Big Gifts!

Prerequisite reading:  Go to my  earlier post titled, “Sleepovers and ReGifting: Fundamentals of a Good Marriage”, read it then come back here. 

This just in from ReGifting Friend and her husband who have been married a long, long time.  Apparently they were discussing when they’d exchange gifts over the holidays. 

He:  Hey!  Do you want me to give you my big gift now?

She:  (smiling sweetly) Oh, I’ve been waiting for your “big gift” for a long, long time now.

He:  (shakes head and walks away).

That’s two for Regifting Friend.           

Her husband?  Well,  he seems to have lots of gifts and, after all, they are still married and happily so, it seems. 

I’m thinking she enjoyed all her gifts this holiday season.

Sleepovers and Re-Gifting: Fundamentals of a Good Marriage

My friend was in the kitchen last night finishing the last preparations for her kids’ lunches the next day.  Her husband walked in, smiled mischievously and asked, “Want to have a sleepover?”

“A sleepover?”  After 20 years of marriage and three children, she knew enough to be wary when he approached her in the kitchen. 

“Yeah, a sleepover,” he grinned, “You know.  You sleep over on my side of the bed.”

She laughed and rolled her eyes at him.

“I even have a gift for you,” he continued with his devilish grin.

Without missing a beat, she zinged this next comment his direction, “Oh, I’ve had that gift before!”  She paused for effect, looked at him in the eyes and said, “I think that’s called re-gifting.” 

Stunned at her smooth return of his banter and somewhat crestfallen he shrugged, “Well, okay then.” 

It’s just too bad we weren’t there to see the look on his face as his wife of twenty years lobbed the creative flirty serve back to him without missing a beat. She did that in style.  She put him in his place without insult or recrimination.  She stepped it up to his level, and matched him stride for stride in his fun antics.  I’m guessing they sleptover and regifted and enjoyed every minute of it.  She didn’t tell me that…but she didn’t have to…I’m smart that way you know.


Ahhh, tis the season!  Sleepovers and re-gifting.  The stuff marriages are made of.


As I watched this same friend interact with her husband last week when they stopped by my classroom during conference, I was struck with the same impression after hearing this story: these two have a great marriage.  They’ve been through some stuff, it hasn’t always been easy, they don’t always get along, sometimes they can’t stand to be in the same room together and they have all the experiences of married people who’ve been together since youth, built careers, birthed and brought up children together and are now in their 40’s.  The new, giddy fairy tale honeymoon bliss is long gone from their relationship or at least it has dimmed signifcantly.  But they have a great marriage. They have a marriage I dreamed of having when I was a girl but somehow wasn’t able to experience yet as an adult. They still laugh and joke together, they still communicate, they still respect each other, they are still working shoulder to shoulder together in the thing they are building called their family, their marriage and their home.  In her own words she says, “After all the garbage and stress of life is done, when we can finally be alone, we really like it.  We still really enjoy being together.”


Now that’s a fairy tale ending that doesn’t get any better. I am envious.  In a good way.  I am so happy for them and their children.  I long for that for myself.  And I am ever so grateful to know these two people because they crystallize for me certain aspects of what I am looking for in a long term committed (yes, it is insane) relationship. They remind me never to settle…never…ever!  I love having these two in my life, because in the very short time I’ve known them, they’ve showed me that what I suspected could happen between a man and a woman in love, does happen, it does last and it is not simply wishful thinking on my part.  They inspire me.  In all their middle aged responsible duties to each other, the kids the community, the new house, they just simply inspire me.  They give me hope.  


If I were to say what I think makes their marriage so good, it is that they still enjoy being together and they enjoy being together…alone.  They probably still enjoy it because they still make time for each other.  They haven’t ditched out on each other emotionally nor have they chosen any number of escapes that people can and often do choose when they grow apart from each other.  They are both still in it, working on it and respecting each other for their part in the project.  They can play and laugh and flirt in the kitchen during the most mundane tasks.  They still have fun on a “connection” level not merely on an activity level.  I think this is probably a vital element in the success of their marriage.  They have the “happily ever after”.  Not the perfectly ever after, but the happily ever after.  There’s a difference and these two get it.  

