Friday, February 23, 2007

The Doghouse

My husband is in the doghouse. He’s sleeping there, eating there, and working there. The trail leading back up to the main house
is full of potholes and booby tracks. He has a long, hard journey ahead of him.

Yesterday was my birthday. My parents came over to take us out to dinner and have cake and ice
cream. The meal was pretty good. The cake was delicious and it was time for
my favorite part: the present
opening. I didn’t have any actual
presents, just cards. My husband turned
his back to me, reached into his pocket to get something and then handed
two cards to me. The first card I
opened had a picture of a college-age cartoon kid on the front and it said
something like, “Mom, it’s your birthday and you have something to be proud
of.” On the inside it said, “I
remembered your birthday and I’m wearing clean underwear.” It was signed, in my husband’s handwriting,
with both of my kids' names. There was
no homemade card, no picture, and no little gift from the kids, just that lame
card. I did not laugh. I did not even smile. I was pissed. There was, however, another card from my husband on the table.

I braced myself for the worst and hoped for the best as I
opened the envelope. Inside was a card
with a cute, complimentary message.  It
was a perfectly acceptable card with a short, hand-written note from my husband
on the inside. In lieu of a gift, my
husband had put a Best-Buy gift card on the inside of the card. This would have been a decent gesture had it
not been a used Best Buy gift card that my husband received as a Christmas gift
from his boss in early December. It had
a remaining balance of between $7-15. He couldn’t be sure. I was
disappointed and hurt but, most of all, I was pissed. I still am.

It should be mentioned that my husband did bring me flowers
and brought a cabinet into the kitchen that he presented as my gift. It is a tall, thin cabinet that he found on
the side of the road and thought it was worth saving. He did some minor repairs and painted it white. This is what he does. He likes to find things of no value and make
them valuable. I support this hobby but
he does it for himself, not me. I have nowhere
to put the cabinet and, while I acknowledge the gesture, I am not someone who appreciates birthday gifts found on the side of the road. I like thought and sentiment. I don’t need expensive things, just thoughtful things. If not for the cake and the birthday song,
my kids would never have known that it was my birthday. I still feel a little sting of pain when I
think about it.  It quickly turns to anger.  Wish him luck people. He’s going to need a small miracle to make
the trek back to the main house.


  1. O.K., I admit, he gets it from his Daddy, and, truly, I'm sorry, who would have thought he would be paying attention when I was dumpster diving to get neat stuff for Grandma Mary?? Good thing you guys got rid of the dog when you did, he won't be quite so crowded in his new digs that way. Thoughtful is probablly not in his vocabulary, cheep, however, is and has been for some time. I'm sure the boy means well, maybe you need to tell his Mama on him!!

  2. Wow Julianne, that sucks. I thought my hubby was pretty worthless when it came to birthdays until I read about your woes. Just to add fuel to your fire, here's a tidbit. In the paper today was an article about how the "Purple Lady" and her husband are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend. She mentioned that her hubby has brought her a rose every weekend since they got married. Can you imagine what he does for her birthday?!?! Maybe there's still hope to train the ones we've got. Good luck!

  3. Papa Dale-
    You don't need to be sorry. His thriftiness balances out my spending habits quite well. Thrifty is fine. Thoughtlessness and the lack of involvement of the children. That's what had my panties in a twist. He understands that and, trust me, he has remorse. I'm slowly but surely recovering as well. He made progress on his way to the main house last night. He filled in one pothole and managed to set off but avoid one of my many strategically placed booby traps.

  4. Angie-
    Curse that purple lady and her thoughtful, romantic husband!

  5. I like the new look of the website, Jules! So, I've got a couple of ideas of what to do with that cabinet. Here's just one - grab his long Christmas stocking out of the attic and create a little campfire out of the wood from the cabinet. Stand back and make a s'more.
    I've been agonizing myself over what to get you for your birthday. Late I know, but I am thinking-definitely putting lots of thought into it. I had it narrowed down to two things and actually considered calling the dog-house dweller for his insight. I guess I'll go to plan B. Can I have Jacqueline's (sp) phone number?? Feeling tons of guilt now that your Birthday wasn't the happiest day this year...