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March 9, 2012

A moment of silence please…because my husband just gave me the best gift I’ve received from him in our 11 years of marriage.

Okay so maybe I received it 3 weeks after my birthday…and maybe it wasn’t wrapped in anything special. But I’m willing to overlook that because my husband put some serious effort into this gift. Unlike:

  1. The jacket he bought me as a birthday gift from Maya. I guess the statement “I really want the short, white jacket I saw in Armani Exchange” can easily be confused with “Please get me the first jacket you see when you walk into Armani Exchange – even if it’s black and too big.”
  2. The diamond heart pendant Ali bought me for Mother’s Day a few years ago. Not sure what part of, “Please don’t EVER buy me jewelry. I really do NOT want jewelry” is unclear?
  3. The gold-plated rose Ali gave me for our first Valentine’s Day. Enough said.

I know you’re thinking I’m a mean and ungrateful bitch. And I’m not disagreeing with you.

But you kind of know what I mean, don’t you? I don’t want my husband to buy me stuff simply because he thinks he has to buy me stuff. Because the great thing about getting older is that you finally have the luxury of buying things for yourself. So if something isn’t meaningful then it isn’t…meaningful.

Insightful, yes?

Anyway, I’m thrilled that Ali identified my favorite Betjeman and Barton tea from Paris and then had it shipped to our house. This? This is meaningful. Because we all know I’m way too lazy and cheap to do this for myself.

I’m off now to enjoy a cup of tea. And to rethink my opinion of American Express’ Concierge Service. Because it appears that for once they actually did something right.

130 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2012 12:54 am

    Oh that is a wonderful gift.

    But I’d like to see that gold plated rose.

  2. March 9, 2012 1:18 am

    How very sweet of him!

  3. March 9, 2012 1:25 am

    This is why I don’t agree with valentines day or other days. I think if someone wants to gift you something it should be because they want to and not because the calendar tells you that you should. A gift should have a meaning with some thought and heart in it too.

    My brother very often used to send me out last minute to buy his wife a gift because he was too lazy to do so. She always knew and quite frankly we’d both be really disgusted.

    Looks like Ali after 11 years has finally found away to please you. Enjoy!

    Just don’t waste it on your friends and neighbours now. 😉

    • March 9, 2012 7:54 pm

      You said it perfectly…the calendar shouldn’t dictate gifts. I too don’t like Valentine’s Day for that exact reason.

  4. March 9, 2012 1:42 am

    He redeems himself! I hope the jacket could be exchanged…and I hope the rose was kept for posterity:)

    • March 9, 2012 7:54 pm

      The jacket was exchanged…the rose kept in a drawer. 🙂

  5. March 9, 2012 1:44 am

    I completely agree with you! The courtship is over- no need for overly extravagant gifts IF you don’t actually want them! As much as I love expensive things, small gifts with meaning behind it actually mean so much more to me. Way to go on Ali on finally figuring it out 🙂

    • March 9, 2012 7:55 pm

      Let’s just hope his new found knowledge sticks with him!

  6. March 9, 2012 2:39 am

    ur husband has gifts shipped from paris? oh wow ur one lucky woman! but still, u actually prefer tea over a diamond heart pendant & gold rose???! i guess ur not an incurable romantic like me 😀

    • March 9, 2012 7:55 pm

      I am not a romantic at all. I’d way rather have tea than more jewelry!

  7. March 9, 2012 3:23 am

    For us (men) it’s very very (very) difficult to do this – Ali has set a new standard which this manoeuvre – so the next time he needs to do something better. Usually we (men) carefully plan such realisations as raising the standard too quick can get you in trouble in the long run. I’m trying to re-imagine Ali’s thought process and I can only say he is genuinely appreciating you.

    • March 9, 2012 7:56 pm

      Luckily Ali’s been with me for 12 years so he hasn’t raised the standard too rapidly…no worries there!

  8. March 9, 2012 3:56 am

    So touching. I adore tea. I still think you’re an ungrateful bitch (as am I).

  9. March 9, 2012 4:40 am

    I’m not a fan of “real” jewelry…I love te fake crap to accessorize….anyways he went ahead and bought me a ring from a Hawaiian jewler for my first mothers day. Apparently in the thick o my postpartum depression, I had said that I wish I was back in Hawaii…I remembered how happy I was.
    So he being all awesome got me a ring with a piece of coral off the coast of Hawaii so that I’ll always have a piece of it with me and to remember how happy I was an that I’ll be that way again.

