His Father’s Day Secret

Every May, when Mother’s Day rolls around, there’s no shortage in conversations about what moms really want. Whether it’s breakfast in bed, diamonds and pearls, a pedicure or just a moment’s peace… women seem to be pretty vocal about their preferences and expectations.

But this isn’t about them.

A month later, Fathers Day arrives and it’s the guys’ turn. This is when the rest of us tune in to our telepathy and try to truly understand what the heck dads really want. If we believed every newspaper circular, Kohls commercial or Internet pop up ad, the Father’s Day dream is to receive an ugly tie, polo shirt/khakis combo or something out of the complete-waste-of-money department in the Sharper Image catalog. That can’t be right.

This year, I think I stumbled upon man’s ultimate gift. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this one’s gonna sting, ladies.

He wants you to back the heck off.

How did I reach this life-changing epiphany? Facebook, of course. In a recent status update, I asked my dad-friends, “What do you REALLY want for Father’s Day?”

Almost immediately, an answer was posted… by a mom. Within minutes, the comments were flowing and gift ideas (cough: sex) were flying.

But what was most interesting was that out of all of the conversation participants, only one of the comments was actually from a DAD. (Poor Lee didn’t know what hit him.) The rest were moms and one child-free guy having a good time at poor Dad’s expense.

It was kind of a light bulb moment for me.

Could it be that guys are actually telling us what they want but we don’t shut up long enough to hear it? I mean, it makes sense – sort of. Between planning the social calendar and keeping track of endless activities and appointments, women generally assume the role of taking control of it all, often leaving the men lost in the shuffle. I can’t begin to count how many weekends I’ve planned and organized (color-coded spreadsheet, anyone?) where Jeff is just expected to go along for the ride with no time to ask questions or voice an opinion.

Funny, I’ve asked my husband several times what he wants for Father’s Day, yet have completely disregarded the answer. I guess because I’m a fan of the grand gestures, I assumed his request for a simple day couldn’t possibly be what he really wants. But that’s completely unfair to him.

So this year, my husband will receive from me, a very important body part  — my ears. I will hear what he’s saying and spend the day however he wants. I’ll slow down, trade in the multi-tasking for a Sunday drive, and won’t even think about mentioning the pool and garage that need to be cleaned (sorry, couldn’t help myself). I will ignore responsibility, free us all of social obligations and live carefree — in the moment.

For you, honey, I will spend this Father’s Day living like a man. xo

Guys, what do you really want this Father’s Day?

Valentine’s Day Massacre

With the upcoming Hallmark holiday on the horizon, it’s fun to see how people view the day — there’s such a wide variety of attitudes about it.

I think for years, I have secretly envied couples who get dolled up and head out among the masses, just to show off that they, indeed, are in love (or like or lust). For the first time in years, Jeff made a reservation at a local hot spot and booked us a sitter. Strangely enough, I’m torn about that — enjoying that my husband still wants to make such a gesture after all these years, but compelled to cancel it because it’s just not practical, I mean come on, it’s a school night!

But no matter what we do, I know it will not go down in the record books as my worst Valentine’s Day ever. Somewhat because I have no expectations of romantic excellence, just because the calendar says it’s February 14th,  but mostly because my worst Valentine’s Day ever happened already — in 2002.

It was going to be a big deal.

My then-boyfriend and I were going out to a new place with great reviews, in the heart of an artsy district in Los Angeles. I had received a sizable gift certificate to Macy’s the Christmas before and was going to use it all to buy myself a dress that would live up to the rest of the occasion. My boyfriend picked me up and we stopped off at a little place for a pre-dinner cocktail.

The night was going perfectly. Dinner was exquisite. The mood was romantic and flirtatious. As we sipped champagne and shared a dessert, he leaned over and whispered. “Let’s finish up. I have a gift for you back at the house.”

“Oh. My. God.” I thought. This is IT.

As we drive back to my place, I can’t help but let my wind wander… were my parents still awake on the east coast, I can’t wait to tell them… when would we be married? My palms were sweating with excitement over what was to come — this night would be unforgettable!

We arrive at my house and he opens the door for me. He leads me toward my bedroom and I am barely breathing. As he opens the door, I see it sitting on my bed, displayed like it’s as precious as the Hope Diamond — and pretty much the same size.

It was a boom box.

Huh? Was it there to play romantic music as he dropped to one knee?

Nope. It was the gift. That’s right, the boom box WAS. THE. GIFT.

I couldn’t help but admit to my disappointment, I mean I was weeping openly — it wasn’t like I was hiding it well. As I wiped the tears from my embarrassed, yet devastated eyes, he softly said.

“I’m sorry, I thought you would like it. It plays MP3 CDs.”

That’s right, ladies. It plays MP3 CDs.

That CD player still remains in this house, lulling the boys to sleep every night. What also remains in this house, is that story… shared every Valentine’s Day as we laugh at how much life has changed since then.

What was your most memorable Valentine’s Day?

Bringing in the Birthday with a Bang!

It just occurred to me recently that I’ve had this blog going for over two years. When I started, Jacob had just turned 3 and Brady wasn’t even 2. And while Lucy had already been born, she was a peanut, just a few months old and beginning the journey to our family.

It’s been nice recently looking back to past posts, remembering moments that have faded in my memory. Remember this from Brady’s second birthday? Couldn’t you just eat his cheeks? And then there was this one from his third bday. Hard to believe another year has flown by.

I have to say, I think it was his fourth birthday that really will keep him smiling. Because this year, we learned that instead of throwing big parties or spending lots of money on what we guess the kids would like… we’d do something that we know they’d be into. Stay tuned, I have lots of photos of the big event.

In the meantime, I’ll give you three guesses what Grandma and Papa bought the birthday boy. The only downside is that it didn’t include ear plugs. Not for the loud banging, but the fighting that occurs when everyone wants a turn at the same time.