My friend Christine got me thinking about gifts and romance with her recent post about men in the doghouse, and I was reminded of my first Christmas with my husband (a.k.a. The Engineer) back in our dating days. He bought me aftermarket cruise control for my car. Seriously.
Right up there with vacuum cleaners you say?
Well, maybe. Would I have swooned for some jewelry? Oh yeah. But romance is about more than cards and flowers and gems. You can have all that and still end up with a dud instead of a stud. Flowers and jewels are easy outs. Pick one and I’ll probably like it.
No, the real challenge in my mind—and the real definition of romantic—is knowing your partner well enough to get a gift he or she will truly enjoy. It shows you’ve been listening and have given a lot of thought to what would please.
In that respect, in spite of what his roommate thought, The Engineer’s gift was wildly romantic. We had been driving two hours each way to another city every few weeks for weekend visits. Without cruise control, I was constantly battling my lead foot and my (then) sporty five-speed to stay within a reasonable speed limit. How much nicer life would have been if I had a newer car with cruise so I could relax. I definitely didn’t need any more speeding tickets!
Well, the newer car was out. We were poor college students, after all. But the cruise control… Who knew you could put something like that on after market? The Engineer, of course! And he installed it too. See? Smart, handsome, and handy. How could a girl go wrong? 😀
And every once in a while, he gets totally impractical and buys me something pretty that I don’t need. Like jewelry. Which makes it all the more special, because he also understands that sometimes I just want something that sparkles.