Several jobs ago I worked with the sweetest man. I say that because he had a weekly ritual which I thought was the sweetest thing I had ever heard. Every Sunday evening he would drive each car in his driveway to a nearby gas station and fill up all the tanks. He was filling his own tank of course, but the sweet part was that he filled the tanks of his wife and daughter as well. I don’t remember how he came to tell me this story, but I asked him why he did it and he said it was just his way of letting his wife and daughter know that he loved them and wanted them to feel safe and protected and cherished. I honestly thought that this was the sweetest gesture I had ever heard. How simple. Not flowers, not a card, not money or time wasted, just taking care of an errand that all of us have to cope with. As women we do this kind of thing for our families all the time. We fold the laundry the way our loved ones prefer, or we set our daughter’s place at the table with her favorite pink plate, or we buy the snacks or sodas that our kids prefer at the grocery store. Nothing major, they don’t even realize it most of the time. It was so nice to hear of a man going out of his way for the women in his life in such a practical way. Maybe I’m too practical for my own good. I couldn’t care less about cards. I mean don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the thought but I would prefer a tank full of gas and a clean windshield that shows you love me over a $5 piece of cardboard from Hallmark that says you love me any day of the week!
If you don’t share a home or a bank account for the woman you love perhaps you could drop off her mail at the post office or pick up her dry cleaning. Before Sheldon and I moved in together he would always buy me a 12-pack of soda when he bought one for his house. This was thoughtful because soda was not something I kept in the house, but he liked to have one and my son loved having it available as well.
When I was little my mama always drank hot tea. Always. We also always had iced tea with dinner. Tea was definitely the drink in my house. But every now and then my dad would make mama a gin and tonic. I never knew why he did it but she was always grateful and she always drank it with relish (the emotion, not the condiment). I was grown before I realized that those gin and tonics came once a month. Duh.
My point? Well, be nice. Be appreciative. Show your love in real concrete ways and not just on holidays. There are many nice things you can do and you shouldn’t need me to list them for you. Look around. Pay attention. See what frustrates her or wears her out and then do what you can to ease that burden. Women as a whole knock ourselves out to take care of those we love, and often we don’t stop to ask for help.
Be sweet to her!! The rewards will be fabulous!!