I’ve been told that I’m missing that girly gene. The one that makes grown women lust after Louboutins and cash in their kid’s birthday check from grandma for a pair? And when my birthday rolls around and those too cutesy, rose-petal filled commercials with doe-eyed women getting diamond necklaces clasped around their swan-like necks by adoring men dance across TV screens all I can think of is…why am I not more wistful for these things. Why is it that all I really want for my birthday is for my husband to buy me a Carvel cake?!
Is it that being married 18 years, I am beyond the superficial, and the fact that I hardly ever wear the diamond ring and tennis bracelet he bought me- (and believe they might have been better spent funding my kid’s camp tuition) indicative of the fact that I am just a jaded old lady- for whom baubles on birthdays hold little appeal?
Or maybe it’s that I’ve simply grown up and see beyond the commercial scene elaborately constructed by set designers and actors to illicit visceral responses from women, that will tug at their heart strings and have them believing that birthdays and what your love does or doesn’t do, is a litmus test that measures the overall health of your relationship.
Sure, flowers, chocolates, diamond encrusted pendants , rings, bracelets, weekend getaways, feeding each other spoonfuls of Tiramisu- are all wonderful, but they’re just tiny bits of what constitutes a relationship, or at least what I need from a marriage.
The fact that my husband and I have lasted for 18 years, in spite of our 15-year-age gap and our very different personalities– what has held our marriage together is less about he baubles he’s bought me- and more about the fact that he’s up every morning with your kids, giving them breakfast, bringing me coffee and sometimes he’ll EVEN walk the dogs too. Oh yes and he also buys me these Carvel cakes. And he’s the person who I rouse from sleep at 1 am because I need to talk, or that when I feel most discouraged he’ll tell me to keep going.
Maybe having the perspective of many years of marriage under my belt and what it takes to sustain a relationship I immediately look at those gauzy, stylized commercial vignettes for women and their BirthDay and all I can think of is… if my husband remembers to buy me a teeny Carvel cake I’ll feel like my marriage and my life is intact… Am I crazy or just realistic?!