It's the thought that counts, but...

It sometimes feels, however, that there is no thought behind the gift.

My wife gave me a custom made string tie for my birthday.  I have no idea why she would think I would want a string tie.  We live in the northeast.  Neither of us is into country music.  Where am I going to wear a string tie?  This was a milestone birthday, BTW.

A few years ago, she surprised me on my birthday by taking me to the Renaissance Fair.  She had previously talked about the Renaissance Fair over the years and I had repeatedly made it clear that it did not sound like something that would interest me.  It was a case of giving Marge the bowling ball.  (Our son has tried this on her--attempting to get me to buy a video game system for him to give to his mother!)

I always try to buy something that shows that I listen and know who she is.  For her last birthday, for example, I got tickets to one of her favorite singers at an intimate venue. Many of her gifts have felt like she is actively not listening to me.

BTW, I still haven't gotten the gifts she promised for Father's Day and our last anniversary.