They keep their marriage fun by having sleepovers and re-gifting. 


Someday, someday…I will eagerly accept the invitation to sleepover on my man’s side of the bed and I will just love whatever regifting he has to offer.  Until then, it is so encouraging to know, in this day and age where over 50% of marriages fail and even more remarriages fail, that happily ever after does exist.

Men Are Like Dogs….

Okay, really…I did not say that.  Those are not my words.  Honestly…I am not kidding.  Those words, whatever emotions they might evoke for you, those words are not mine.  They were written by a man.  Now, before you go railing this individual as a traitor to the male gender, you have to read his comment in its entirety.  He commented on my post about Cowardice, written last summer. You can read his comment here. But for those of you who are lazy or just don’t want to open another window, I’ll paraphrase the comment.  My friend, said this:  Men are like getting a new dog…you never know what you’re going to get until you get him home”.  (my paraphrase)

This is first, a humorous comment.  It is also a frightening comment.  I think it is frightening simply because it is so true.  The implications here are significant for those wanting to consider romance, dating, shacking up, maybe even the idea of making it legal. And….hear this one…my dear male friends…it goes both ways.  By that I mean, you could say the same thing about those beautiful Venus bombshells you cannot live without or that you don’t want to live without supposedly.

You simply never can get the real picture about someone until you live up close and personal with them. 

And, if you are in the 35+ category for age, have children, a thinking mind and goals that resemble something more than I want to be rich and famous and will marry anyone to do it, then you must realize that what I’m saying here is of significance to you. 

Especially if you have children. 

You must be ultra careful about who and what you allow into your home. 

Disclaimer:  While the title of my post implies that men are the gender we are talking about, I think I’ve made it sufficiently clear that what I’m saying here applies to both genders.  My opinions definitely side with the “both genders are guilty” approach.  I just used that title because it was really cool and thought it might be a great way to entice more of you to my blog or to that article or to read Jeff’s great comment.  In any event…I am now not just picking on the guys.  I recognize that we women can be just as vile in our own ways. 

You must, must be careful about who and what you allow into your home.

I learned this lesson the hard way. 

In general all my growing up years I was the textbook firstborn eager-to-please driven kid.  I was a good little girl.  Well, so most people would have told you, but on the inside only I knew how rotten I could be at points.  But I played the “good little girl” role for so long and I did it so well for so long.  The problem was I was not dealing with and being authentically me.  So, as you might guess, this all spun out of control about 16 years into my first marriage.

I’d like to say that’s when I started making the bad choices, but the reality is, the bad choices I made started probably when I was 16.  The choice, have a boyfriend. Use him as your ticket out of the house.  Well, this thinking self-destructed down the road and after ending my first marriage…I jumped into a second one which was an absolute living nightmare. 

But it wasn’t a total loss.  It was during this marriage that I learned you must be very careful about the influences you allow into your home.  I was not careful.  I paid for it dearly during the marriage.  My children paid for it and are paying for it now.  I will not make those mistakes again…at least…I hope I won’t.

But here is the question that a statement like this raises:

I you can’t really tell what the “dog” is like till you bring him/her home, how can you be sure that he/she is the dog for you before you bring him/her home?

Because I guarantee you this…once you bring him/her home if she/he’s the wrong dog, it’s already too late and there will be damage done.  And who wants to bring a dog home with the idea that it’s okay to get rid of it if he/she “doesn’t work out”?  I mean, in spite of two failed marriages, that is sooooo not what I’m about. 

I still believe in long term commitment. I still believe in the institution of marriage.  I still believe that a good quality relationship is possible and that this deep, meaningful connection can last “till death do us part” (and not because one or the other of us hires a hit man either).

So, I’m going to ask it again and I do hope you’ll take time out of your busy schedule (I know it must be) to help me clarify my thoughts on this and to help any other lurking readers out there who might not know, but who would like to.  Here’s my question again:

I you can’t really tell what the “dog” is like till you bring him/her home, how can you be sure that he/she is the dog for you before you bring him/her home?

Inquiring Wild Minds want to know.