After I dated my Cap’n Firepants for a year, I started expecting a ring. I even knew how he would pop the question. We would go back to Fredericksburg, where we had gone on one of our first dates, and head out to the peach orchard. He would chivalrously offer to pluck the peach tree with the highest branches, leaving its particularly heavily laden neighbor for me to harvest . I would begin collecting peaches when, suddenly, I would spot, dangling delectably from one of the branches, a gorgeous engagement ring. And the Cap’n would get on his knees and proclaim his everlasting love.
That didn’t happen. Oh, the peach pluckin’ occurred. Just not the ring gathering portion of my daydream.
Six months later, it was Christmas time. And now I was really certain this would be the moment. I spotted a nicely wrapped package under the tree, and reasoned that, though it was far too large to be a ring box, he would certainly want to surprise me, thus placing it in a larger box. Not exactly original, but still romantic.
It was a cell phone. Practical. Not romantic. Very thoughtful, of course, since he was concerned about my safety in the somewhat antiquated jalopy I was driving at the time.
I said, “Thank you.” I think most women reading this post know that is not whatimeant2say.
Fast forward into our marriage. (He did eventually pop the question, though not in quite the elaborate manner I had pictured.) Cap’n Firepants, unlike most men, remembers every special occasion with a carefully chosen card and somewhat thoughtful gift. Things started to get a little too generic, though. One day, I tell him that I would be fine without the gift, but I would be thrilled if he would write something in his own words on a card. On the next occasion, he gave me a particularly elaborate card.
On the inside he wrote, “I really mean everything this card says.” Not quite the flowery words I was requesting.
A few years later, the Cap’n, who had apparently forgotten my blatant lack of gratitude the first time, took the chance again of giving me a phone I didn’t ask for.
But this time, it was an iPhone. And I learned to like it real fast. It was almost better than a diamond ring.
I liked the iPhone so much that I bought myself an iPad. By that point, I was so giddy with gadgets, I didn’t even care that we did nothing special on our ten-year anniversary.
I saw Cap’n Firepants looking wistfully at my iPad, and gave him my blessing when the new one was unveiled. I was a little jealous that he would have the camera and the Smartcover, but I figured I could hold off until iPad 3 rolled around. Cap’n Firepants, in his usual meandering manner, didn’t order the iPad 2 right away, however.
One night, he finally admitted that he had broken down and ordered one. Then, he casually stated that he had ordered two of them – one for me, too. We were at a bar, and I leapt out of my bar stool and commenced to produce a very public PDA. Cap’n Firepants loves getting himself a little DA, but not so much the P part. Nevertheless, I think he was satisfied by my reception of his gift.
And now, my birthday is coming up. I asked for an iPhone 5. Surprise and/or other romantic trappings not necessary.
Although it would be really, really perfect if I could stream The Princess Bride from Netflix on my new, very practical gift.