For a romantic evening with my boyfriend last weekend, my friend Rhonda loaned me a beautiful cheese plate and cheese knife so I would have something prettier than a dinner plate upon which to serve baked brie. It was a lovely presentation and Pat and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal, at which the brie was the main course.
This morning, I realized that I had not yet returned the plate and mentioned that I would do so when she returns after her trip this weekend.
“Not to worry,” she said. “It’s a gift. I bought it and never used it and you two will enjoy it. It’s yours.”
I thanked her, then texted Pat a short message about the plate telling him it was a gift…”our first couple gift.”
He texted back and said, “Second. But the first from someone else.”
I started racking my brain. I couldn’t think of another gift we had been given as a couple…or that we’d bought for ourselves as a gift. I didn’t think he was considering a couple of games we’d bought for the house. Backgammon and cribbage are nice games and all, and we plan to enjoy them, but that couldn’t be it. I wondered if he meant our trip to the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma.
Feeling like the world’s worst girlfriend, for not having a clue what he was talking about, I had to ask, “What was our first gift to us as a couple?”
He rapidly replied, “Each other. Our first gift is us, from us.”
Sweet, sweet man.
But he is right. As he often is.
We chose to be in a relationship together and we made ourselves open and available one to the other in order for that to happen. We have had to talk through some serious issues which has required sometimes scary honesty and we’ve had to be willing to be completely open and trust one another.
That giving ourselves…that willingness to be important to one another…is the first gift we gave to ourselves as a couple.
And indeed, it should be for any relationship that the giving of two people is the first…best…gift.