And my feelings have only gotten more intense the older I get.
Once upon a time, there was a prince who was searching for his princess. He looked and he looked until one day, he met her. He couldn’t keep his eyes nor his hands off her. He bought her presents, made her dinner, cleaned her house, paid all of her credit card bills, and walked her dogs while she ate the homemade brownies (from scratch!) the prince made for her while she binge watches endless romcoms on NetFlix. When the brownies are gone, he brings her wine and massages her aching feet without complaint and without asking when it’s his turn.
But the princess does return the favor because that’s love.
Sound too good to be true? Yes, it does, but at this point I’d settle for someone who looked up from his computer every once in a while.
Sometimes I wish I could go to sleep on the 13th of February and wake up on the 15th. Valentine’s Day feels like it’s the longest day of the year.
I’ve always hated Valentine’s Day, especially after getting married. It’s never quite measured up to what all the commercials promise, and my husband is not very romantic; I suppose I knew that when I married him, though, didn’t I?
The funny thing is, I don’t need the flowers, the candy, a scented candle, or a dazzling piece of jewelry, I just need to be thought of period. And by thought of, I simply mean whatever makes my husband think of me. Does my face come to mind when he’s reading? How about getting me a book? Does my betrothed think of me when he’s at the grocery store? How about plunking down the cash for a bag of Hershey’s kisses? Does he think of me when he hears a particularly funny political joke? Take me to a comedy venue for a rare night out.
I’m truly not that difficult to buy for. I appreciate even the smallest of gestures.
One of the most romantic things done on Valentine’s Day for me one year when I was young and not yet married, was my boyfriend got out of the car while we were waiting at a stoplight, and grabbed a whole bunch of wildflowers from the side of the road. For all I know, they were weeds, but it was the thought. Sure, the people behind us honked out of frustration after the light turned green but I didn’t care — my boyfriend remembered I loved flowers but didn’t have any money at that time and he got me what I wanted with what he could afford.
On future Valentine’s Days, this same boyfriend bought me long stemmed red roses delivered from some fancy floral shop, but I preferred the free wildflowers picked on a whim from a median strip. Why? Because it was a grand gesture on a tiny budget, and his only thought was of me.
So, you see, it’s not about the money but the thought.
A sample conversation between my husband and me a few days prior to every February 14th:
Him: Do you want anything for Valentine’s Day?
Me: Not really.
Me: No, I’m on a diet, trying to be good.
Me: They’re kind of a waste of money, don’t you think?
Him: Sighs audibly.
Me: Sighs audibly.
We end up doing nothing for each other and only focus on the kids. The kids get candy, cards, stuffed animals, balloons, and a dinner that’s 100% red.
I know how this post makes me sound, but keep reading, and I promise I will sound less needy/passive-aggressive.
Social media makes Valentine’s Day even worse. One friend’s husband buys her a huge bouquet of flowers even though money is tight and he knows how much she loves receiving them. She snaps a quick photo to post. Another friend’s husband plans a surprise flash mob (he has a bit more cash) — professionally videotaped and posted to Facebook (I kid you not). One friend’s husband grabs the four kids and takes them out so mom can have a rare night in by herself.
Of all the above scenarios, my heart flutters most for the studly husband taking on the four kids. After taking the quiz about which love language I speak, that makes sense. I’m most appreciative of ‘acts of service,’ and I express my love the same way — cooking, cleaning, laundry, picking up the dog poop, grocery shopping, and maintaining the cars.
There’s nothing I won’t do to make sure my kids know they are loved.
You may be asking yourself why I don’t tell my husband what I want. That would certainly be ideal and it would spare you having to read this post; however, if I tell him, he will stress over what the exact right ‘gift of service’ would be. Pretty soon I’d be jotting down ideas he could do for me for Valentine’s Day. In other words, I’d be doing all the work. It’s just not the same as having him come up with ideas on his own.
Trust me, I know how he works. Every year, I make up lists of everything I want for my birthday, Christmas, and Mother’s Day, and he dutifully sends one of the kids out to buy the goods. If I don’t make a list, I end up with plastic limes from China delivered by Amazon, wrapped in the aforementioned Amazon box, and placed under the Christmas tree.
I might be wearing red on February 14th, but it won’t be to show the world how much I love Valentine’s Day — it will be to show that I still believe in love and one day I hope to have it.