    Shit I just bawled commenting.
    Tell Ali he’s a jerk for that.

    • March 9, 2012 7:57 pm

      Now that sounds like an amazing insightful gift…I am so impressed. And I’ll pass the message along to Ali!

  10. March 9, 2012 4:58 am

    Nice job, Ali! 🙂

    My friend Mon got a gold-plated rose for valentine’s day a few years ago. I told her that she is never allowed to display it until she is 80, forgets what stylish home decor is, and owns a massive curio cabinet. I think you should also do the same.

    • March 9, 2012 8:00 pm

      I’m on the floor laughing…curio cabinet? My God…I think I need to hit up Ethan Allen for one this weekend…

  11. March 9, 2012 5:34 am

    He finally got it right! Now I’m wondering if i should drop a few hints about the European chocolate I’ve been dreaming about… 🙂 Have a great day!

    • March 9, 2012 8:00 pm

      Dropping hints doesn’t work. I suggest you write up a note in permanent marker!

  12. March 9, 2012 5:35 am

    What a wonderful gift, Ameena!! I’m strictly a bag person when it comes to tea because I’m lazy. I do hope, with my sister’s help to get into loose tea. She the tea expert in our family. Enjoy your tea, how exciting!!

    • March 9, 2012 8:01 pm

      I’m lazy too…but this tea? This tea is worth dirtying the French press.

  13. March 9, 2012 5:54 am

    I know EXACTLY what you mean. I buy my own gifts and then thank my husband profusely for them. Maybe I went too far the other way, as he is now free of any gift-buying responsibility. On the other hand, I am already enjoying my gift for Christmas, Year 2020, so he (and I) are both ahead of the game…:)

    • March 9, 2012 8:01 pm

      There are many, many pluses to being able to buy your own gifts! I think that I too am ahead of the game. 🙂

  14. March 9, 2012 5:59 am

    Now that is an impressive gift! Good work, Ali!

  15. March 9, 2012 6:50 am

    What a lovely gift! I love the French Press!

  16. March 9, 2012 6:56 am

    Go Ali! I agree, thoughtful gifts are best!

  17. March 9, 2012 7:03 am

    –I Love Gifts Like That!

    Ari did good. He actually listened to you 🙂

    What a fun & practical gift, which you will untilized everyday! Xx

    • March 9, 2012 8:03 pm

      Not only did he listen but he took action! Imagine that…

  18. March 9, 2012 7:07 am

    Good job Ali!

  19. March 9, 2012 7:29 am

    I may or may not have told a certain someone that I want to approve the engagement ring BEFORE I get it. As well as all wedding outfits before they are worn in font of 200 judging aunties.

    • March 9, 2012 8:03 pm

      I don’t blame you…

      Do I hear wedding bells in the not-so-distant-future?

  20. March 9, 2012 7:32 am

    I’m the same way…I seriously cannot remember the last time Ryan got me jewelry that I didn’t exchange. Luckily he takes it pretty well and doesn’t get his feelings hurt…it’s kind of become a big joke at this point 🙂

    • March 9, 2012 8:04 pm

      Luckily Ali’s feeling don’t get hurt either. Because I exchange 99.9% of what he buys me.

  21. March 9, 2012 7:36 am

    Yay! Go Ali. He finally got it. Good for him. I hope he also provides you time to enjoy your teas – they look comforting (I’ve never had one, maybe I should go to Paris first) without having to make him breakfast (or dinner).

    I don’t have that luxury (time to enjoy my tea) any more, I enjoy it more at work in front of my computer than at home (where there are people calling me by my other names “mommy” and “wife” and interrupting my tea ritual)… 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

    • March 9, 2012 8:05 pm

      So funny. I also drink tea in front of my computer because that’s the only time I get some peace and quiet!

  22. March 9, 2012 7:47 am

    Now that is a nice gift. Question, I see a French press in your picture. Do you use that to make tea? I have one for my coffee but didn’t know you could do tea in it.

    • March 9, 2012 8:06 pm

      Absolutely. I never make coffee so the French press is basically around here for when I get off my lazy behind to make tea….

  23. March 9, 2012 7:48 am

    So wonderful to receive a thoughtful, heartfelt gift. A gold plated rose? I am cringing. You don’t sound ungrateful at all, we just want our men to hear us, to listen to what we are saying. Of course the gift is wonderful but it’s him noticing you and listening that makes you (us) truly happy.

