Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love Letters

Valentines Day is not really a big deal for us.  Maybe at one time, it was... back when we were dating (for all of 8 seconds before we were engaged) and when we were newlyweds (which was never really like traditional newlyweds because we had CB with us from day one).  We'd do the typical "going out to dinner thing" and I'd have my 2 dozen overpriced red roses perfuming my modest apartment.  Now, I wouldn't necessarily say that marriage kills all romance, but the responsibilities and distractions of marriage and family significantly alter a life style conducive to the "traditional, commercialized definitions" of romance.

We also tend to have bad luck that spirals like a black hole around the vortex of Valentines day.

Exhibit A:
Valentines day 2009 when our infant, 2, and 4 year olds battled the stomach bug all day long and we were stuck road tripping to a 10 year old girl's party on V-day proper.  High Romance there folks.

Exhibit B:
In our most memorable thwarted Valentines Day ever, we led up to our romantic weekend with a tree falling on our newly constructed dream house and flattening our year old minivan.  Our luck continued when, shortly following that debacle, I was supposed to meet Dr. Fabulous in Florida for our 2010 romantic Valentines weekend at a beautiful hotel to enjoy some sunny weather but was trapped by 50 inches of snow (Yes, that is 5-0!  Not a typo!) that fell in Jersey/Philly.

Exhibit C:
Last year, nothing unusual occurred ON Valentines Day proper, but I threw out my back big time at Hershey's Chocolate World the week prior.  Who DOES that by the way?  

Valentines Day for us is not only overrated, but carries a high potential for insidious drama.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I made a demand challenge request to Dr. Fab this V-day for something simple:  A love letter.  Or, something in that vein.  Some non-monetary, creative way of showing me that he loved/appreciated/adored me with acts, words and/or deed instead of foliage, sugar and/or bling.   It is "Frugal February" after all and Dr. Fabulous is always one to mock the Valentines Day Cliches.

I was a little concerned about whether or not he'd take me seriously or even make the attempt because while Dr. Fabulous is incredibly thoughtful, kind, considerate and supportive on a daily basis, little cute romantic "surprises" are not his forte.

My plan: Make a little booklet out of an old deck of cards entitled 52 Things I Love About You.  On each card, I had written something I love about him.  By the time I got to #35 it actually got deceptively hard so I really had to get creative:

"You never leave the toilet seat up."
"We can laugh about fart jokes for hours."
"Your breath never smells in the morning."

I attempted to make one of his favorite dinners, but I didn't have the right wine for the Chicken and Wine Sauce, so I just made chicken cutlets which he also likes but they are a bit more boring and my mashed potatoes went totally awry and ended up with al dente chunks of undercooked potato in them and I never got the salad on the plate because somehow it took me hours to cook this horrid excuse for dinner.  So, literally it was this bland plate of overcooked chicken with potatoes and a glass of Kool Aid.  I know, your mouth is just watering right now.

You can see that 1. my stove has olive oil splattered all over it at this point and 
2. that my high end stove did not come with high end pots and pans.  

I really didn't know what to expect from him but I saw him enter the house with a gift bag AND a card when we vowed (I believe it was actually stated in our wedding vows) to never waste money on Hallmark sentiments... so I thought he broke down and bought something and was a tad disappointed but tried not to let it bother me because maybe I was just being difficult.

The card did contain my love letter and it was better than I expected and more than I wanted and exactly what I needed.  The best thing was not that he wrote the letter, but that he truly understood what I was really asking for even before I did.  That even with a love as solid and amazing and right and grounded as ours, it still takes work.  It still cannot be taken for granted or pushed behind the mounds of each day's distractions and duties.  That even when two people KNOW they love each other, sometimes they just want to... need to... hear it without it being a sign of weakness or insecurity.

He broke the "rules" by spending a small amount of money, but all was forgiven when he showed me and explained the gifts.  Two books.

The first was "List Yourself;"  a book full of questions to which you form lists and he suggested that we do a few pages together every night to spark conversation and discover even more about each other.  The second book was a "5 Ingredient Cookbook" which I thought was a dig on my cooking but he said it was for HIM and that he was going to cook me a 3 course meal consisting of appetizer, dinner and dessert of my choosing.

So, that was my Valentines Day Proper.  Simple.  Sweet.  Meaningful.  Just like MY MAN!  And I'm feelin' awfully lucky in the love department.

Hope yours was just what you wanted and all that you needed too!  And if not, it's just a day.  The proof of love- ALL kinds of love, not just romantic love - is what occurs in those other 364 days of the year.


rhemashope said...

awwwwww. what a man!!!

so glad you're back, friend. i've missed you!

kario said...

I love it! See what happens when we're specific about what we want from the world?

So glad you didn't have a disastrous Valentine's Day (50 inches of snow would have put me over the edge, for sure!), and I'm glad he came through for you. But it doesn't sound like there was ever any doubt about that...

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