For my birthday, and then again for Christmas, The Man got me gift certificates for a locally owned, independent kitchen store that stocks really nice things that I would never, ever buy for myself. Early this spring, I was able to finally go in and choose some things to purchase, like a pair of high quality tea towels with some simple stripes in my favorite beachy colors.
I was hesitant to even put them in the kitchen, but that’s what I bought them for, so after a couple of weeks, up they went, and silly as it was, I got a kick out of seeing them everyday.
And then we had a spill on our new glass top stove, and in haste, The Man grabbed one of the new towels to wipe up the spill…
And then one day recently, The Man came in from mowing the lawn or doing some other thing that makes him incredibly sweaty and dirty, and washed up in the kitchen sink, grabbing the second of my new towels before the thought even crossed his mind that these were not intended to withstand man-dirt. As soon as he pulled away and saw the destruction he had left in his wake, he knew there wasn’t much he could do to bring it back to life.
“It’s OK,” I said. “It’s just dirt. We’ll wash it,” I said, knowing full well that it was probably toast, just like it’s mate had been.
A few days later, I saw one of them in his pile of rags to take to the truck to use for painting or other handyman uses. I think I flinched and said something like, “Oh, my birthday towels…” I was totally not intending to make him feel guilty, but just reacting to my silly little towels and their short life span.
This past week, after a change in evening plans necessitated a fast food meal for dinner instead of our planned dinner, we were ready to take our two vehicles home, The Boy in The Man’s truck, and me alone in my little car. The Man called me over to his window before I got into my car and handed me a craft paper gift bag, with a ribbon and contents wrapped in tissue – all this from a man who isn’t big on gifts.
He had gone back to the kitchen store and picked me up a couple of new towels to replace the ones he had accidentally ruined. “I know they aren’t the same pattern, but I thought you’d like these anyway,” he explained, slightly embarrassed.
I can’t put into words how much I love him. Not because he bought me some tea towels, but because he cares enough to notice, and knows how to make it right. Because he knows it’s the small stuff, the “little bit of everything,” that matters so much in the long run. Yep, I think I’ll keep him.