Here’s the deal.

I’m a spoiled princess.

Husband both loves and despises the spoiled princess in me and has at times tried to kill her off for good.

My favorite story is about the first snow after we were married.  Let me promise you that this story is 100% true.  We were living in my grandparent’s basement.  They had a long driveway.  So we went out to shovel it.

A brief interjection: I like that I am a spoiled princess, and want everyone to be aware of my status.  However, I also reserve the right to come down off of my throne at times and mingle with the commoners.  But when I do, I expect all to bow, and comment on how versatile and good I am to condescend to do such common things, when I am, after all, obviously, a princess.

So, when I went outside with Husband to shovel the walk, it was out of this attitude of condescension that I went.

We each took our shovels, and Husband eagerly attacked the snow, like any man who had grown up in northern Utah with the responsibility to keep the walks clear after a storm.  Skilled.  It was not until I had shoveled a couple of feet that I realized that Husband actually EXPECTED me to do this.  He wasn’t at all in awe of my goodness.  He was EXPECTING me to SHOVEL snow!  And it would most likely not end there!  He would probably expect me to do it again!  And then, who knows what menial, mean chores he would throw my way?  I could be MOWING THE LAWN next summer!  The horror!

This had to come to an end.  I did what I knew how to do.

At first Husband didn’t notice the tears and kept shoveling.  But when I sniffed loudly, and he realized that I hadn’t moved from the spot I had started in, he couldn’t help but stop and ask what the matter was.

“Princesses do not shovel!” I said.

There was a very nice mug of hot cocoa waiting for him when he finished and came inside.



We have a story that we have both pledged not to share or discuss ever again.  It brings up deeply harbored ill will toward one another.  We have tried and tried to work through this memory, but to no avail.  Husband will never enjoy buying me a single gift ever.  As long as we live.  And it’s completely my fault.

But involves a Justin Timberlake Doll.

The problem is that I like gifts.  A lot of gifts.  And because I am so spoiled, and so evil, Husband despises buying them for me.  And so I despise Christmas morning.  And it’s completely my fault.

I have tried, and tried, and tried, and tried again and again to get over it.  But I sincerely believe that I have Spoiled Princess in my DNA and it simply cannot be altered.  (I honestly try.  Did you get that part?)

A couple of weeks ago, I announced to Husband that I didn’t have anything large for him for Christmas.  I had a few small things, but to not expect anything amazing from me.  I fill his stocking, I wrap a few gifts for him, and he is very satisfied.  I truly cannot comprehend this.  But he swears it is true.

He said that he had nothing for me, that I always buy myself everything I want anyway, and even if he were to get me something I liked, he wouldn’t know exactly what to buy so he just wasn’t going to bother.  I always end up upset and dissatisfied, which is true.  I am truly evil.  I told him that I would try my best to accept this and not throw a fit on Christmas morning.  Especially since my parents will be here.  I meant it.  I really want to accept it.

But I cannot accept it.

This morning I took matters into my own hands, and I don’t know how Husband will respond.

I made a list of several things I want.  I gave him specific descriptions, websites, and addresses of the places where he can get these items.  I told him to choose, but that I want it to be his choice.  I want HIM to buy it, to wrap it, and to put it under the tree for me.  I want to feel like I am worth the effort.

That’s really what it is all about.  I want proof that I’m worth all of the pain and anguish and struggle and work to do this thing for me.  Maybe he feels that he shows me that by going to work every day, by going out with me on the weekends, by letting me basically do whatever I feel like doing.  He works to provide me with a really cushy awesome life.  Isn’t that enough?

Apparently not.

I want presents!



12 thoughts on “Gifts!

  1. My ancestors were Mormon pioneers. It was a hard life, and survival was not assured. Everyone pulled their share of the load. Maybe I’m out of step with the modern age, but I think of my great-grandmother as a young wife with hungry children in a lean-to on a desolate snow-filled prairie, and it makes me realize that my life is a cakewalk in comparison. Work, thrift and industry are values that I’ve worked to instill into my children, and I’m proud to say that neither of them, now young adults in graduate school, has a sense of entitlement. They work their asses off and don’t expect others to indulge them.

    I think the word princess is a dangerous euphemism. It whitewashes some pretty unsavory behavior. I know I couldn’t put up with the antics you describe. Luckily, your husband is made of sterner stuff.

    This comment comes across as harsher than I intend. I know there are a million ways for people to get through life, and I have no first hand knowledge of your situation. My reaction says as much about me as it does the situation you describe. My ex-wife was like this, and it was one of the reasons we didn’t make it.

