I Disappointed Her
When I spoke to Lyn earlier this week to wish her a Happy Birthday, I was a day late. I had called while they were out to dinner and then gotten distracted and failed to call back. I called the next day, however.
Mom answered but Lyn knew the call was for her having recognized my number on caller ID. I chided her for not being home to accept my call the night before. "We were out to dinner!" She laughed. "It is a school night! You don't go out to dinner on a school night. Besides, you knew I would call." She likes it when I tease her like this. It makes her feel likes she's getting away with something.
I assured her that I had not forgotten her birthday. Her gift was mailed on Monday. I apologized that it would arrive late and asked if it was OK for it to be there after her birthday was over. She assured me it was OK because I had shipped a box to her and UPS would bring her the birthday box.
"Now, wait a second." I had to say several times to stop her train of thought about boxes and UPS. "I didn't send a box to you by UPS. What I sent you is smaller than a box. It is coming in the regular mail and will fit in your mail box. It is smaller." I could hear her repeating nearly every word I said. There was a pause and then a disappointed "Oh..."
She quickly ended our portion of the call, expressing her displeasure at what I said by passing me to Mom. Mom told me that Lyn had brought up the thought several times in the day that I had to have sent a present. With each telling it got a little bigger and a bit more special in its delivery. Mom had tried to reset Lyn's expectations but she wasn't accepting what Mom had to say.
I sent Lyn a gift certificate to a restaurant she likes. She'll get to go out and enjoy herself. She'll be happy with the gift once she gets it. Just as importantly, it is something she'll use and it won't be something that she'll set aside and forget about.
She may be disappointed now, but she'll be happier when she opens her card.