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My wife, Risa, will celebrate a big birthday next week, and I do not know what to give her. I have considered the usual presents–jewelry, clothes, a trip. None seem right.
This brings back a conversation that I had with my father a couple of years after my mother had died. We often talked about business, and he told me many stories about his family and his youth but very little about his relationship with his wife.
A few years before he died, about five years after my mom had died, I visited him in Florida by myself. He was in an unusually pensive mood one night, and he told me with great feeling that he wished he’d “given her more jewelry.”
I was shocked by the remark because it had never occurred to me that she lacked for rings or pins or necklaces.
I filed the comment away, but I was seeing a psychotherapist at the time and asked him about the phrase that had struck a nerve in me. He said “the jewelry” was not gold or diamonds. It was a substitute term for love and sex. I had never heard that before, but I guess it runs through the therapy literature.
I can honestly say that I have given, and am still giving Risa all my love at the age of 76, but I still want to give her a memorable gift that is not a nightgown or a sweater on this big birthday.
COVID-19 has definitely been a problem for us this year. We haven’t traveled to California to visit my daughter and family for well over a year, and they have not visited us since last February. We have seen our Chicago family, but the visits have been short and masked, except for the month when Noah and his wife lived with us. With our second vaccination shots coming up soon, we hope to improve on that, but the steps will be cautious for a while.
This year we had a 50th Anniversary Zoom party, and we have family Zoom sessions frequently.
I am stumped for a memorable present that defies the commonplace. I am sure you have faced the issue of giving a gift that will be valued and remembered.
As a couple, we have been truly blessed. We live in America and have the joys of affluence. Everybody our age has health issues, but both of us get to work rather than have to work. We also exercise and read.
I have some ideas, and I still have enough time to move on them, but I would also like to hear about presents that you have given to a special person on a special day.
(The comments section on our website is live again so please give me your thoughts. )
Question: What is your suggestion for a present for my wife’s 70th birthday?