Last Tuesday’s question was interesting, so I’m going to keep doing these for a while on Tuesdays. This week’s Impromptu Promptlings question is, “What Makes You Feel Loved?”
Gifts are nice. Pictures. I’ve been putting up pictures in lately in preparation for our housewarming on Friday, and in the process I’ve come across a collection of pictures my kids have given me for either my birthday or Mothers’ Day. This collection is a series of pictures of the two of them and they are usually accompanied by some craft item: a construction paper heart, one year it was clay, another it was a frame decorated with sequins. The decorations say “we love you!” That these projects were inspired and aided by our au pairs of the time, doesn’t take away from their ability to make me feel loved.
Another thing that makes me feel loved is when someone makes me a meal, serves it, and cleans up after it without my having to do any of that, or answer any questions.
I do appreciate big or expensive or complicated gifts, and I recognize intellectually that they are evidence of my being loved, but I don’t always feel that way spontaneously when I receive such a gift. I have not always understood why this would be the case, and sometimes felt awkward or guilty about not feeling more appreciative.
I’m starting to get an inkling of a reason why. If a gift is large, or expensive, or complicated (or all 3), it usually means I had to ask for it, even research it myself, and probably at least discuss it with the giver beforehand if not fully participate in the acquisition.
I was engaged once to a man who took me shopping for my engagement ring. I didn’t want to know how much the ring cost, but I found out. I didn’t want to witness the price negotiations, or have to choose the stone or the setting myself. If I was to get a ring at all, I wanted to see it for the first time in a gift box, or on a beach, or in a glass of champagne–somewhere other than in a jewelry store. It wasn’t actually that important to me to get a ring in the first place, which just compounded the awkwardness of my having to shop for it.
And yet, I also believe now that from my then-fiancee’s point of view, taking me shopping for the ring and asking me to pick it out was a very sure and true gesture of love on his part. It is what would have made him feel loved, were he in my position. This can be such a complicated question. While there were certainly other factors, I believe that this shopping trip was one of the reasons the engagement did not ultimately work out.