Father’s Day has me reminiscing. Like the time I treated Husband #2 to an amazing Father’s Day weekend in Baltimore.
This gift was the kind of thing that involved travel, hotels, advance ticket purchases, and luck. I decided to take Husband #2 to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, a place he had never visited. I booked a hotel room at the Hyatt, complete with water view and whirlpool tub (it was the last room available overlooking the Harbor. Score one for luck!). I purchased tickets to the National Aquarium, always booked up far in advance. I reserved our spots for dining at McCormick & Schmick’s. And, most importantly, I made sure that we could tour the B&O Railroad Museum, the one thing that would make Husband #2 the happiest during this trip.
With the kids off visiting Husband #1, it would be a romantic Father’s Day getaway for just the two of us. A pretty awesome gift, if I do say so myself. In addition to the things I had planned from afar, we found a few extra activities that enhanced our trip: perusing the huge Barnes & Noble bookstore in the old Power Plant building, touring the USS Constellation, and enjoying the beautiful weather while sipping a pitcher of margaritas harbor-side at twilight. It was one of our best weekends.
And here’s where the old saying, “treat others like you want to be treated” falls flat on its face. After planning this wonderful trip, with obvious time, expense, and effort, I waited 11 months to see what Husband #2 would surprise me with for Mother’s Day. I couldn’t wait to see what he pulled together!
My anticipation started to waver as May rolled closer and closer. He started asking questions, “What do I want?”, “Would brunch be nice?”, “Are there any gift ideas?” To all of these questions I would answer, “Surprise me. You know what I like…” and then drop a little statement reminding him of something we had done that magical Father’s Day.
I fully expected Husband #2 to sweep me off my feet into a special weekend getaway of my own. So when my day rolled around and we went to brunch at one of the fancier restaurants downtown — while it was very nice — I was disappointed. My gift wasn’t up to the caliber of effort I had put into his gift. It just wasn’t as special.
Looking back, I should have spoken up for what I really wanted. The words “surprise me” equate to “disappoint me”. I expected Husband #2 to know what would make me happy and that was wrong on my part. I put faith in his ability to read my mind instead of giving him a clear signal of what I would have liked to do. As my Divorced Moms co-blogger D.A. Wolf so eloquently puts it, assume nothing.
Next time I’ll ask for exactly what I want. Not only for Mother’s Day, but for all things in life.
Who knows? I might even get it.