When you’ve had a little bit of cancer you feel obligated to be grateful for everything good that comes after that fateful diagnosis day. No whining allowed….because how wonderful it is to have another day to be alive, to be with your family, to enjoy all the beauty and joy that life on this earth has to offer.
I confess, it has been almost 9 months since my last diagnosis of breast cancer and I fear I am about to whine.
It is nearly Valentine’s Day. I love the husband dearly. He is perfect for me. He is patient, kind, tolerant and occasionally even appreciative of all the good and bad that makes me, me. We have been together for long enough that when I try and remember how long we’ve been dating or married I need 7 hands full of fingers to count it out. And while it’s true, I am grateful for the husband, I’m just not sure he’s worth 9 bucks.
I have recently returned from the store. I stood for fractions of an hour in front of the Valentine’s Day greeting cards. I wanted to pick out a card for the husband. My dad is a master at picking out greeting cards. All of his cards have spoken to me. All of his cards have been beautiful. I’ve saved many of them in a binder.
Yet, I stood there in front of the aisle of cards and knew without a doubt, I was not my father. Picking out greeting cards is hard. None of the cards spoke to me. None of the cards had anything to do with me and the husband. Most of the cards didn’t even mention who was responsible for cleaning out the cat litter, why he and the teenage boy should cut back on the shoot ‘em up video games or how I think he needs to see a hearing specialist. Combined with, of course, with all the good parts of our relationship and how wonderful he is. The cards I looked at were all unrealistic sunsets and dreamy visions and unending sappy superlative proclamations of love and devotion using words found only in a thesaurus.
Nevertheless, I held my final choice in my hands. It was lacking in proper sentiment, but I was tired and it was nearly lunch time. I went to place the card in my cart and I turned it over to check the price.
Oh heck. NO.
I stuffed it back into its spot. I grabbed my utterly inadequate 2nd choice.
Sigh. Still, NO.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t happening this year, husband. The whole greeting card thing.
These aren’t cards that talk and have speakers or cards that have elaborate pop outs. They aren’t embellished in foil and they don’t have prose that would impress those among us who appreciate a clever rhyme or turn of phrase.
Dear husband, for the same price I could buy you a gallon of racing gas for your Camaro. I could take you out for tacos. With meat in them. I could buy you most of that ballast thing you keep wanting for your garage light. All things that would be more appreciated, I’m guessing, than a card that isn’t quite right and will eventually, most likely, rot in a landfill.
I left the store without a card for the husband, feeling like a failure, of course. Feeling like the cheapest, most ungrateful, whining cancer wife on the planet. Feeling like I had better start making the most spectacular homemade Valentine’s Day card ever. Feeling like I should probably leave out the parts about the cat litter and the hearing specialist in my homemade card. Feeling like rhyming is hard……..feeling like, maybe…. I need to go back to the store and have another look at those cards.
Ultimately, I left wondering if my dad ever looked at the price on the back of the card.