Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Idiots Guide to Valentines Day After 10 Years of Marriage.

Valentines Day usually is a tricky one in our family.  If you've been reading for awhile, then you would remember this post from 2011, where I pretty much called my husband out on never getting me anything.  To be completely fair, until then I always pretended like I didn't want anything.  I was too good for Valentines Day; to intelligent to let a Hallmark Holiday rob me of my time, energy, and money.
Well, in my mature 30s I've realized that I want Valentines Day to rob me. ROB ME! ROB ME BLIND!  I want silly chocolates and surprise notes.  I want everything to be heart shaped and pink, because when else in my life is ANYTHING going to be heart-shaped and pink?  I want to leave notes for people with silly phrases that are unacceptable on any other day of the year, - like the card with a heart shaped snake with the phrase, "I hope we wind up together."  That's FREAKING HILARIOUS.  I don't care who you are.
So basically Valentines Day has been sort of weird for my husband and I.  For years he thought it was a ridiculous holiday and had convinced me that Valentines Day was really everyday.  Which I naively believed until I realized that IT'S NOT.  All of our dating years, including our first year of marriage were like this.
Our second year of marriage I decided to rock the boat by sending him on a long and detailed scavenger hunt around the city.  It was a big hit, but after he came home to me empty-handed (which in all fairness, was the agreement...) I felt a little broken-hearted. For years after that I accepted the fact that we just didn't celebrate Valentines Day.
Then 2010 happened. I don't like to bring it up because I think it is embarrassing for all of us.  But, my dear sweet boys who will inevitably have to celebrate Valentines Day with the opposite sex....let this be a lesson to you.  It all started because all of my coworkers got flowers on Valentines Day.  (I say all, know, it's my story.) I came home pouting because I had received NOTHING.  Which, to be fair...was the agreement.  I sulked all night and when Dustin asked me what was wrong I told him in my saddest seventh grade voice, "Everyone got flowers today but me."  I'm not sure what I expected him to do at that point, except maybe just apologize?  But he did one better...he had flowers sent to me the NEXT DAY.
Let me ask you friends.  When someone gets flowers delivered to them on the DAY AFTER VALENTINES DAY do you say "awwwwww" like, happy "awwwww", or do you say "awwwwwww" like, this-pour-girl's-husband-forgot-Valentines-Day-and-she-must-have-read-him-the-riot-act "awwwww"??  And I taught HIGH SCHOOL.  Those smart little teenagers certainly knew the deal and didn't let me forget it.  To be fair (again) I can take a joke with the best of them, and I even threw in a few lines to make fun of myself...but a girl shouldn't have to make fun of herself on the day after a particularly sad Valentines Day, am I right?
Luckily Dustin and I can joke about it now.  And things have definitely improved.  I don't really need much.  I don't need fancy jewelry or an overpriced set-menu dinner out (Seriously?! Can you not just eat off the regular $10 a plate menu on Valentines Day ANYWHERE?!)  You know what I like?  A card that took longer than 5 minutes to throw together (free) and maybe a cheesy box of chocolates that you can only get at Valentines Day.  Those are nice places to start... which I think I wrote about here (again).
So one would think that Valentines Day has only been easier and more lovely for us since then.  One would think.  Basically, like any reasonable adult, I agree weeks before with my husband that we shouldn't get each other anything for the crazy commercialized day. Then, like any reasonable adult I spend the two or three days before Valentines Day silently fuming as I prepare Valentines for my kids and friends.  One could say that I don't yet have a valid reason to fume, but that is like one saying you don't have a valid reason to buy a swimsuit because you live in Northern Ireland where the sun doesn't exist 355 days of the year.   One would be right - in either case. But it is times like these that my completely rational mind is assuming that my dear husband isn't going to get me anything and I will be sad.  (Which goes against every womens-lib thing I've ever been taught, which makes my sadness turn into see the cycle?) So then usually the night before the big day he FINALLY asks me what's wrong and I FINALLY accuse him of all of the anti-Valentines Day things he hasn't done wrong yet (because, it is the next day, ya know?)
Then he rushes off to the grocery store to buy some flowers.
And I go to bed feeling like a real tool for even bringing it up.
But then the next morning I wake up before anyone else and stumble into the kitchen bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived.  In front of me I find all sorts of goodies that he had been hiding away....INCLUDING the elusive red Valentines-y box of chocolates I've had my eye on for 32 years.
This, my friends, is how you win the heart of an emotional, hormonal, anti-Valentines Day convert.