You have asked me countless times this week where I would like to go for dinner, what I would like to do tomorrow, what I would like you to get me for breakfast. You will ask me the same type of questions when my birthday approaches, and then again at Christmas. And then as now, I will not be able to give you a straight answer. That frustrates you, and I am sorry. So I'm taking this opportunity to explain it to you in the only way I can really think of.
What I really want is for you to never ask. I want you to already know the answer. What I want is for you to understand me so well that you can anticipate what will make me happy without a word.
I want you to know without asking that I want to sleep in as late as possible, that I like Starbucks iced coffee with white chocolate and nonfat milk, and that I would love a freshly-baked croissant with strawberry jam, if not from someplace fancy like Croissant Brioche, then from a place like La Madeleine. I would like you to know without asking that I want you to bring it to me in bed on a tray with a single flower and a card made and signed by you and Chris and Dana together, with maybe a small gift on it- even if it's something the kids made for me, or a tiny box of chocolates, or a single cupcake, or a story they have written and you have typed up on pretty paper.
I want you to listen when I tell you (and I do, every year) that what I really want is for you to go find me something pretty to wear- a scarf, a top, a hat- or a perfume that you choose because you
think know I will love it- and because it reminds you of me. I want you to remember when my birthday comes that I really DO want a cake, and that my favorite flavor is lemon, or maybe plan ahead and have Jody make me a box of cupcakes. I want you to listen when I lament that I haven't gone shopping in ages and take me to get new sunglasses or send me off to a spa for a manicure and pedicure.
The point is, I do not want things. I want you to know me better than I know myself, to take care of me better than I would ever dare to do. I know you love me- you are sweet, and attentive, and loving, and the most wonderful dad and housekeeper and all-around rock that a girl could ask for. But what you do not do- and not many men are capable, to be fair- is really, truly understand me.
It's not your fault. We women can be terribly difficult- we ask you to do the right thing, and then we can't tell you what that is. Well, here's the secret... that? Is pretty much it. In a nutshell. Listen. Get to know what I like. Don't write it off as pointless babble, or let your mind drift to whatever's on the TV. I'm trying to tell you something about me. Something you can file away to use for all those times you get frustrated because I'm sad and you don't know how to make it better (here's a hint- make me a card. It can be a cheesy stick figure drawn in dried-out marker and I will cherish it). Make a mental file of my favorite things or phrases that have worked in the past, and pull them out whenever you have occasion. That is what I want for Mother's Day, and my birthday, and Christmas, and every other day when you want me to feel special.