"It's the thought that counts." How many times have you heard that? Or even said it? As a quasi-holiday approaches, I have some thoughts about thoughts and which ones count.
People use this phrase to absolve themselves of something. You forgot someone's birthday and instead of calling to apologize (as I recently had to with my stepdad), you get them a card, send it, and tell yourself it's the thought that counts. You wait until the last minute to get an anniversary gift for the person who's supposed to mean the whole world to you, grab some wilted flowers from the grocery store, and tell yourself it's the thought that counts.
What is "the thought"? If you think "this is better than nothing", that's not it. If you think "at least she can't say I didn't get her anything", that isn't it either. Here is the thought that counts: "My wife/husband/sister/brother/girlfriend/child/etc is going to LOVE this."
I have a six-year-old child. When he brings home a cardboard tube collaged with squares of colored tissue paper, the thought in his head is "Mommy is going to LOVE this." And he's right. Because THAT is the thought that counts.
It took my husband a LONG time to get it in his head that "women like roses" wasn't a thought that applied to me. I do NOT want someone to bring me dead flowers. Never. When my uncle died, my best friend sent me a bouquet of candy bars. Hubby has gotten me jewelry, designer purses, Victoria's Secret underwear. Things "women like". And then, for our sixth anniversary, he bought me a video game. Contra for the NES. A game I'd been trying to find for YEARS. For the next Valentine's Day, he bought me a Zelda t-shirt. He finally GOT IT. Yes, I want video games and their paraphernalia. No, I do not want another pair of diamond earrings. Yes, I want chocolate. No, not Godiva, good old Hershey's. What I like doesn't have anything to do with what women like.
So, before you get your Valentine a heart-shaped box of chocolates, find out if she even likes those things. I hate them. Now, a nice package of Reese's peanut butter hearts? I'm all over that. (Hubby already bought me some and I ate them ALL. Just call me Fatty McGee.)