Saturday, April 26, 2008

Generosity is a box of chocolates.

My Mr. Husband is extremely generous. So much so that I often am left jaw-dropped, open-mouthed at his financial acts of kindness. He has a view on money that is free and relaxed. We can always make more. We should enjoy ourselves within limits, and we should have nice things. He is fond of saying, “well, you get what you pay for.” And he’s most often right. Wait, he is always right. I think part of his ability to be right most times comes from the extremely large size of his head. They grow them that way in Scotland. Inside that enormous man-head is a super-sized brain that leads him to great acts of chivalry in the two thousands. He is a generous, giant-headed, gargantuanly gracious, and good man.

Every day I think that if his evil little wife could have one little ounce more of what he has in that great head of his, I’d be a better person. Maybe, at least, a little less evil.

Today is the Magic City Art Connection downtown. One of our favorite things to do is to visit art festivals and soak up the art, music, and carnival food. We love to splurge on our ever-watchful diets and eat heaping plates of gyro meat and rice. The porta-potties that always smell like the inside of everyone’s strange and mysterious bowels do not bother us on this day. We walk around, letting the magical color hit our corneas and light up the inside of our heads. All afloat with bright brush strokes on canvas and wood cut into silly shapes, we traipse around hand-in-hand with goofy smiles on our faces. Interested always in what the other has to point out. We examine the great crafts and then discuss what larger item we will buy. This is the exciting point of the day where our blood races and our hearts begin to pound in our chests with excitement. We’ll buy one larger piece that will be with us forever and bring us back to this day, this very moment, this hour in time.

Last year it was an incredible woodcutting with Thoreau running from the garden. We also purchased some whimsical children’s paintings that feature two black cats. Previously, we’ve purchased a large wooden ottoman tray that has become our dinner table, a large wooden bowl for Mr. Husband to pile all his man-stuff from his pockets in each night, and earrings. Ah, the generous act of kindness that got me started on this story. The first earrings Mr. Husband ever bought me.

I’d been dating Mr. Husband for a whirlwind three and a half months the first time we went to Art Connection in 2006. At that moment, the two of us were still amazed—struck with amazement—that we’d actually found another person who liked doing the very same things as ourselves. And Mr. Husband is not only generous with his finances, he is generous with his time and his heart. If there is something I really, really, really, really want to do, he does not hesitate to sacrifice. He is goodness through and through. And here we were in April 2006, walking around Linn Park among the 300+ little artists tents while rain spilled over us and we laughed and pinched ourselves to make sure it was all truly real.

We stood for hours watching the little Irish dancers, the giant belly dancers, and the other children and adults perform traditional foreign dances. What man can appreciate this type of activity? He can. Generous is he. We’d found a couple of wooden pieces that Mr. Husband, then Mr. New Boyfriend, purchased to spruce up the new apartment we had just begun sharing. I remember that day, thinking back on it—it was like we were falling down a water slide (it rained rather hard all day). There was this giggle ever constant in my throat and the smile never faded from my lips or from my dancing eyes. I followed him as we toured the tents, he with genuine interest.

We were both soaking wet and had come to the end of the park. It had been a full day. We stumbled upon a jewelry maker who was gone eating lunch, but her mother was watching the tent with it’s glass cases filled with nature-inspired jewelry. My eyes became large like the full moon hanging effortlessly in the evening sky as I gazed at pearl drop earrings with a leaf within the design. They were beautiful, elegant, and simple and they called to me like Tolkien’s ring might call to a hobbit. I was dazed and struck, and I’m sure I was drooling a little bit. Mr. New Boyfriend came waltzing up behind me and he caught my wonder. He watched. He took it in. He asked the price. I heard the price and my heart fell. They were expensive earrings. They were tiny works of art.

He didn’t stumble. He didn’t think twice. He told the lady we’d take them. I turned to protest and he reminded me that my birthday was right around the corner. He bought them for me and was rewarded with quite a little happy dance there in the rain, under the trees, alight in the forest, in front of the jewelry maker’s tent. To this day, they remain the most expensive pair of earrings I’ve ever owned. I wore them on my wedding day. They are a symbol of my Mr. Husband’s great trusting generosity. It is simple to make others happy by saying “yes” instead of “no” every once in a while. I’m sure that I floated home that day. I can still close my eyes and see the moment when he bought me those earrings that turned my world upside down. It was not so much the earrings themselves but the selfless act and the desire to make me happy, the willingness to act.
Though we are very careful with money, we do remember that every now and then it is more than ok to splurge and give ourselves a happiness that can only come from generosity in a material kind of way. My Mr. Husband is generous with most things, he is ever caring and thoughtful of others—he is always generous with his time and his love. He is the one I want to be.

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