28: Bright and Shiny

28: Bright and Shiny

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

Bright and Shiny

Gratitude is the best attitude.

~Author Unknown

As Christmas approaches, I usually start hinting to my husband about potential gifts for me. I’ll say things like, “Gee hon, that’s a lovely necklace they have over at the mall.” Or, “There are a ton of new books at Barnes & Noble I’d love to read.”

But over the years, I have learned that this tactic is not an effective one. For many years I struggled to understand my husband’s lack of ability to understand “hints.” Was he just being stubborn? Were the items too expensive? Did he need to have his hearing checked?

It was last Christmas, when I finally began to understand my husband. Under the Christmas tree, was a large box wrapped with beautiful holiday paper. I was stunned. What could it be? I was pleased that my husband had finally thought of me. He wrapped the present slowly and carefully. This was unusual as gifts from my husband usually come in plain envelopes or white plastic shopping bags.

Was it a music box, a snow globe or perhaps a lovely figurine?

“Nope,” my husband said. I would just have to wait to find out.

On Christmas morning, I eagerly opened the present to see what my thoughtful husband had so carefully selected for me. I ripped off the paper, tore open the box and stared at my present in disbelief. Inside the box, sat a beautiful… colander.

I looked curiously at my husband. Was this a joke? Was my real present cleverly concealed underneath this kitchen utensil? No… nothing underneath.

My husband looked at me and smiled, quite pleased with his purchase, certain that I was going to love it. Now, I must admit, it is the most beautiful colander I have ever seen. It is shiny and metallic, almost too expensive-looking for draining pasta or washing lettuce. It sparkles under the light.

“I know you need one,” Pete said, “and this one looks so pretty. When I saw it, I thought of you.”

It was then that I realized how fortunate I am to have this wonderful man in my life. He does not place value on material things. He does not try to impress others. He sees the beauty in things that appear ordinary. But most importantly, he knows just what I need, whether it is a long silent hug, some straightforward advice or just a single comment that breaks my tense mood and makes me laugh. By embracing the beauty of this simple colander, he made me realize that he is the perfect father to our children and the perfect husband for me, for he truly sees what others cannot.

I realized that like this ordinary colander, I too am an ordinary mom with an ordinary function. But to my husband I am not like this colander because it is ordinary, I am like this colander because I am an ordinary mom who is also bright and shiny. To him, I sparkle. To Pete I am one-of-a-kind and for that, I am grateful.

I use this colander a lot, and every time I do, I laugh out loud. I think it is hilarious how this shiny, beautiful, ordinary kitchen utensil that I use every day is what made my husband think of me.

Now, while I do appreciate my one-of-a-kind colander, this year I have a new tactic for Christmas: I'm handing him a picture of a lovely diamond necklace.

I hope this time he gets the hint.


~Lisa Peters

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