    • March 9, 2012 8:08 pm

      Marie…if you lived closer we’d be such good friends. No joke. It’s like you can read my mind.

  24. March 9, 2012 8:04 am


  25. March 9, 2012 8:13 am

    Go ALI!! what a great gift.

  26. March 9, 2012 8:50 am

    “I know you’re thinking I’m a mean and ungrateful bitch. And I’m not disagreeing with you.”

    you nearly had me spishhhh coffee onto my keyboard and this is why i continue to read 😉 wow ali! i’m impressed, that was very sweet! i guess you don’t have to trade him in for a new one 😉

    • March 9, 2012 8:09 pm

      I don’t have to trade him in…yet.

      So glad I could make you laugh! Was worried some might be offended by my tacky language. 🙂

  27. March 9, 2012 9:00 am

    I never got gifts for any occasion, but was surprised once with jewelry without occasion. The thing is i never bought any gifts for my husband either, so i don’t have a right to crib??
    I will take any gift (because its rare) but a thoughtful gift sounds awesome. I like the idea from one of the readers to buy your own gift and thank the husband for it. Might just do that.
    Your teabags sound wonderful. Enjoy them while they last

    • March 9, 2012 8:10 pm

      I actually think you two are smart…not exchanging gifts regularly is a good idea. Then when it happens you are totally surprised!

  28. March 9, 2012 9:40 am

    Haha! Gold-plated rose. A for effort! Enjoy your tea!

  29. March 9, 2012 9:42 am

    oof, gold plated rose? I got one of those awful ceramic ones once. I wanted to smash it. Yes, I am also kind of an ungrateful bitch. But only when the present is lame.
    Brandon is actually a really great gift-giver though, so I am pretty lucky.

  30. March 9, 2012 10:00 am

    that’s so sweet, and no you’re not a B. a gold plated rose had me laughing so hard – sorry Ali. before we were married, my husband bought me some really ugly tunics from Macys which were so big on me. he claims they are nice because they are from Macys, but whatever, Macy’s has ugly stuff too. Now I just give him my wishlist and he can get me anything small/big from it. So you use a French Press to make your tea? I have to try that, my brother does that too. Such a thoughtful tea, omg, if you lived near me, I think we’d meet up so often for tea time. Move here!!! 🙂

    • March 9, 2012 8:12 pm

      This reminds me of my cousin who’s husband bought her something from Sears for Mother’s Day. She was beyond herself with anger.

      I would move there in a second flat. This is the one gift Ali has NOT bought me. 🙂 Yet.

  31. March 9, 2012 10:17 am

    Ameena, yes you are always insightful for sure, that’s why I read and love your blog! 🙂 What a great gift! But a gold plated rose, interesting, you should have posted a picture of that too! Hahahaha.

    When I was growing up I would spend weekends with my grandparents. And they loved their tea. They were like the British. They took their tea in the morning and then again in the late afternoon, and everything we were doing would stop for the tea, funny huh?

    Enjoy your gift and good for Ali-he’s a great husband. Take care, and happy Friday you sweet woman!!!!


    PS. On my last post I did about me being with the younger kids, I commented back to you on my blog, and then later on I saw it wasn’t there? So I re-commented. That’s happened to me a couple of times, no doubt from something I did or didn’t do. I can be really dumb when it comes to the computer.

    • March 9, 2012 8:14 pm

      My parents love their tea…I think that’s where I get it from. I also love going to London just so I can have tea all day long. And the good stuff…no Tetley over there!

      WordPress has commenting issues all the time. I’m sure it’s not you!

      Have a great weekend Shauna, and thanks so much for your fantastic comments!

  32. March 9, 2012 10:33 am

    That is so sweet!!! Big points for Ali. 3 weeks isn’t so bad right….considering it came all the way from Paris.

    • March 9, 2012 8:14 pm

      Good point. See…my bitchy self wouldn’t even think of that! 🙂

  33. March 9, 2012 10:41 am

    Ah, way to go Ali. Men don’t realize it’s often the little things that make women the happiest (tea vs. expensive jewelry…). With my Husband, I’ve come to the sad reality that I have to tell him directly what I would like for a gift…literally circling the item in a catalog or something and flagging it with a sticky note. Otherwise I get nothing at all or something awful. Pathetic.

    • March 9, 2012 8:15 pm

      Don’t feel pathetic! This is what happened to me with the white Armani Exchange jacket. Luckily I was able to do an exchange easily…

  34. March 9, 2012 10:57 am

    What a great gift! I applaud Ali for thinking of it. Also, I’m jealous.

