Yesterday my husband promised to take me to our favorite fancy white table cloth kind of place just to spend some nice quality time together.
We agreed to cut our work days short so we could really enjoy the evening together but as luck would have it, we both ended up dealing with one thing after the other, putting us each in terrible moods and way behind schedule. We took two different cars and through sporadic texts, decided to meet at a little coffee shop first, a caffeine kick becoming a necessary evil to get through the night. That's right. Get THROUGH the night. Our date night had become a box to check as neither one of us felt like going out or pretending like we could focus on anything but our jobs. Neither of us wanted to let the other down either. (Apologies. The intro was WAY TO LONG.)
Eric and I sat in the coffee shop and griped, moaned, and complained about our jobs and how our days were going. We got interrupted by phone calls, emails, and texts which just added to the misery. When we finished our coffees, we headed toward the door and found a small gift giving tree perched near the trash can. You know, the kind with tags asking for a bike for a kid or clothes for a family. Anyway, we decided to read the tags and realized this was a tree for senior citizens. Suddenly, it had a very different feel. These elderly people were asking for basics like a blanket, socks, or in one case, a tray to eat off of. We both froze when we saw a tag that read, "toiletries". Seriously. This elderly woman was requesting toiletries, something we take for granted every single day.
"Let's go crazy," Eric said, grabbing the tag off the tree. "Come on, let's make this lady's day."
We got a cart at the local Target and spent an hour picking out everything from a new towel set, to soaps and lotions, to a nail set, hairbrush, and shampoo. Naturally, Eric is the one who threw the bath brush in and I grabbed a tri-pack of colorful toothbrushes and paste. On our way to the register, we grabbed a gift bag, tissue paper, and a card.
I have to tell you, wandering the halls of toiletry supplies in a department store turned out to be one of the best times Eric and I have ever spent together. Our work world vanished and we each grinned from ear to ear, finding all kinds of things to make someone else's life a little better. Packing that bag in the back of the car and hand-writing that Christmas card sealed the deal and we happily returned the gift to the coffee shop.
My Eric is an absolutely wonderful man and though I am always touched when he wants to take me out and make me feel pretty or special, I truly felt more incredible than ever using that money on someone else. We both did. It's been 24 hours and we are still talking about and basking in the glow of it all.
We somewhat lurked in someone else's life for the giving tree. My laptop battery is dying and the cord is at the office so I have to cut this short. Have a wonderful weekend and may we all improve the lives of others in one way or another during the holiday season.
Love you, our lurkers and those who choose to comment. We are all friends here.
Amy (and Eric)