No, I’m not having an affair with Timothy Busfield. Jeff has turned the big 3-0.
True story: The first birthday gift my now-husband ever bought me was a glass head, the kind electronics stores use to showcase headphones. He worked at Pier 1 at the time, and he told me he got me “the weirdest thing” that the store sold. Keep in mind we had only been dating for a few months and he was presenting me with a head-sized box. Ah, the red flags ignored by young lovers.
Yes, I married this man.
A few years later, when we were living together, I returned the favor by purchasing 10 styrofoam mannequin heads for Jeff from eBay. He was going through a phase with his photography wherein he was obsessed with taking pictures of two things: raw meat and mannequin parts. I thought about getting him some steaks, but that seemed unromantic. He loved the heads. He stored them in our office closet along with our mullet wigs and Christmas ornaments. Without fail, every December I go looking for tree lights and startle upon finding ten white faces staring out at me. It’s like Cocoon up in there. (I wonder if spending a few hours in the closet would do anything for my crow’s feet...)
This year times have been tight and I didn’t think in advance to give Jeff any sort of creepy body parts (that aren’t attached to me, anyway). The longer you’re married, the less you give head, I guess. (Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week.) Instead I got him a few books, a tee shirt, and MTV’s The State on DVD. I’m going to make him dinner and we’ll drink a bottle of wine.
Maybe it’s a sign of aging, but I’m starting to realize, like the Grinch before me, that real gifts can’t be bought in stores. This weekend my sister gave me a box of old stuff from my mom’s house. One of the things in the box was a letter I wrote to Jeff less than a month after we started dating. I don’t believe I ever gave it to him. Ahem...
May 11, 2003
I am sitting in my room at 3 AM listening to Etta James and unable to stop thinking about you—see? You keep me up, too, even when you’re not here.
This whole thing—you and me—has taken me by surprise... of the wonderful, turned-on-my-head, out-of-my-mind variety. I want you to know that I think you’re amazing. The more I get to know you, the more I find myself grinning on the subway, spacing out (more than usual) at work, humming. I haven’t felt this way in a long time. So, if I ever fall quiet, or turn my eyes away, or “Mmmmm” for no reason, please know that I am just buying time, trying to find the words to let you know that I am happy to be with you.
UnaYou are such a gift, my love. Happy birthday.
*OMG, I totally signed it "love" after LESS THAN A MONTH. Thank God I didn't give this to you at the time; it would have totally freaked you out. But, yeah, I loved you. And I know you loved me too. The glass head said it all.