The Birthday Gift

The Man gave me my birthday gift tonight. It’s a bit early, but I’ll be in Austin without him for the big day, and he wanted to give me my gift before I left. He’s been hinting that it’s something I’ll love for weeks. I asked him specifically for a couple of things that I really wanted (hiking boots and money for my trip to Austin, which I could really use since right now I’m only rolling with gas money), but he flat out told me no to both.

Instead, tonight he hands me a box from Tiffany. Every girl’s dream, right? Not so much. I’m more an Etsy girl. I opened up the box to find a necklace that I’d told him months ago that I didn’t like. My heart sank, which made me feel like an absolute bitch. But I didn’t say anything; it’s bad manners to do anything other than smile and accept your presents, even if they’re not your thing. Except that then he made me put it on.

To my surprise, not only did I not like the necklace in its box, but the moment it touched my skin, I was dismayed. It felt awful on. It felt like a lie. I wore it for a few minutes to make him happy, then took it off and put it away.

The funny thing is that when people give him gifts that he doesn’t like – even expensive ones, like the satellite radio I gave him a couple of years ago – he has no trouble opening the box and killing the mood by declaring with conviction how much he doesn’t like it. Part of me wishes I could be so truthful, but he’s ruined gift-giving for me, and I know that telling him how I feel would only serve to ruin gift-giving for him, too.

But I’m going to get stuck wearing it, and hating it. It’s a first world problem, I know. I wish I could just sell it to make the money to go to Austin.

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