I’ve always loved my brown eyes. In fact, I feel confident that when Van Morrison was writing Brown Eyed Girl, he had envisioned my eyes. No, I wasn’t born yet in 1967, but I’m certain I was his muse. At least that’s what I’ve claimed since I was 12.

I love chocolate. In fact it’s in my top 4 things I love, along with @cleverdevil, my #cleverkiddos, and cheese. When I think of chocolate, I think of chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownie sundaes… I get a warm feeling throughout my body when I think of a velvety, mouth-watering piece of chocolate melting in my mouth.

Those are about the only brown things I love. My eyes and chocolate. I don’t like brown things, particularly clothing items. A necessary brown pair of shoes, fine. Other than that, no thanks.

Brown feels gross. All I can think of is mud, mush, and waste. I used to be quite vocal about my opposition to brown. My mom can vouch for that.

At the same time that I was having such strong feelings about the color brown, I began to have strong feelings about a handsome boy. @cleverdevil and I had started dating in April of 1997. We didn’t know it then but we were in it for the LONG haul. As we celebrated month anniversaries and holidays together, we learned new things about each other. I knew his favorite color was green. His favorite college football team was Miami. He loved to play his guitar and to run around playing ultimate frisbee. He knew my favorite color was blue. He knew that I still held the Atlanta Knights dearly. I loved to play soccer, and I loved to sing. Young love, what an exhilarating time of emotion and exploration!

Still going strong come Christmas, we each purchased each other gifts. I honestly am not sure if our first Christmas together is when I gave him a watch with an engraving on the back. I think it is, but I can’t be sure, we’ll go with it though. With excitement we opened our gifts. Jonathan got me a luxurious cashmere sweater to “match my eyes.” UH-OH! In all of our learning about each other, apparently I forgot to share my strong feelings about brown, especially clothing items. Oops.

I graciously accepted the gift. It was really soft, and I was sure I’d at least give it a shot. Again, 25 years ago is hard to remember, but I do know that he did find out about my feelings about brown. From then on he has had gift-giving jitters.

@cleverdevil truly does a great job at giving me things I’ve wanted or needed. I’m not one to gush over much, rarely gifts. I get a little warm in my heart, and then I just silently appreciate it. Then I feel warm in my heart whenever I think about or use the gift, but others can’t see that. I was not upset about the brown sweater. His reasoning was adorable and considerate, which truly for me is what counts. To be honest, if he didn’t have the reasoning I would probably have been disappointed that he didn’t know me well enough to know about my aversion to brown. But he knew that I liked my eyes. I knew that he liked my eyes. Whether I wore that sweater often or not (not), I look back on that gift exchange with warmth. @cleverdevil does not so much. He looks back on it as evidence of his inability to “ever” get me a good gift.

I think he confuses good with surprise. He’s definitely not great at gifts that I don’t suspect or expect. His lack of confidence around gift/giving makes him drop too many hints. I am perceptive. He’s fighting a losing battle. When it comes to gift-giving times, all I ask is for one token that shows that my loved one thought about me while choosing what to give. Me, specifically. Me, with all my quirks. It’s not about grand gestures for me. It’s the “I’ve been paying attention” gifts that fuel me.

I wouldn’t call myself high maintenance, but maybe I should come with a different warning label. Easy to please, but you’ve gotta pay close attention :)