With apologies to Rihanna.
Since I last posted here, I had a birthday. And, oddly enough, I share the day with Mr. J’s father.
Since we were going to visit his family on my actual birthday, Mr. J surprised me one day last week. He bought me gourmet cupcakes, a beautiful card that brought me to tears, and an amazing gift: a set of sapphire earrings.
I was floored. Yes, he knows I like sapphires, and these are almost a half carat sized each. Studs, set in white gold, which I prefer over yellow.
I was baffled. Mr. J is very careful with money. These babies cost more than an iPad.
What does that mean?
Mr. J does not spend money easily. He’s not into high-ticket items. One of the reasons he doesn’t really like travel is he doesn’t like spending the money on it.
He is the first man to buy me expensive jewelry. For marriage 2 and 3 I paid for my own rings. (I am well aware of how pathetic that is.) Ring 2 is gone – sold at a yard sale as it was just a simple band with three tiny stones. Nothing to take to the jeweler. Ring 3 I still have in a box – not quite sure what to do with it yet. I’ve toyed with the idea of making a new ring or necklace from it – and the wedding band – but I haven’t really given it much thought.
But no man has ever bought me fine jewelry before. Even my first engagement ring, bought by my now ex-husband in 1992, came from a mass department store and retailed then for $399. Solitaire. Square, yellow gold band. No bells, no whistles. But we were young, just starting out.
Back to the birthday….
So on my actual birthday, we spent it with Mr. J’s family. His two brothers, their families, and their dad spent the day eating burgers, drinking beer, and visiting.
I chatted a little with Mr. J’s dad. And he told me a few eye-opening things.
We had both had a few cocktails, so I’m not sure exactly how we got to talking about it. But I mentioned how I feel when The Daughter talks to Mr. J. I told Dad how it breaks my heart to hear her speak so badly to him, even though he just lets it roll off. I said that Mr. J has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known (and this is where I got teary eyed.) I said that The Daughter talks to Mr. J just like her Mother does, because it’s been a learned condition.
Then Dad told me the bombshell: that way back, 20 years ago on their wedding day, Dad heard the way she spoke to Mr. J; how in fact her whole family spoke to him. And Dad told me that right then he ‘had a feeling it wouldn’t last’.
ON THEIR WEDDING DAY.
Mind = blown.
Then he went on to tell me that he knew the only reason Mr. J married her was because he was lonely. His two brothers were married (or planning to be soon), and one was already starting a family. He was lonely.
Been there, done that, so I know how he felt.
Then Dad went on to say how he doesn’t see that with us. He sees us as ‘real’. He says he can tell the way we look at each other; even when we are working together in the kitchen to put a meal together, he can see how we care and respect each other.
Again, I got misty-eyed.
So after we had finished dinner, and blown out the candles on the cake, we were driving home the following afternoon. I had mentioned to Mr. J that I had a nice chat with his dad. While in the van, he asked what we talked about.
“Just stuff,” I said.
“Well, just so you know, my dad’s advice isn’t always the best”, he laughed. “He’s got about 50% good advice and 50% bad.”
“No worries,” I said, “he wasn’t giving advice”.
“So what did you talk about?”
“Well,” I began, “your dad just gave his opinion on stuff. And seeing how it’s just his opinion, it’s wrong of me to talk about it. It’s just his view, his thoughts. That’s all.”
Yeah – like I am going to tell him that his father thought it was a mistake for him to get married all those years ago.
No way, no how. Not my place.
Perhaps they already talked about this, perhaps Dad had told Mr. J during one of their many talks over the past two years. Regardless, it’s not my place to share this information, so I didn’t.
I’m just thankful that he trusted me with it in the first place.