Let me start by confessing that I am not the most romantic woman in the world.
When Sara was a little girl, she called me “pathetic” because I couldn’t think of anything romantic to give Doug for Valentines.
I guess she thought my red toolbox didn’t cut it.
I am a practical gift giver.
I try to be a frivolous giver but it’s just not in my personality.
Sometimes I say, “Let’s not give each other Valentines this year. We know we love each other.”
I say that to save me the trouble of trying to think of a romantic gift.
Even when he agrees to the no-gift idea, he still sends me gorgeous, generous bouquets of flowers.
He can’t help himself.
He is a romantic.
In Myers Briggs language, he is a strong “feeler.”
I am a strong “thinker.”
The way you know which one you are is by considering what is most important to you when you make a decision. If you prefer to make decisions based on objective principles like what makes sense or is logical, you are probably a thinker.
If you put more weight on personal concerns like what is best for the people involved, and what will make them happy, you are probably a feeler.
Thinkers like to analyze pros and cons. Feelers like to create harmony and are motivated by what seems most caring and warm.
This is why I give Doug gifts like red toolboxes and why he gives me luxurious flowers and other impractical, but loving gifts.
I’ve mentioned before that Doug and I took the Myers Briggs test before we got married, and it was very educational. It helped us understand each other better.
When we went house hunting for our first home, we walked into the top-of-the-line builder’s model, called the “Laurel,” a large townhouse with a sweeping spiral staircase in the entry way. The salesman told us it was the most popular model because it also had a garage. (Actually he said it had a “Gar-Arge,” which we forever after enjoyed mimicking.)
Doug immediately said, “This is it! This is the one. We don’t need to look at the other models.”
I immediately said, “We don’t need that staircase and we can’t afford a Gar-Arge.”
“But it’s so pretty,” the feeler husband said.
“And so impractical,” the thinker wife replied.
These types of thinker-feeler discussions are integral to our marriage.
When we stopped at the outlets on the way home from the beach one summer, the girls wanted to buy school clothes.
We went into the Ralph Lauren store and they grabbed arm-loads of clothing to try on.
All of them looked adorable.
“Which one should I choose?” they asked.
“Which one will you wear the most?” I asked.
“Why are you even trying to choose?” Doug questioned. “Why not get them all if you like them?”
The thinker in me could not be silent. “Doug, they do not need all those clothes.”
The feeler in him said, “But they like them!”
The negotiations went on, and since he had the money, he won.
(Obviously, our kids have always loved shopping with Doug. We are just lucky he doesn’t go very often because it’s about his least favorite thing to do.)
So, as Valentines Day approaches, I’m back at wanting to say, “Doug, my darling stud muffin of a Valentine, how about if we forget gifts this year?”
He might say yes to please me because, of course, he is a major feeler, and he wants me to be happy, and for our marriage to be harmonious.
But, I know he will never forget Valentines Day.
He will do something lovely, thoughtful, and sweet, and all I can think of is to give him a new Nats baseball hat and some game tickets because, of course, they are practical…and red. (And he already knows I bought them.)
Last year, I outdid myself.
I wrote love notes on red hearts and taped them all over the inside of his car after he went to bed so that he would be surprised by my tenderness on Valentines Day.
I don’t know how to top that.
He already has a red toolbox and a red tool cabinet.
I am desperate for romantic ideas.
Please send them my way… but only if they make sense and seem practical. At times like this, it’s so much better to be a feeler.