I keep telling myself I didn't expect anything - nobody ever goes to great lengths for me after all - but truthfully I didn't just wish and want, I did sort of expect...
What am I talking about? Yesterday was my birthday. It went ok at first - more people than usual realised and posted a message on my wall on facebook, I got texts from a friend and my boyfriend in the morning, and presents off my family, got a few cards too. Then I met up with my boyfriend in the evening (after he finished work), watched him play basketball, cooked dinner with him, and then he gave me... a card. Oh and a ruler with giraffes on it that look like they are chewing when you move it up and down. I can use it as a bookmark since I love to read. Nice... but that's it?
Don't get me wrong. I don't expect heaps of money showered on me. Or for him to do something huge. But I think I did expect to be a little spoilt (as other people have since said 'I bet your boyfriend spoilt you rotten' etc... and so it just hurts all the more that he didn't). I expected to be thought of and a bit of energy put into things. It's one thing for someone to say they care - another to truly show it.
He then said, because I have to admit I couldn't hide my disappointment, that he was thinking he'll get me pillows too (I keep complaining his are flat and old) - a practical gift like the bookmark, he says. I nodded, still trying to compute this lack of effort (it's not like the pillows were already bought or something) and he added that he also wanted to get me a book but he was afraid to take a guess and didn't want to ask for a list so I should let him buy me a book. Ok. Sure.
You know what I would have loved? If he had thought about something he thought I might like. Even if I hated it I would have been touched by the thought and effort. I don't wear much jewellery - but perhaps a necklace, I wear them from time to time. Or I always wear a watch and I've been wearing the same one for years and it has a crack in it - I'm a creature of habit and am not fond of change but if he'd thought to get me a new one I'd have started wearing it all the time instead. Or perhaps he could have bought us tickets to a night out at the theatre or something else nice. Or he could have simply bought me a plaster painting like my Mum did (amongst other things) because I love doing them even though it is childish. Some thought into who I am and what I like, you know?
In fact I just saw Mum and admitted what he gave me and she said she agrees that it isn't right and I need to talk with him about it.
The worst part is that I've seen my boyfriend put thought into other people's gifts before. For his Mum this past Christmas he bought a frame and printed off enlarged photos from his trip in Europe earlier in the year. Even for Chris-kringle (secret santa) type present he went to the effort of getting a module motorbike that matched what the recipient had. There is thought. But apparently I get none. And it's not like we've been together for years - we've been together one year, this is the first time he has given me a b'day present - surely he should still be trying to impress me. If we do get married or simply stay together for years what is he going to end up doing then? Not even acknowledge the day? He could hardly do much worse.