The Honest Truth About Valentine’s Day

So tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, because… well… it’s February 14th.  And Valentine’s Day, for a whole lot of years, has fallen right-smack-then.

Except I’m married to a man who doesn’t understand that HAVING A GIRL IN YOUR LIFE + FEBRUARY 14th = I SHOULD DO SOMETHING EXTRAVAGANT THAT DAY, LIKE HIRE AN AIRPLANE TO DRAG AN ‘I LOVE YOU’ BANNER ACROSS THE SKY.  This could be because Hubs has always thought that Valentine’s Day was a whole lot like Easter.  He knows that Jesus didn’t beat out death on Valentine’s Day, but Hubs thinks that the national day for heart-shaped boxes of chocolates is a TRAVELING HOLIDAY, that sometimes falls in February… or even March… or perhaps November, depending on when Ash Wednesday occurs.

And we’re Baptists.

In the beginning, I’d always roll my eyeballs into the back of my head and mumble to myself, “Oh, my gosh!  The man STINKING FORGOT VALENTINE’S DAY AGAIN!”  Because it’s never how many flowers you get… it’s how many people see you get the flowers, and isn’t that what all young girls want?  More years than not, no extravagant bouquets showed up at the school where I teach PE.  Or on our front doorstep.  Or even anywhere, for that matter.

But then I aged a little bit.  I developed some unruly gray hairs, that will push past fire and brimstone and busy days just to make an appearance right in the middle of my hair’s part.  They like to stand up and be noticed, which is why I pay my hair stylist enormous sums of money to mix up Brown Dye #82, or whatever she calls it, every ten weeks, like clockwork.  I also started growing a chin hair, which can go from nothing to three-inches overnight, which spells SEXY in all capital letters.  And then I learned to like Brussels sprouts, and I discovered that sitting still in church is actually kind of easy to do, and I decided that an 8:00 bedtime is so golden, it sparkles with FANTASTIC-NESS.  And then… well… I got so excited about getting a brand new, Shark steamer mop for Christmas, that I almost needed to put on a pair of Depends.

If that list of things doesn’t spell MATURITY INSIDE MY PURSE, I don’t know what does.

With the age spots and the wisdom, I also realized a few years ago that having Hubs go out of his way one one specific day of the year to buy me flowers is pointless.  Do y’all know why?  It’s because EVEN THOUGH HE HAS NO IDEA WHEN VALENTINE’S DAY IS EVER, the guy does little things for me all year long that make me realize that he kind of likes me.

Just this morning (THIS VERY MORNING!), I made the comment that I was out of Oregon Chai K-cups for our Keurig.  The discovery of this particular flavor of K-cups has saved us from debtor’s prison, because my Suburban has cut down significantly on the amount of times it drives through Starbucks, ALL ON ITS OWN.  These Oregon Chai K-cups are the bomb.

(Except I was also told last month by someone who is much younger and shall remain anonymous, that saying, “The Bomb,” when you mean, “Absolutely Great,” is very old-fashioned, because nobody says that any more.)

(I think it was exactly like the time my sister and I bought my dad a couple of Vaurnet T-shirts in the ’80s, so that he’d PLEASE quit wearing the pocket-on-the-chest, ugly-as-bad-sin T-shirts that he’d been wearing since Moses floated down the river in his basket.)

(Children are always trying to bring their parents into the current century, which is just another way to spell ELDERLY.)

I only mentioned once that I was out of chai K-cups this morning, and then I said, “So I guess it’s coffee and creamer for me this morning.”

And let’s face it, people.  Coffee and creamer is a poor substitute for a genuine cup of chai tea, with a splash of half-and-half in it.

Our morning progressed, which means that we fought Thing 2 on his breakfast menu, because NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE M&Ms FOR BREAKFAST, BUT YOU CAN HAVE THIS YOGURT AND THIS PEAR, and we told the boy that YOUR DAD IS LEAVING IN TWO MINUTES, AND IF YOU’RE NOT DRESSED WITH YOUR SHOES ON, YOU’RE STAYING HOME AND TAKING AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE, BECAUSE WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING FOR THE PAST FORTY-FIVE MINUTES, AND WHY AREN’T YOUR SHOES ON YOUR FEET?

And then Hubs left to take the boy to school, and I resumed the Yogurt And Pear VS. The Candies That Don’t Melt In Your Hand standoff with the toddler.

Thirty minutes later, Hubs showed up at our house, which surprised me, because… well… he has a job to go to.  And every morning, after he picks up Enzo and drops the two big boys off at the junior high, Hubs tends to head in the direction of his office.  But this morning, he came back home, and he had a sack from the grocery store with him.

In it was not one, but two (!!!) boxes of Oregon chai K-cups and a carton of half-and-half.

People, it’s only February 13th, but that right there tells me more than a bouquet of flowers on the 14th could ever say, especially when you consider the fact that Hubs doesn’t like to buy chai tea when he’s by himself.  He always thinks the cashier or the barrista is going to assume it’s for him.  Accordin

g to Hubs, this is a horrible thing, because WHAT MAN DRINKS CHAI TEA?  What man goes through the line at Starbucks and orders JUST A CHAI, instead of a six-shot mocha?

It’s just the little things that add up all year long to make you realize that one day of celebration doesn’t matter.  It’s when Hubs calls me from his office to say, “The roads are really slick, so please drive carefully today when you’re out.”  It’s when Hubs is sprawled out on the sofa, but he gets up to rinse the dinner dishes, while I’m washing them, what with our dishwasher still being deader than a little seal pup staring into the eyeballs of a great white shark.  It’s when Hubs starts my Suburban for me to warm it up on cold days… it’s when he sets a cup of chai tea for me on the bathroom counter, while I’m blow-drying my hair in the mornings… it’s when Hubs says at 5:00 on a Saturday morning, “I’ll get up with Thing 2,” so that I can go back to a comatose-type sleep, where I drool on the pillow and dream that my sons are whales who live in an aquarium that I go and visit every single day… it’s when I get into my Suburban and realize that someone filled it with gas the day before… it’s when I start bawling in a Hallmark commercial on TV, because PMS, ANYONE?, and someone reaches over and holds my hand… it’s when Hubs smashes the spider on the bathroom floor that made me shriek… it’s when I mention that I think I want to see what all the hype is about Downtown Abbey, and suddenly Seasons 1, 2 and 3 on DVD show up in a brown box from Amazon on our doorstep…

And do y’all know what?  I’d take a year filled with all of those things over a single day filled with a bouquet of flowers every single time.

Dear Hubs, you’re still pretty amazing.  Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow.  Because it IS tomorrow, you know, which means there’s only six more weeks of winter.

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