MrTDJ and I are high school sweethearts. Well, kinda sorta. More like after high school sweethearts.
I moved to Alexandria, VA during my 11th grade school year. MrTDJ was born and raised there. During my first day at my new high school, I met two of my best friends, Diamond Diva who is still my BFF and Little Shorty. MrTDJ had a class with Little Shorty. He saw Diamond Diva and Little Shorty together before class, so after class he asked Little Shorty about her cute friend. Then, Diamond Diva, Little Shorty and I had lunch together in the cafeteria. When MrTDJ saw Little Shorty that afternoon, he said, “Hey, forget about this morning. Your other friend from lunch is cute too and her butt is bigger. What’s her name?” *lol* Gotta love teenage boys.
Little Shorty introduced us the next day and we became friends. For the next year and half we dated other people (ugh – more on those losers during another post) . Senior prom approached and we danced around the idea of going together, although neither one of us actually said it. Teenagers. Anyway, we somehow managed to go together to the prom as friends. I left right after graduation for pre-freshman extra credits at my university and we talked on the phone every day. Not sure when or how, but something shifted. My first weekend home in mid-July, we shared our first kiss and the rest is history.
I attended college about 2 hrs away from home, but once classes started in August, I didn’t make any trips home until the 2nd weekend of November. MrTDJ’s birthday was in late October, so this would be a belated celebration. I’d spent weeks agonizing over what gift to get him. I liked him a lot. Maybe I’d even started loving him already. Hell, it’s been almost 20 years, I can’t remember anymore. I do remember that I was working as a part time cashier at a cheap department store and trying to avoid using that shiny new credit card that those tyrants had shoved into my under-age, under-qualified, under-employed hand.
The Thursday before I was set to head up the road, some friends and I caught a ride to the mall because it was crunch time and I still didn’t have a gift. I stumbled into Hall.mark and bought 2 cards – one funny and one sweet. Saw the cutest bear that was dressed like a little drummer chick, holding a heart in her hand. Perfect since MrTDJ plays drums, congas, etc. But what else to get him? I was clueless and struggling big time. Finally, my friend Backpack, our resident hip hop head, said, “Yo, didn’t you say God was into hip hop? Yo, these dudes outta Staten Isle is crazy. Cop their new CD.”
Those dudes were the Wu Tang Clan and their new CD was their first CD, Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers). I’d never heard of them, but since Backpack said that they were hot, why not? MrTDJ loved rap/hip hop. And, since the CD had just come out that week, I knew he didn’t have it yet. Perfect.
My ride home was uneventful and I was excited about giving MrTDJ his gifts. He picked me up from the Amtrak station and we headed to his house. I watched as he opened his gifts. He smiled and laughed appropriately at the cards and bear, then paused after opening the bag with the Wu Tang CD. He said, “Aww, thanks babe. I’ve been looking forward to this!” I’d done well!! Yes! First birthday jitters down.
It was many years later that MrTDJ would tell me that my gift sucked. *lol* Not the bear; he loved that. My musical choice of a Wu Tang CD. Think back with me to 1993 and the state of hip hop. The West Coast was KILLING the rap scene. This was a year before Biggie hit the scene. All MrTDJ was listening to at that time was Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, 8 Ball & MJG, etc. Remember, “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube and “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” by Dre and Snoop? Yet, that’d be the musical mood that MrTDJ was in back in ’93 when I presented him with the Wu Tang Clan. Can we say NIGHT vs. DAY? He said his first thought was, “Black Chinese rappers? Smile so she won’t know you don’t know who these cats are.” He would come to appreciate it just a little over the next few months, but I’m pretty sure that’s been the worst gift I’ve given him. We think about it often and laugh.
Have you ever given a bad gift to your significant other? What was their response? I’m sure everyone has received a bad gift from their significant other? Did you fake your interest in it? Tell the person? Regift it? Return it?