Batteries Not Included?

By JMathis

Husbands and gift-giving. It really is a hit or miss proposition, isn’t it? Either you have a husband who forgets to give you something entirely, or you have one who really means well, but ends up buying you some utterly useless gifts.

My husband is from the latter category.

I remember one year, my husband bought me the most beautiful cross pendant. It sat in my jewelry box for two years, because he didn’t think about buying a chain to accompany the pendant. Who does that? Did he just want me to stare at it and admire it from afar? I mean, this pendant was hardly the Hope Diamond for display at the Smithsonian.

Now I know how my daughter feels when she unwraps a gift, only to find that the batteries aren’t included.

Another year, he went to a high-end frame shop and spent an outrageous amount of money framing my diplomas as a gift. At one point, this would have been an extremely thoughtful gift, like when I was just a couple years out of law school, still beaming with pride. Instead, this gift comes ten years after graduation, when I could care less about my past achievements, because frankly, I’m too exhausted to care and too busy being smeared in kid poop and finger-paint. How about a night off from kid duty instead?

The classic, though, was on our FIRST wedding anniversary, and he surprised me by taking me to a fancy steakhouse. Sounds pretty good, you say? Well, it turns out this steakhouse is a glorified man-cave adorned with football paraphernalia, and I’m the only woman there that night at this cigar-smoking, scotch guzzling “old boys club.” Pretty romantic, huh? I guess all of the other women in town got the memo, because I surely didn’t. Oh, and did I mention that I don’t even eat steak???

I know I sound like a complete ingrate, and I honestly don’t mean to do so. My husband truly does mean well; my heart is genuinely warmed that he tries to do right by me, year after year.

However, every so often, I have to ask myself, “Does he really even know me?”

And, that’s when I realize that my husband doesn’t really know me in the way that I want him to know me.

Why? Because the way I want him to know me is based on fairy tales, Glamour magazine, soap operas and Harlequin romance novels—the stuff of pure fiction. More importantly, as Bindu said, he’ll never know how to fill all of the achingly-large God-sized holes in my heart.

I need to keep reminding myself, however, that he really does know me in all the ways that God intended for him to know me—in all the ways that really count.

Not as a mind-reader, and not as some all-omniscient gift-giving genie, but rather as my helpmate, friend, lover and companion.

And, that, is greater than any gift that he could ever wrap and give me…batteries included.

Boys, Fathers, Husbands, Boyfriends and Everything in Between

By JMathis

So much of our girlhood and identity as women is defined by one thing:


Last fall, I caught my three year old daughter KISSING (mouth, tongue, saliva) a three year old boy from her class. I just about had a heart attack and thought, “Am I supposed to be talking to her about boys now?”

I tell my husband and he gives me this Daddy’s-Little-Girl is Doing What? look. I shoot him right back down with my evil gaze. “You talk to her about boys! You’re the DAD! She needs to hear it from a guy!! What do I know about what HE’s thinking? All of these shenanigans are clearly from YOUR side of the family!” Honestly, I think he was about to faint from a combination of sheer rage and the sad realization that he will not be the only guy in her life one day.


You either have a crappy father, middle-of-the-road father, or a World’s Greatest Dad, but in all cases, you have only one Heavenly Father. Whether you realize it or not, any boy in your life has to contend with the consequences of how well you have reconciled yourself to both your earthly father, as well as your Heavenly Father.

I have a friend, Tanya, whose dad was pretty much a non-existent louse while she was growing up. Who does she exclusively date? Yup, guys 2 times her age. Daddy issues, anyone?

Then there’s Stacy–the good girl who grew up with the SUPER-strict dad, but the only guy that makes her heart race is The Bad Boy. You come over to her place (again) to console her with a Costco-size box of Kleenex and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, while rolling your eyes thinking, “Umm, hello? Is she ever going to learn??”

Boyfriends, Husbands and the Guy Who’s Just a “Friend”.

One day, one of these little boys becomes a man—a man who swears his life to you, and promises to be with you until the end of days. You take his words at face value, get on the horse and carriage ride in Central Park, and take the plunge…all the while praying feverishly that his daddy taught him right and that your heart won’t get trampled on one day.   

Or, maybe you’re single and you’re dealing with the one guy who always seems to be over at your place. You’re either not sure where the “relationship” is going, or frankly, you don’t want it to go anywhere, but you’re too scared of being alone…maybe you’re just too chicken to tell him to leave?

Yeah, we know a few of those, too.

In this month of June, FemmeFuel tackles boys, fathers, husbands, boyfriends and everything in between. For better or for worse, it’s our version of Cosmo’s Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Guys Issue: why they make us quiver, why they infuriate us, why they mistreat us, why there are not enough of them around, why they’re just not that into you, and why God wants them in our lives.


Can’t live with them, can’t live without them, so might as well [                        ]…

You fill in the blank. After all, in terms of the mystery of guys, your guess is as good as ours.