I was over my mom’s house the other day and we were looking in a closet to find a box containing some ace bandages.
Mom: “Erin, try that box on the left.”
I pulled the box down off of the upper shelf and opened it.
Mom: “What is it?”
Me: “It’s an over-sized sterling silver butter dish, still wrapped in the original tissue paper.”
Mom: “Oh, that was a wedding gift. We never used it.”
Me: (Laughing) “Well, that’s pretty obvious… either that or you have some serious OCD!”
The whole situation got me thinking about what makes a good wedding gift. What makes the difference between the wedding gift that’s still in the box when you’re 83 years old and the wedding gift you can’t wait to use?
I think the answer is two-fold: practicality and comfort. I know money is practical and gives you the ability to buy whatever you want, but the comfort part of having money only lasts until you spend it.
My mother and father received a wedding gift that not only met the above criteria, but also provided a story that would live on for decades to come.
Back in 1957 when my mom and dad got married, an electric blanket was a luxury.
My parents were lucky enough to get an electric blanket for a wedding gift. It had dual controls and was top of the line.
Newly married and facing their first brisk night, they unpacked their brand new electric blanket and placed it on their bed.
After they each set their respective controls for their personal temperature preference, they slid under the covers anxious to sleep coddled in warmth and comfort.
My mom was a bit chilly.
She quickly adjusted her control to a higher temperature and waited for the heavenly warmth to kick in.
My dad, liking his bed warm but not too hot turned the dial on his control down a bit.
My parents both closed their eyes and tried to drift off to sleep only to be awakened at fifteen to twenty-minute intervals to adjust the temperature controls on their side of the bed.
The night of uncomfortable, restless sleep ensued as my parents tossed and turned adjusting their controllers for the blanket they were both so excited to own.
My mother turned hers up and my father turned his down.
Finally, my dad said, “I can’t sleep, I’m sweating. It’s sweltering under these covers!”
“Sweltering?” My mother replied, “I’m freezing! I don’t think this blanket works.”
“You can’t be serious?” My father asked, as he got up to turn on the light.
After checking if my mother’s cord to the electric blanket was plugged into the wall outlet, both connections to the base of electric blanket and the settings on each dial, they stared at each other and began to laugh uncontrollably.
“We have each other’s control, don’t we?” My mother asked with a smirk.
“Yes, we do.” My dad replied, shaking his head.
I don’t think that my parents got much sleep that night, but I do know they shared their ability to laugh at themselves, as well as this story for years to come.
In the long run, sleep is overrated anyway.
Join me for part 5: Adding Children Ups The Craziness Ante…