  35. March 9, 2012 11:07 am

    You have a great Hubby…
    Trust me 3 weeks is NOT BAD…..

    • March 9, 2012 8:16 pm

      No it’s not bad at all. And on behalf of Ali…thank you!

  36. March 9, 2012 12:17 pm

    The unexpected. The unobligated. sense of being known. and recognized. and graced.

    Oh, this is LOVE

  37. Janelle permalink
    March 9, 2012 12:25 pm

    A gold-plated rose? There is such a thing? Why?

  38. March 9, 2012 1:46 pm

    How sweet! For what it’s worth, fancy tea would appeal to me far more than expensive jewelry or a gold plated ever would so I don’t think you’re mean or ungrateful!

    • March 9, 2012 8:17 pm

      Thank you Nada for making me feel less like a bitch. 🙂 That’s always a good thing!

  39. March 9, 2012 2:00 pm

    Oh this is amazingly thoughtful!!!!!!!!!!! Yes my hubby’s idea of a good gift for me is always something which HE wants– “Yes I know you absolutely want those wireless speakers, right?” hmmmm…ha ha!! 😉

    But seriously- your hubby has done well!!!!!!

    • March 9, 2012 8:17 pm

      Wireless speakers…I think I got those one year. 🙂 Oh how I can relate!

  40. March 9, 2012 2:32 pm

    That’s a really thoughtful gift. Ali has done really well! GG

  41. March 9, 2012 2:42 pm

    Oh that is special! I love a good cup of tea…or an entire teapot.

    • March 9, 2012 8:18 pm

      This tea is so addicting…you’ll need an entire pot!

  42. March 9, 2012 2:47 pm

    There’s still some hope for all the men out there then, huh? You’re secretly wondering what he’s going to “surprise” you with next, though, aren’t you? 😉

    • March 9, 2012 8:19 pm

      Not sure if Ali can top this one…I have zero expectations for the future. It’s safer that way!

  43. March 9, 2012 4:04 pm

    Way to go Ali! That is such a great gift.
    I would far rather receive something thoughtful than expensive. Once, when I was younger a boy “found” letters on a sign that spelled my name and took them for me. I thought it was the sweetest thing, because it meant he actually had the forethought to think, “hey, that spells Leah, I should take those for her.” Ok . . . and maybe I’m impressed by really simple things.

    • March 9, 2012 8:20 pm

      I’m impressed! To consider he risked stealing something for you? Pretty thoughtful. And selfless.

  44. March 9, 2012 5:14 pm

    Good for Ali!! I find myself both cringing and rooting for the poor guy 🙂

  45. March 9, 2012 5:54 pm

    How sweet! I commend him for putting thought and effort to get you something you’d enjoy. He did well!

  46. March 10, 2012 1:54 am I swear, sometimes I just want to scream… “if you just pay attention this would be so easy!” It’s the fact that he noticed the tea and remembered the tea. (Even if Amex helps – bless them.) Way to go Ali!

  47. March 10, 2012 4:13 am

    Functionality over frills!

    • March 11, 2012 7:29 am

      I think this should be my motto going forward. I love it.

  48. March 10, 2012 5:31 am

    I love it when the husband gets me something I really, really want, even if it’s as silly as mini Cadbury eggs. It proves he’s listening – at least sometimes.

    • March 11, 2012 7:29 am

      Cadbury eggs are not silly! I remember eating the large ones every Easter…so good.

  49. March 10, 2012 5:32 am

    i like when people give gifts that the person can use..its so helpful that way!.

  50. March 10, 2012 5:57 am

    OHMIGOD HE DID NOT. We need a snap of the gold plated rose ASAP. And then a re-creation of the present-face you gave him as you opened it. Because you know, that’s just how it is.

    Thank God for the AmEx Concierge. Some people believe in Santa. I believe in letting other people do the legwork if it means that they get it right. Enjoy your well-deserved, hard-earned tea!

    • March 11, 2012 7:31 am

      When Ali gave me the gold rose we weren’t married…so the present-face was SUPER easy to put on.

      12 years later it would be a totally different story. Sad how that works, isn’t it?

  51. March 10, 2012 2:31 pm

    This means that when he’s typing away on his laptop/iphone/tech-toy-of-the-moment, he’s actually listening?!? Dude, maybe that means there’s hope for the hubster 🙂 I hope we get to enjoy a cup’a tea soon- we have much chatting to catch up on!