  2. MoHo H-
    I am fully aware that I am a lazy pain in the *rear*, and that my behavior is, in every respect, unsavory.
    Thanks for the kick in the teeth- as if I needed it.
    Merry Christmas.

    • I sincerely don’t mean to offend or insult. As I said, my response says a lot about me and the residual hurt I feel from a failed relationship with one particular princess. I guess it all depends on context. In your context maybe this works.

  3. from the husband – MNJ – princessness is a pain anyway you slice it. but as i am a princess too, i feel obligated to cut some slack. i will never, however, ever cut loose the pain over justin T 🙂

    some times the princessness is too much but then i’m reminded that being the co-pilot to a gay princess aint no cake walk either. we hug tightly & clasp hands & move on.

    i am apprehensive to say the least about Christmas morn this year as the king & queen will be visiting. i did threaten that at the mere sigh of dissatisfaction over lacking gifts or gifts received – this princess is skipping town till the king & queen disappear or maybe even permanently. not into that kind of pain. anyone have an empty bunk i can borrow? and NO peas under the mattress either. i don’t play that game! i NEED my beauty rest.

  4. Mandi, I think I can somewhat relate the point you’re trying to get across. My college boyfriend had an extremely difficult time knowing what to buy people for gifts. Buying for me was no exception. I never got any Christmas or birthday or just because presents from him. Ever. It always made me feel sad that he couldn’t muster up the energy or thought to buy me a gift. It made me feel like I wasn’t worth the effort. Our first winter as a couple, we happened to be wandering around Walmart and decided to find what we could buy each other with the small amount of change in each of our pockets (our university was in an extremely small town and Walmart was the place to hang out for fun). The one and only gift he ever bought me was that night during our dumb little game: a cheap pair of gloves for $1.99, and I cherished those gloves like they were diamonds. Every time I wore them, I would get warm-fuzzies knowing that he had chosen those gloves specifically for me. I took it as an expression of his love for me.

    Have you ever read that book about the different love languages? Some people express and/or feel love through many different ways: physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and receiving/giving gifts. I don’t think that I predominantly speak one love language, but it is clear that receiving gifts is one. Why else would a cheap pair of Walmart gloves mean so much to me? For me, it’s more than just receiving stuff as gifts; it’s the effort and the thought that shows he cares.

    In the past two years, Chris and I have agreed to not buy anything for each other for birthdays, our anniversary, Valentine’s day or Christmas because we simply couldn’t afford any extra expenses. It has been difficult for me, but I understand why it has had to be this way. Instead, I try to understand Chris’s love language and discover other ways he is trying to express his love for me. For example, one of Chris’s love languages is service. He likes to clean the house and make dinner, and although I think that is nice, I don’t automatically equate that to an expression of love, even though that was his intent.

    So maybe you’re not a princess; you just speak the receiving gifts love language, and that’s perfectly ok.

    • the love languages book is the next on my list to buy, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy another self-help book until I finish the stack I have already. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  5. (husband again)
    really what it boils down to is this – I CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE! i actually LIKE giving & coming up with that special something. it’s the pressure of the expectation. the depth behind the thought of the gift equates the depth of love. it is a matter of language but it’s also a matter of “i’ve dashed every hope to bits by not living up to the promise to only & always be hers.” so now, nothing seems to be enough. it all seems kind of meaningless. As stupid as it may seem – i’m still gun shy – & in walks justin timberlake – as a gag gift the lovely princess received a j.t. action doll – whom i might add, she was crushing on pretty hard core at the time. wrong move obviously. however, the gift i was given was a belly button brush – A BELLY BUTTON BRUSH – AND I WAS THE ONE IN THE DOG HOUSE!

    • I thought we weren’t going to go there! How many times have I apologized and claimed responsibility? I will claim it a million times more until you get it! I was beastly that day! Beastly!

  6. I most definitely think you’re both princesses! I’d love to be the fly-on-the-wall to witness this upcoming Christmas morn!

    There is a concept that resonates here: since we gay husbands have somehow not been able to measure up in expected ways (particularly on the romantic front), it seems that everything we do do (even spontaneous, thoughtful and romantic) never seems to measure up either for it’s always viewed as somehow being done as a “make up call” for a past transgression, even if there was no transgression.

    Best wishes in your gift-giving this year!

  7. You guys seem to have a sense of humor about this, and that makes it a lot better. I think one of the things you have going for you is the ability to communicate well with each other.

    I think Beck brings up a good point. The never-good-enough dynamic shows up in MOMs a lot, and it leads to discouragement. I know it was a big part of my marriage to my ex-wife.

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