Obviously, all women don't want the same things. But those of us who craft--call it "craft" or call it "art"--usually want more of the same.
In other words, more yarn, more fabric, more fiber. Or more paper, more pens, more paint, more canvases--just more, of the materials we need to feed our creative souls. And the good stuff ain't cheap, is it, my friends?
Some people just don't get it.
Anyway, our birthdays come around the same time of year, and our talk went pretty much word for word like this:
Q: Have you made your birthday list yet?
Me: What do you mean, "birthday list?"
Q: A list of all the things you want for your birthday. The people around me never seem to know what I want. They give me things I have no use for. I was thinking of making a list and sending it out to everyone, reminding them, "My birthday's coming up on the ___th, and here are things I would like!"
Me (thinking, obviously, that I would get her something from her list): And what would be on that list?
Q: Oh, snacks, fruit, food of any kind. And there are several perfumes I like.
Me: The only thing I'd really want is a gift certificate to one of my favorite local quilt shops.
Q: Oh, that's no good!
Q: You would shop there anyway!
Me: Yes, that's what I would want.
Q: Oh, no, you should get something special that you would never buy for yourself.
Me: I would love to have the money. I could get what I want without spending my own money.
Q: You don't need the money!
Me: Well, you want what you want, and I want what I want, and that's okay.
Me: It's like you think I should want what you want.
MORE DEAD SILENCE.
Me: I'm just pointing out, it's kind of funny really, that I'm saying what I would want and you're arguing with me.
Q: I'm not arguing with you! I'm just trying to give you a different way to think about it!
As if I had asked for a different way. As if I needed a different way. As if I should not want what I want.
Discretion got the better part of valor, and I simply said, "I understand." There was no point in discussing it any more.
Little does Q know or understand the many times I have gotten half a yard of fabric when I wanted a whole yard, the times when I wanted four different fabrics and only bought two, or when I saw the latest MadelineTosh yarn, drooled over the colors, and bought none.
I have some friends who have the same experience. Yet heartwarmingly, others say things like, "Oh, my husband knows: Christmas, birthday, Mother's Day, our anniversary--he just gets me a gift certificate to my favorite (knit, quilt, whatever) shop, and he knows I'm happy, and it's so easy for him!"
Others listen somewhat enviously as the friend in question describes what, in that moment, sounds like the perfect mate!
He may have his faults, but he knows what you want for your birthday, gosh darn it!
So, with Q, well, nobody's perfect, I love her anyway, and sometimes you just have to accept people as they are. And having failed in my attempt to be accepted as I am, I just changed the subject.
But I know you, dear Reader, understand!!
Please note: the photos here are of beautiful fabric I bought for my birthday last year with birthday money. Thank you, Mom! (Mom gets it. Although I seem to recall it took awhile to train her! xo)