6: He Listened

6: He Listened

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

He Listened

The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Christmas was three weeks away and my husband was fishing for ideas for my present. I smiled because he is always so thoughtful when it comes to buying Christmas gifts and I have never been disappointed by his choices.

“Actually,” he announced, “I’d like to buy you some bras.”

That got my attention and I listened intently as he explained that, while he was relatively familiar with the broader world of lingerie, he wasn’t quite sure what size or kind of bra I would wear. He wanted some direction.

I paused. He waited. We sat together on the couch looking at each other with a funny smirk on our faces until I finally broke the silence.

“I would love for you to buy me a bra, but what I really need are practical bras. I don’t need fancy, frilly, romantic, lacy bras for our intimate rendezvous in the bedroom. I already have a wide variety of items for that, many of which you bought for me. What I really need are practical bras to wear during the day and your timing is great… mine are almost shot.”

Disappointment spread across his face as I explained what I meant by practical bras. I needed at least three, all in neutral colors: one black, one white, and one ivory. I needed bras that were comfortable enough to wear all day long, and for me that meant bras with support but no underwire. I needed bras with a little padding so that I could avoid embarrassment while wearing a lightweight and formfitting blouse to the office during the summer months when the AC kicks into high gear. I needed bras that were solid color and sparing in lace and design because the additional detail, while pretty and feminine, might show through some of my more delicate, yet professional sweaters.

My husband paid close attention, but I could tell that practical wasn’t what he had in mind. Regardless, I was delighted Christmas morning when I opened one of my many presents and found three practical bras: one white, one ivory, and one black! He had done it. My husband had listened carefully to my wishes and delivered on every aspect. I was so pleased I giggled with joy, and then he handed me my next present. Gently, I unwrapped three beautiful and sexy dresses, each one designed with lots of color, lace and fabulous detail.

“One to wear over each new bra,” he said, and we both laughed out loud.

Those three bras turned out to be my favorite Christmas present and a fond memory. They were not overly expensive. They were not elegant or lavish. They were not even anything I’d want to brag about to our friends and family members. But, they were everything I asked for. They were also symbolic of my husband’s effort to keep his wedding vows. On our wedding day, before God and many witnesses, we promised to be loving and faithful: in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long we both shall live. Little did he know that “plenty and want” might someday include practical bras.


~Kristen Clark

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