    • March 11, 2012 7:32 am

      I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say he’s actually listening….but maybe here and there a few things get through to his subconscious.

      That’s the best explanation I can come up with…

  52. March 10, 2012 5:49 pm

    What a wonderful gift! As a tea lover, I’d love to have that fancy tea shipped straight from Paris 🙂 over that gold plated rose. I also dislike Valentine’s Day for the very same reason as you do..why do we need a calendar day to tell us to be nice and romantic to the significant other? We could do that all the time.

    • March 11, 2012 7:32 am

      Jos…as a tea lover you should try to find this tea if you can. It will change your opinion of tea in general!

  53. March 10, 2012 10:36 pm

    Way to go Ali! Gifts in general are nice; however meaningful gifts are like whoa! It means they were actually paying attention to me and listening to what I like! Such a foreign concept for some 😉
    I love your writing! I think I tell you that on every post.

    Katie 🙂

    • March 11, 2012 7:33 am

      Katie – you’re comments make me feel like a million bucks. Thank you!!

  54. March 11, 2012 8:15 am

    I received a glass rose from a college bf that would give me roses at every possible occasion. He was a sucky boyfriend and ruined roses for me but its the price you pay for great sex.

    Did I just type that?

    But the tea? Oh my, SWOON. That deserves some serious reciprocation.

    This year for my birthday my husband “bought” me a bike. He doesn’t accommodate me riding it so um….

    Thanks for coming by!

    • March 12, 2012 8:10 pm

      I’m laughing right now but I’m also sort of hoping my mom didn’t read this comment. 🙂

  55. March 11, 2012 8:43 am

    The gold-plated rose made me giggle. Yes, knowing someone thought abut you and what you might truly like really does make a difference.

  56. nadia permalink
    March 11, 2012 1:57 pm

    yes! can’t wait to tea with you….best gift in the world, coffee and tea anytime!! so sweet of him! i remember the gold rose!! classic!!!

    • March 12, 2012 8:11 pm

      The tea and scones are waiting!! Come over any time.

  57. March 11, 2012 8:10 pm

    Great gift!

    The gold plated rose on the other hand … wtf!?

    • March 12, 2012 8:12 pm

      I was kind of thinking that way back when…

      I feel mean writing that though!

  58. March 11, 2012 11:25 pm

    That is an amazing gift. Way to knock it out of the park, Ali!

    I am so with you on jewelry. Don’t want it. Not interested. I’d so much rather buy myself jewelry if I saw something I wanted.

    • March 12, 2012 8:25 pm

      Finally…someone who understands my feelings on jewelry!

  59. March 12, 2012 3:14 am

    A thoughtful gift:)

  60. March 12, 2012 4:00 am

    All the way from paris??? woah ..that deserves a moment of silence 😀

    • March 12, 2012 4:01 am

      the silence may be out of shock ..or may be out of awe…..or both 😛 haha

      • March 12, 2012 8:26 pm

        A moment of silence is right! Out of shock and awe both.

  61. March 12, 2012 8:51 am

    I just delight in reading your words. You’re like bitter chocolate with a gooey center. 😉

    Enjoy your tea and think of your days walking the Seine.

    • March 12, 2012 8:27 pm

      I delight in reading your words! Love the metaphor Jennie – thank you.

  62. March 12, 2012 5:25 pm

    I so get what you’re saying here. Thoughtful gifts are hard to come by so when you do get one, it’s well worth the wait. 🙂 Enjoy your tea!

  63. March 12, 2012 8:51 pm

    Good going, Ali! What a great gift!

  64. March 12, 2012 9:19 pm

    awww finally your husband got it right… But I think the gold plated rose is not bad one either.. Wish to see that 😀

  65. March 17, 2012 4:42 am

    oh that is a beautiful gift! I’m sure you’ll be enjoying that tea!

  66. March 21, 2012 11:16 am

    Hahaha….I can’t get over the super cute jacket waala point to tell you how awesome the rest of the gifting act is 🙂

    • March 23, 2012 7:41 pm

      So glad you think the jacket is super cute too. 🙂

  67. May 25, 2012 5:00 am

    Regardless of budget a thoughtful gift is always better than a gift that feels like it’s out of obligation. Bitchy or not, I hate that! I would seriously prefer a nice card to a random gift I have no idea what to do with and then have to feel guilty about when I exchange it, donate it, or straight up throw it out somewhere down the road. The tea set is so beautiful! That is so so thoughtful.


  1. please advise « Fancy That…Fancy This

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