Simple gifts

I sat sideways in the rocker on the porch and read a book while I waited for him. Half an hour later I saw him walking down the street in his characteristic breezy, unhurried swagger. He carried a small paper bag and as he approached, he began to rummage around inside of it.

*thwack*

The small box he tossed at me (not to me) bounced off my boobs and into my lap.

"Nerds," he said casually. "Nerds for the nerd."

Somewhere buried deep in the garage there is a box filled with random keepsakes of sentimental value. An old napkin. A worn hair rubber band. Secret notes written in a long-forgotten code. The pink diary from 4th and 5th grades. Half of a dollar bill. A few seashells. A Bazooka gum wrapper. School musical programs. My old band shoes. Movie ticket stubs. A saxophone reed. A heart-shaped eraser….

The now empty, flattened box of Nerds candy that Frank bought for me 16 years ago.

It was the first thing he'd ever given to me.

Tonight he came home from playing basketball and threw the eleventeenthousandth box of Nerds at me. I love him.

Even if he smelled like hot trash.

What was the first thing your significant other gave to you?

18 Comments

  1. luna on November 13, 2008 at 1:22 am

    ooh, I'll play.

    it was a head massage. let's call it foreplay…

    but the first real "thing" he ever gave me was a single red rose, on new year's eve.



  2. Carrie on November 13, 2008 at 6:43 am

    A dance, wasn't a material gift, but it was more then that.



  3. tash on November 13, 2008 at 7:45 am

    A bagel. And then a roller coaster ride. Love in NYC.



  4. Shelli on November 13, 2008 at 8:11 am

    A Hershey's Kiss necklace in the 4th grade (not kidding). Then I didn't talk to him until I was 26. And then we got married. 😉



  5. Kari on November 13, 2008 at 9:14 am

    His heart! He was broken, used by an older woman to have a baby then she kicked him out and filed for divorce, and wont still to this day almost 11 years later let him see his child. We were only seeing each other a short time when he cried on my shoulder that he had fallen in love with me and didn't want to be hurt again. We promised to one another that night 8 years ago that we would never hurt one another. He added that he would never hurt my son by leaving him. He would always no matter what be in his life. And I added that I would never take my son away from him like his first wife had done with their daughter. And of course never take any of our future chldren together away from him. At that moment I knew that this was a different relationship than I had previously encountered. and that I would marry this man.



  6. Kristin on November 13, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Ice Cream from the little store next to the Rescue Squad we volunteered at.



  7. Angela on November 13, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    I happened to have a b-day shortly after we started dating (summer of 1997). He gave me a potato peeler and an answering machine. I had previously made him a dinner that included mashed potatoes with the peels… I sort of liked them that way and I didn't own a vegetable peeler at the time. I still have, and use, that peeler!



  8. SAHW on November 13, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    You are such a good story teller! 🙂



  9. Lexy on November 13, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    The first thing Joel gave me was Mono HAHA But the first gift was a ring made out a tootsie roll wrapper that we shared and he said he'll marry me and I still have it sitting on our mantel and it was 14 years ago 🙂

    BTW you have something for ya on my blog 🙂



  10. Becky on November 13, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I'd like to say an STD, but I'd be lying.

    Hm…Dave gave me…hm…breakfast?



  11. Alicia on November 13, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    ahh cute story!!!!

    ok so keith and i used to work right near each other, me at home depot him at a bank. i was writting letters to him on colorful paint chips and delivering them to the bank. one day he surprised me by showing up at the paint desk in home depot and he had a bio hazordous bag (no idea where he got it from) and filled it with sour gummy worms! soo cute of him!



  12. Amber on November 13, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I still have a box of Macaroni and Cheese that my high school boyfriend gave me. It was Valentines day and I was grounded. We talked on the phone and I told him all I wanted was mac and cheese (but my dad was a healthfood nut so we didn't have any). He got his mom to drive him to my house (we're talking pre-drivers licenses!) and bring me my mac and cheese. Sweetest gift ever.

    On my first date with my (now) hubby he brought me the ugliest plastic flowers that he'd found at a mexican grocery store that day. We'd only "talked" (more like made out) for a few hours in a bar, but he already knew I was totally into ugly/beautiful. Saved those too.

    I've got a BIG box of random junk…and it's probably my most prized possesion.



  13. chicklet on November 13, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I don't know the first thing he gave me, but the first thing we bought together was a cookie cutter for a dollar. We bought it cuz we were trying to make salsa and put it all "fancied up" on the plate, so we bought this round cutter. For a dollar.

    While I'm not a "saver", I still have that receipt:-)



  14. Io on November 13, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    So freaking sweet. I love this story.
    The first thing Al ever gave me was a scarf. I slept with it every night.



  15. anymommy on November 14, 2008 at 4:29 am

    I love Nerds! Little bitty bites of heaven! I knew I liked you. This is so well told, I have that same box.

    Um, the first thing he gave me. We met at 16, so this is a hard one. He gave me an ID bracelet in tenth grade. I think I still have it in a box somewhere too.



  16. Kari on November 15, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I was just thinking of this post and remembered the first physical thing my hubby ever gave me. He is a veteren of the first gulf war and was still wearing his dog tags all the time, he had three on his chain and I asked him why three. He showed me that the first and the last were his but the one in the center was his fathers from when he served. He took it off his neck and removed one of his and handed it to me and told me he wanted me to always remember him. I used to carry it in my pocket at all times for years, then I moved it ot my key chain were it still hangs to this day.



  17. charmedgirl on November 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    (warning: been drinkin wine and had a valium…)

    we first dated at 16/18, at which time he first gave me a tiny itty-bitty corner of a notebook page with his name and phone number written in miniscule letters/numbers. then roses. then mix tapes. i kept it all until i was about 20, even though we only lasted 3 months. then i got married to a narcissistic bastard and destroyed it all.

    when i was 22, separated, we crossed paths again. that first day, we drank wine and took a walk and he picked a leaf off a random tree and gave it to me (saying he hoped he could fill a tree for every time we'd see each other again); it's framed in a box in our coat closet. subsequently, he gave me a ripped off muncha-crunch top from a movie theater snack box, and a fake cardboard cd from a display player at a best buy or whatever store was popular back then. i still have that stuff, packed in the box with the framed decrepid leaf. he used to write me alot of letters back then too; he'd even come by my job to give them to me. they are all folded into tiny squares, tiny handwriting hidden inside, also in the box.

    they are all in the box because right before we had the ivf that gave us children, i left him for about 4 months and packed all those things inside. i love that box, for all its history and irony and uncertainty and imperfection.

    now, as for you, your man bakes you cakes and shit AND gets you NERDS?? WTF? you're one lucky ass bitch!!



  18. […] I have “happy” detritus, too: the “wedding band” hair tie that I wrapped around Frank’s ring finger when I was 15 (I told him I was staking my claim, and he wore it regularly until we were actually married 2 years later), half of an eraser that my 4th-grade best friend gave me, a folder of high school band music, an empty, flattened box of Nerds candy…little things that are worthless to anyone else but mean the world to me. Keepsakes and souvenirs and mementos of good times are “normal;” we pick up these random items and turn them over in our hands, as if by rubbing over them we might open our eyes and see that we’re really back in that moment. […]