I "give" Better Half a "gift" every morning, five days a week.
I leave for work.
When I think of what constitutes music to my husband's ears, I imagine it to be the sound of the garage door closing and the Kiaskimobile chugging up the hill out of the subdivision.
Away she finally goes, off to help make another newspaper happen, he might be thinking. Ahhh, peace and quiet for at least eight beautiful hours.
I can only imagine that behind the closed doors and drawn curtains that there is a man doing a happy dance due to my departure.
OK, so he's sleeping and snoring, not even aware that I'm on my oh-so-merry way, doing my miniscule part to keep the Social Security system solvent.
We were sitting at the kitchen table the other evening, talking about Christmas shopping and how we don't really know what gifts to get each other this year and that we don't really feel much like looking around for things to buy and wrap when it occurred to me that, gee whiz, sweetums, we're always giving each other gifts - 365 days of the year, not just on Dec. 25 when it's expected.
So what's the big deal?
Consider that we are a "giving" couple all the time, I reminded him, and not just when I go to work every day to give him a little quality time with himself.
The bottom line here is we "give" each other stuff every day.
Allow me to count our "giving" ways.
We "give" each other advice, me suggesting things he can do in my absence - you know, tackle a honey-do list, make dinner, do this, do that.
His advice is quit making lists.
We "give" each other grief, me especially if nothing is scratched off the honey-do list, especially dinner.
We "give" each other our opinions, solicited or not.
A Bible verse behind a magnet appeared, for example, on the refrigerator one day courtesy of a jesting Better Half who likes to provide me with food for thought when I open the refrigerator door for food for my stomach.
It was that verse from Luke in the New Testament that mentions not worrying about what you'll wear.
He's been razzing me lately that my middle name should be "Me-Me!" based on new clothing purchases of late.
We "give" each other heck, too. Sometimes we even deserve it.
We "give" each other a lot of good stuff, too.
Inspiration. (Better Half is the source of many column ideas, including this one.)
We "give" each other cause to laugh.
And we give each other the gift of love.
The best thing about our "giving" habits is that we don't have to keep receipts or dread exchanges. It's a win-win.
And at the end of the day, Better Half really gets lucky.
I give him the best gift of all.
I come home from work.
Enough of that quality time. Merry Christmas!
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)