Hubby announced today that I shouldn’t expect a gift tomorrow on Valentine’s Day, which is no surprise to me. I actually started writing this blog before he even said that—this blog is my gift to him. This Valentine’s Day we will be married twenty years, eight months, and one week. We will be together for twenty-six Valentine’s Days. After that amount of time (and actually wayyyyy before this point), you start to realize that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a Hallmark holiday that you don’t really need to be part of—Valentine’s Day isn’t a holiday meant for you anymore.
Because after twenty-something odd years…I don’t need a card to tell me you love me. You tell me you love me when you go to the grocery store and actually put the groceries away before I get home. I don’t need a box of chocolates to tell me I’m yours…you tell me that when you chase me around the kitchen table trying grab my butt. I don’t need a dozen roses to make me feel special…you make me feel special when you let me nap on you, even when you have to get up to go pee. I don’t need jewelry to know you care…I know you care when you drive two hours to replace a Christmas ornament that the dog broke. I don’t need a lobster dinner to feel amorous…oh, who am I kidding…I do need the lobster dinner. I just don’t need it at a restaurant ON Valentine’s Day with every other couple on the planet. I don’t need to post every grand gesture on social media for all the world to see—and I don’t have the expectation that you’ll even make some grand gesture just because the calendar says you should.
Valentine’s Day is every day when you’re with the right person. I realize that statement may make you want to throw up in your mouth a little, but hear me out. It’s not mushy, over the top, make other people want to vomit sort of gestures. It’s all the little things that make living with a person (who snores like a truck driver and farts in his sleep) worthwhile. It’s getting up with the kids on Sunday morning so that the other person can sleep in. It’s scraping the snow off her car so she doesn’t have to do it before she rushes out the door to work. It’s knowing she had a bad day and bringing her wine. It’s knowing he had a bad day and bringing him donuts even though you totally shouldn’t do that because he’s been meaning to cut back on his donut consumption but you know the donut will make him smile and damn it…you want him to smile. It’s sitting with the sun in your face at a restaurant because you have sunglasses and he doesn’t, and you know he’ll get a headache with the glare. It’s dragging yourself off the couch at 11:30 at night to go pick up your teen from a friend’s house because your wife is too tired to function (and has been in her pajamas since 8:00). It’s ignoring the dirty dishes in the sink that you just cleaned because you don’t want to start a fight over something stupid. It’s folding his clothes even though he’s a big boy and he can do it himself. It’s lunch delivered to your job on a random Thursday afternoon. It’s cupcakes baked for his entire work shift, just because. It’s not about spending exorbitant amounts of money on materialistic things, it’s about the little things. I don’t want him to tell me he loves me on Valentine’s Day with an empty gesture—I want him to show me the other 364 days a year with the little things. Sure, that’s not what they do in books and movies—in books and movies, it’s grand gestures that get the girl.
Guess what? Romance in books and movies is not real. People base their romantic expectations on movie boyfriends that always turn out perfect in the end, and it sets you up for disappointment in your actual life. That kind of relationship not only isn’t real, it’s not sustainable. Sure, being jetted off to Paris for the weekend can make a girl swoon, but is it realistic? Do you really want that? Wouldn’t you rather he get up with a crying baby in the night? How romantic would that be? Maybe he got you diamond earrings for Christmas, but wouldn’t a foot rub really hit the spot? Or maybe you got two dozen roses and an acapella quartet delivered to your work for Valentine’s Day, but wouldn’t you prefer a guy who gets your oil changed without you begging? Now that makes me swoon.