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What to get poor David?

By Tammy Keith

This article was published March 30, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

Poor David.

My mother has said those words a thousand times, at least, about my husband — usually in reference to him having to put up with me.

“He’s just so dang good,” she said.

He’s often overlooked when we take pictures, the one who hangs back at parties, the one who, with Sister-in-Law, washes the dishes after a meal at my parents’ house and doesn’t want credit.

To be fair, he’s taken on the martyr role himself. He was that way when I met him about 30 years ago.

I’ve always chalked it up to the fact that he is the youngest of four kids. (He does not like it when I say “the baby” of the family.)

His siblings might say he got special attention because of being the bab, uh, youngest, but coddling was not a part of his family’s dynamic. He didn’t mind hand-me-down toys or clothes.

Celebrating birthdays in a big way was part of his growing up, and he has memories of amazing, creative cakes his mother made, not to mention getting her attention when his older siblings were at school.

I bring this up because his birthday is tomorrow. At this point, I have no plan. No ideas. Few presents.

I did send a text message to our older son and his fiancee asking them if they’d like to eat dinner somewhere to celebrate, and I notified our younger son.

At this point, I have more decorations for a co-worker’s birthday than for my husband’s. To be fair, the Hello Kitty theme was easy.

Poor David — his birthday has gotten pushed aside because of my mother’s birthday earlier this month (which is the same day as one of his sister’s), planning for his dad’s 90th! birthday this summer and the whirlwind of planning my older son’s you know what. (I promised I would not write about it every Sunday, remember?)

My husband never wants anything for his birthday, which makes it hard to buy for him.

Sure, he’d love an all-expense-paid trip to play golf in Scotland, or anywhere, for that matter. He rarely gets to play, anyway.

Even though he was on spring break last week, he worked the entire time grading his college students’ papers, judging a journalism contest and helping me with a contest I’m involved in, too.

OK, so he may have watched a little basketball.

He cooks, he cleans. When I was running late for work and broke a vase on my way out the door the other day, guess who cleaned it up? Poor David.

I try to do nice things for him, too, but I can never do more than he does.

He cooks. He cleans. He made a two-layer chocolate cake the other night when we had company. Oh, man. Cake. That reminds me.

I wish I could think of something special to give him. He deserves it. He is a wonderful husband, great dad and my best friend.

When I asked him to tell me what he wanted for his birthday, he said: “I’ve got you. That’s all I need.”

I know. As my mom would say, “Poor David.”

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or


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