The Good Wife: Making His Birthday Special

So, today is a big day in my household. It’s my husband’s 40th birthday! He took the day off from work and is relaxing around the apartment while I do some Frisky writing, but I plan to take him out for lunch a little later and then this evening we’re having dinner with his fam-damily. About a year ago I started thinking about what I could do to make this milestone birthday a special one for Drew. I mean, this is a big one, so it’s not like I could just give him a beej and call it a day. No, a 40th birthday calls for a little extra, and since I wasn’t about to sign up for a threesome, like this women did for her husband’s 40th, I had to think of something else. I considered booking a weekend get-away somewhere — or even a longer vacation — but nixed those ideas after we planned a rather pricey vacation in Canada when he got assigned to cover the Olympics there earlier this year. Then I thought about renting out a big room in a karaoke bar and inviting a bunch of friends for a party, but decided we probably wouldn’t get enough time in the room to justify the expense. In the end, after getting some feedback from him, I sent an email to a bunch of his/our friends and invited them over for a party at our place tomorrow night. I’m making a bunch of appetizers, a big batch of Sangria, and I’ve ordered a huge birthday cake from his favorite bakery (it might sound sweeter if I were baking him the cake myself, but trust me when I say it wouldn’t taste sweeter!).

Ah, but what about gifts? you might be wondering. Well! I’m pretty excited about the gifts I picked out for him. Since we got married last summer and received some great cookware from our generous friends and family, Drew’s expressed a lot of interest in learning to cook, which is great by me. I enjoy whipping up a tasty meal now and then, but have no interest in being the sole cook in the family; I like that he agrees it should be a shared effort. I’ve taught him how to make a few dishes, and my mother and grandmother have gifted him with some great cookbooks (his own mom, sadly, passed away when he was a kid, by the way), but I thought he’d get a kick out of learning some tricks from a real chef, too, so I bought him a cooking class for his birthday. The class is the top-ranked (on Yelp) in the city and just happens to be one block from our apartment. It’s one of those deals where you bring your own wine and cook a dinner with a handful of other people and then sit down and dine together. (It occurred to me, by the way, for you single folks who are on the market, that a BYO social cooking class would be a great place to meet other singles lookin’ to mingle).

The other gift I got is something that might seem a little funny to most people, but it’s something I knew Drew would love: I got him a ukulele. Not one of those kiddo ukes, but a nice grown-up one — a good starter instrument for someone who wants to learn to play. Ever since I met him — literally, on our first date — he’s been talking about how he wanted to start a ukulele band. “You play the ukulele?” I asked. “Well, no,” he said. “That’s one of the wrinkles in my plan.” Fast-forward four years and the guy still doesn’t have his own ukulele. Until now! I put his wrapped gifts, which included a few from my family, on our mantel last night and he woke up early this morning like an excited little boy on Christmas to open them. I’m happy to report the ukulele was a hit (as were the other gifts).

He’s been closed up in our bedroom for the last two hours tuning it and practicing chords. So, that’s a relief. Have you ever gotten a gift for someone you’re pretty sure s/he will like only to second-guess yourself moments — or days — before you give it? That’s what happened to me, so I’m very glad my first instinct was right. Things have gotten serious in our life in the last year or so what with getting married and talking about buying a home and dealing with a few family members’ serious health issues, so I wanted to give him something fun that would remind him of his dreams (like starting a uke band), however silly they are — maybe, especially because they’re silly. After all, 40 is the new 20, right? At least, that’s what I’m telling him.

What have been some of your favorite gifts you’ve given to a significant other? Have you ever gone the sex gift route like the threesome lady? Have you ever given a gift that just bombed?