The question of whether a gift will make it up to your wife when you mess up was addressed in the spring 2008 issue of Kallah Magazine
Here’s the question:
Dear Ms. Maven,
I would like your advice on what type of jewelry to buy my wife. Right now she is angry at me, so I need to make it up to her with something really special. Shalom bayis is really important to me, so I wouldn’t stint on the cost. I want to really take her breath away with a stunning piece. If you’re wondering what my situation is that makes the jewelry necessary, I tell you that it wasn’t really my fault. I only meant to spare her stress.
Our block has alternate side of the street parking, and I don’t always get the car moved to the right spot in time. So in the past 4 months, I have had as many tickets to pay. My wife is in a delicate condition now, as she is expecting in a few months. Because our expense will increase after the baby, she has become very anxious about money. She says we have to watch what we spend and be more careful about avoid wasting money, especially on things like parking tickets. I told her not to worry
This is what happened. Parking on our street was tight one evening, so I parked a bit close to a hydrant. The next morning my car was gone. There had been a towing blitz, and my car was taken to the pound. I wanted not to upset my wife, so I didn’t tell her anything about it and took care of everything by myself. I took the money I needed out of our checking account at an ATM because I didn’t want her to know anything about it. I didn’t realize that she was sending out checks based on the bank balance before I had taken the money out. A few days later, she was shocked and upset to hear from three different people that her check had bounced. She couldn’t understand how she could have made such a mistake with the check book. When she called the bank, she found out about the ATM withdrawal. She thought that someone must have managed to tap into our account and got really worked up about it. I didn’t want her to be so upset, so I had to admit what I did. She was not altogether relieved. Between the fees our bank charged and the fees charged for the people who deposited our checks, we had to come up with another $180 on top of the couple of hundred that had to cover the towing.
Like I told you, my wife has become anxious about money. So she did not take this very well. Seeing that she was down, I ordered the local florist’s top of the line bouquet delivered for Shabbos. Her reaction was not what I had hoped for. She mumbled something about “another $100.” Actually, the flowers cost $150, but I didn’t tell her that. She’s still tense about the towing and checks. Just yesterday the doctor reported that her blood pressure reading was a bit high. I remember a rabbi’s marriage advice column I read somewhere said that if a wife is upset, a husband should buy her a diamond. I think the cost was supposed to be $1500. But prices may have gone up, so I am ready to spend twice that much. I just don’t know if I should buy a diamond necklace or bracelet. What do you recommend?
– Well Intentioned Husband
Can you guess what Ms. Maven responded? You can find the answer in http://joltleft.com/jewish-bridal-in-new-york/when-saying-it-with-flowers-doesn-t-work-should-you-move-on-to-jewelry-part-2