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Meet Anish & Andrea (Stories from Our Clients)

I had planned a wonderful, romantic surprise for my wife as a gift for the move into our newly constructed home that Berry Design Build built for us. Not being the romantic type (a husband who buys electronics and sporting goods for his wife every holiday, birthday, anniversary), I didn’t know where to begin. I contacted a good (Turkish) friend of mine who has a keen eye for women’s fashions. We took several days of shopping at Phipps and Lenox malls. I even babysat his kids in Lenox as he shopped for my wife. We finally found a beautiful dress and some LOVELY shoes. The plan was as follows:

  1. I set the gifts up in her empty walk in closet, the dress hung beautifully on a fabric hangar and the shoes displayed in the center of a large shelf,

  2. She was to go through the house after the closing and before any furniture had been moved in,

  3. She walks into the closet and is surprised and is in tears (happy, love tears of course),

  4. I am the most wonderful and thoughtful husband and I score points for the remainder of the year.

The best laid plans….

After the set up in the walk in closet, the plan was in motion. I had written an endearing note and placed it in an envelope in front of the shoes. An hour later I called my wife and told her that the walk in closet was messed up, the contractors pulled down the shelves and are changing things (I knew this would get her over there fast!) She went over after work and I was waiting for the phone call or the hugs and kisses when she came home. No phone call, no hugs, no kisses.

Strange I thought. Were the clothes and items stolen? Maybe she did not go into the closet or even go upstairs, in spite of my insistence. I blew it off, and over the next 1-2 minutes, I tried to emphasize that she needed to go and see the closet. She subsequently went over a few times (even once with her work colleagues), but still no phone call, hugs, or kisses. On the day of closing, we were going to have my fashion/shopping/Turkish friend and his wife (Marissa) over to celebrate the completion of the project. When they arrived I pulled them aside to let them know that I was confused as she had not mentioned anything about the gifts. We devised a plan that Marissa would take my wife upstairs and insist that she go into the closet. This would finally work. She would get her gifts and I would get my hugs and kisses (I did not need the phone call anymore). After about 15 minutes of them wandering upstairs, they came down. Nothing. No thank you, no smile, no tears. What was going on? Was my wife that oblivious?

At this point, I was at the end. I had no more creativity left in me. My wife had won. My romantic gesture had fallen flat. Immediately, I asked my wife to follow me upstairs. I walked her into the closet and stood her in front of the gifts and said (very clearly) that these gifts were for you. She was very surprised laughed quite a bit. I was deflated. We went back down, her in her new dress and shoes and me with my defeated soul, and had cheese and wine with our friends.

So here is the other side of the story, the part I never saw or knew of. My wife had seen the gifts and the card every time she went over to the new house. She thought the closet was being “staged” by Berry Design Build for pictures to place on their website. She did not want to “disturb” the scene because it looked so nice. She noticed the card but did not think it was for her (my only mistake…I did everything correct but did not write her name on the envelope. Who else would the card be for?!?) She figured the gifts were not from me as I would never do anything like this (once again, my one romantic gesture dissolved in the wind). When she and Marissa went upstairs, she said the same things to her, even though Marissa insisted for her to open the card. My lovely wife was adamant that these were not for her, they were for Berry, and I would never buy her gifts like this (another dagger!). LOL.

I learned a few things from this: 1. Always write a name on the envelope. 2. Even though my wife thinks she knows everything, sometimes she may miss the obvious. 3. It is hard being romantic. It is easier to buy her electronics (keep it up, Apple).

In the end, I did get my hugs and kisses!


4th generation to the company, Open Doors is run by our very own Nicole Cosentino. Follow along for great tips, design inspiration and to see how we are transforming Atlanta one home at a time. 

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