exultation.
My poor husband.
His first real experience with this was over a decade ago, when he got a free trip to China through work and invited me to join him. We were newly coupled, and of course I was thrilled. But I think my response underwhelmed him. We were in the first throes of love, realizing we had just teamed up with our Forever Person, so everything was a silent thrill. My problem was (and still is) I’m a little too silently thrilled.
There was no jumping about when he asked me to join him. He didn’t make a big production out of it, I of course accepted it with a big hug. But, that hug wasn’t the freak-out he likely expected.
This week, 10+ years later, I think I let the poor guy down again.
He gave me something for my birthday that I have wanted since I was a kid.
This is big.
After we had my birthday cake, he ushered the kids into the office and they came out with a card hidden behind them. They handed it over as he stood back.
I opened the card and saw what he had planned for me.
I didn’t get off the couch.*
*I regret this. I kick myself about this. I feel like such an a-hole for this.
The kids hugged me, and I joked that “they” were so thoughtful. Then as they crawled onto me, I looked up to Hubby and said Thank you.
I should have done more.
Because I am thrilled. I find it surreal and thoughtful and exciting and touching and am looking forward to this like nothing I’ve looked forward to in years and years. People do not get gifts like this every day. He has, in fact, blown my mind with this gift.
But I am screwed up, with this big stupid Flaw of mine, so I don’t think he gets how excited I am.
You see, I am used to people not really doing much for me.
I’m used to being promised things, offered things, and not having them come to fruition.
I kind of expect to not get things.**
**True story: I had always hoped that one day I’d get married, but I never, ever, ever thought I’d be given an engagement ring and be proposed to in a formal manner. I actually dropped The Ring when he did ask me, then forgot all about it until he said “Uhhh….are you gonna look at the ring I got you?” I just don’t have expectations. I’m a total weirdo.
So I know in that part of me that was so screwed up in my formative years, that this gift, which has a delay to it, could technically speaking go all wrong.
It might not happen. Even though Hubby has every single intention of making it happen.*** Even though I will do my all to ensure it happens.
***Hubby is a planner and a saver, so he wouldn’t give any gift like this without all the financial aspects plotted out, saved for, and more than covered. He is too responsible for anything less than that. Yet…I can’t help myself.
But the part of me that is so used to not getting my hopes up about “stuff”, about things that are any more fancy than every day neccesitites…well, it simply won’t allow me to get all Oprah’s-Audience-Just-Got-New-Cars about it.
He deserves better than this.
My husband deserves better than this!!!
Back when we were in China, we traveled well together. We took pictures and saw sights and tried new things. We had so much fun! I hoped he could tell how appreciative I was once we were there, even though he missed the Real Moment when I was overcome.
We all, as a group, had to get up at The Crack of Ass and get on a bus for a day trip. Everyone was sleeping for that hour ride, since we had a late dinner party the night before.
Something woke me up, and I looked out the window of the tour bus.
Then over the horizon, I saw The Great Wall of China rise before me. Tears streamed from my eyes and I sat in frozen awe and silence as we moved closer and closer to our destination. All I could think was I am about to walk on the 2,000-year-old Great Wall of China. Thank you.
It was surreal.
And of course, the person who deserved to witness this humble thankfulness was the one completely unconscious on the seat next to me.
I can’t screw this up again.
I need to find a way to show him how appreciative I am. To get past this stupid Flaw. To show my most beloved husband that I am so, so touched that he made this choice in a gift to me. To let him know how lucky I feel. To make him understand that no matter how screwed up I am, I am willing to dig through all that ingrained BS in his honor.
And on top of all that, it seems, I am going to need to learn how to speak a little Italian before getting on the plane alone again with my adoring, all-too-generous and devastatingly handsome husband.