Today my husband is 51. I don’t like anniversaries, but I’m told that I’m good at creating good experiences where others’ are concerned. Here’s an example. When he turned 40 I had a special present for him, and as unique as it comes (when I turned 40, my wish was to be left alone, which was granted – that is also as unique as it comes). Prior to Bent’s 40th we were at a concert with the Aalborg Symphony orchestra. We sat in our regular seats in the front row (I like this kind of close proximity between myself and the stage where music and its performers are concerned). So I had a good view and vibs of the players. It was an evening at which the second concert master, a Hungarian violin player, gave a solo recital. I enjoyed it. What I also enjoyed was the jacket he was wearing. A cotton/linen piece of an exquisitely woven jacquard fabric. The predominant colors were baby blue, beige, and cream. A smash. I told my husband, “my god look at his jacket. Absolutely stunning, but it doesn’t go with his hair. In fact you would look much better in it, if it was yours.” To this he replied: “well, that maybe so, but the jacket is his, not mine, and there’s nothing one can do about it.” Now, while he went with, “and that’s that,” I went with, “really?”

As his birthday was approaching, I was convinced that I had to find a similar jacket for him. I couldn’t. When it hit me: why not persuade the Hungarian to sell it to me. While I had never talked to him in my life until that point, I thought that if I sent him a letter and introduced myself by making reference to his visual memory – I thought that he would remember me, sitting almost in front of him every other week – he wouldn’t think that my request was crazy, or that I was crazy. What I decided was to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse, money-wise. As I know things about fabrics and cuts, I made an estimate of how much his jacket must have cost, and offered him twice the price for it. I also told him what I needed it for. He wrote back, and said that I could have it, and that we should meet. We did. He took the jacket out of a bag, he showed it to me, and told me that it was way too much money I offered him for an old thing. He asked me whether I was sure about it. In fact he told me that as he never had any such requests in his life from a woman who wanted to surprise another person in such a way, he even considered giving me the jacket for free – just because he thought that what I did was special. But a deal is a deal (and I’m very good at understanding deals). He got his money and I got the jacket.

And my husband got his present to his absolute astonishment. He kept saying, but… but this is the Hungarian’s jacket. But it’s his jacket, for God’s sake! How did you manage? Those questions constituted my reward. I never do anything for free. He gave me his astonished face. In addition I got it confirmed that I was right. About the jacket suiting him more. So twice-over, my insight was rewarded by a mighty sight.

The things I see for today’s moment of astonishment? That shall remain a secret for now.

Happy birthday!


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