Why There Won't be Chocolates or Roses in Our House this Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!  I've been around for many Valentine's days and over the years my opinion of this popular holiday has varied from enthusiastic participation all the way to, "It's just another day".  I don't think I'm alone in my lack of excitement.  Where do you fall in that spectrum?  Do you celebrate big time with sentimental cards, flowers, and chocolates?   Do you go on a dinner date with your Valentine?  Or is it a day you dread?  For a long time, I've been in the 'just another day' category.

 During my single days, there were several Valentine holidays that were just depressing.  Our culture....tv, card companies, commercials, lead us to believe everyone should be indulging in a romantic celebration, surrounded by flowers and candy, basking in the glow of someone's love.  As a single gal, I remember more than a couple holidays when I sat home feeling sorry for my single self feeling I was missing out on some over-rated, romantic holiday.  Time and maturity got me through those days and eventually the right guy came along and lucky for me, that guy was romantic and thoughtful. On our first Valentine's Day, John surprised me at the parking lot where I met my bus to Albany each day and gave me a red rose, a big chocolate kiss, a 45 rpm vinyl record of our song , and a flowery card with a handwritten note added.  That was a Valentine home run!

I really don't remember many Valentine's days after that one, although I know we did exchange cards each year and John often gave me a single red rose - something I loved much more than a bunch of roses.  John was great at picking out cards and always added his own love note inside.   At one point after several years, it came to my attention that he'd given me the same card on three different years.  Not the same card, but he bought the same card 3 times.  I guess he really liked the verse on that one!  I still tease him about that today!  John was always pretty good about these types of things, although on a couple of occasions I admit I may have been a little disappointed when my society-induced expectations may not have been adequately met.   For the most part though, we were on the same page when it came to the importance/unimportance of such holidays.  Some years John would take the day off and take me to lunch, but mostly, Valentine's Day was never a big deal in our household.

Eventually we even stopped buying cards.  I know that may sound wrong to some of you.  It may even sound as though the spark has died in our relationship.  But after 37 years, I don't need a card to remind me John loves me.  I have a closet packed with cards, 100's of cards, all with beautiful sentiments, all with handwritten notes, all signed, "Always and Forever".  (Our wedding song was Always and Forever by Heatwave (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0fBACHaBck).)  Don't get me wrong....I cherish each and every card and sentiment within, but there comes a time in life when love and affection are shown in subtle ways and in everyday acts of kindness, making Hallmark sentiments unnecessary.  I'm sure all of you long-time married couples know what I mean.

For instance......it's evident everyday when he cleans up the kitchen after I cook dinner.  It's evident in his willingness to drive anywhere I ask in search of the perfect photo.  It rings loud and clear in the way he never eats the last cookie in the package, or the last Dove chocolate in the bag.  It's the way he cheerfully wants to keep me company on errands when most men would prefer to stay home; the way when given the choice of staying home or joining me on lunch dates with friends, he always prefers to come.....those things speak volumes of his love and devotion.  It's the way he doesn't keep track of all he's done, doesn't complain, doesn't whine; the way he mows the lawn 'because it needs it' no matter how hot it is because he knows it matters to me; the way he smiles when I buy more flowers than we both know my garden can hold when other men might scold, the way he fills the bird feeders daily because I can't reach them and he knows how much I enjoy watching the birds.  It's the way he never says no and is always willing to help my mom or the girls, yet never complains or keeps track of his good deeds. Yes, I have a million reminders day after day assuring me that I'm loved and cherished and yes, very spoiled.  I don't need cards or chocolates.  I don't need roses on Valentine's Day, but I love them when they come on ordinary days - just because.

So, while most of the world is celebrating with romantic dinners, hand-dipped strawberries, flowery cards and roses by the dozen, I'll be happy and content and grateful that I have a husband who has been here for the long haul, through thick and thin, in good times and and hard times loving me with my bed head and morning breath - 365 days a year, unconditionally.  That, to me, is what love is really about.  It's his endless patience, his tolerance of my snoring, his proofreading and his silly sense of humor that make him endearing and make me glad I knew way back when that he was a keeper!  There won't be roses or cards exchanged in our house, but that's just fine with me.   Love is about so much more than that.  I hope your Valentine's Day finds you wrapped in love and surrounded by all the things that remind you how much you are loved!

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6 Responses to “Why There Won't be Chocolates or Roses in Our House this Valentine's Day”

  1. That sounds like our house in so many ways...so true! Have a wonderful day! Louise Guillaudeu (Dan's Mom)

    1. Thanks Louise.....Nice to hear from you! Hope you had a great day too!

  2. Gail! I'm sorry it took me a week to get over here...I know I was on your site before and this was a beautiful post. I too have been blessed to have been with a man for more than 40 years, married just 36. We enjoyed dinner out in a snug (a private booth room with a sliding door, very romantic) on Friday. We had our daughter's baby gender reveal party on Saturday and yesterday was a fire and just hanging around. We still do cards because I cherish everyone he gives me, but he hasn't even gotten mine yet...I was too tired to get to it so we have extended it through this evening! ...btw, this is Debbie you PMed me last week, I can see from your comment as box I probably will go anonymous.

    1. Debbie....Way to go for keeping the home fires burning with such a romantic dinner date! Sounds like a perfect and memorable weekend. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment!

  3. OH! I remember that heart shaped stone. Good use of it in your post Gail. Happy belated Valentine's Day.

    1. Ha - Very clever of you Debra!!! You're an eagle eye! Glad you're still following the blog!


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