Almost 20 years into it, the idea of romance has shifted in our marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I still fully expect to be swept off my feet. I mean–let’s face it–I am so totally worthy. However, the way I expect my husband to go about it now is completely different than when we first met.
I used to love flowers. Correction. I mostly loved getting flowers at my office. Making your co-workers envious may not propel you up the corporate ladder but it does make you a total rock star in the moment. Nowadays, if I get flowers, it is just something else I need to take care of.
Flowers are the neediest of all gifts.
My cup runneth over with neediness every day. The work of finding the vase, pouring the little life-extending powder in the vase, taking a pic for FB, cropping said pic so no one sees the papers covering my countertops, finding a place where the vase is prominently on display but not in the way and ultimately stabbing yourself with 1,000 thorns as you dispose of them when they die is ex-haust-ing. I’m good. No thank you, really.
Chocolate was my first love. Long ago I gave my heart to Hershey; leaving little for my poor husband to claim as his own. He has accepted his lot as an also-ran and is my biggest chocolate enabler. Back in the day, I dove right into that heart shaped box of chocolates. At 50, it causes me anxiety, guilt and extra crunches so I end up pawning most of it off on my kids. Of course, I hoard all the caramel and toffee before handing over anything. I haven’t totally lost my mind.
Remember the classic scene in “Father of the Bride” when the fiancé presents a blender to his bride-to-be? This miscalculation was the ultimate example of bad male gifting behavior in my 20’s. We shamed him through the television screen because everyone knows that household gifts mean the beginning of the end.
Ummm … well, hold on … not so fast.
I got a household gift recently and it made me fall in love all over again.
You see, our bathroom has a badly placed window over the tub. We love the natural light and all that Vitamin D, so we leave the shade up. At 5 a.m., I don’t have the faculties to do anything other than shower in the darkness, razors and all. (And yes, there is one house that can see into my bathroom. Patty, if you are reading this, you’re welcome.)
My birthday present this year? A set of plantation shutters for my bathroom to save me from climbing in and out of the tub to adjust the shade. More importantly, limiting the potential of shaving off a layer of my skin while my neighbors get to see me in a whole new light.
Apparently, I have been married for “I-love-you-for-bringing-me-Next Day Blinds” years.
Being a word girl, the one thing that makes me swoon—then and now—is a card. If there is no card, I will go full-out Linda Blair “Exorcist” on you. Spitting fire and bile, you will struggle to remember why you ever loved me while I cast aspersions upon you. And don’t even try to scramble for a card the day of a card-worthy event. That card will suck because all the other husbands remembered ahead of time and took the best ones.
In this instance, the only hope of redemption is 1) a home-made card or 2) a blank store-bought card filled with hand-written words proclaiming my pure awesomeness. These two are the relationship equivalent of get-out-of-jail-free cards with bonus points for any card with a picture of chocolate.
I can’t gain an ounce if I just look amiright?
So, I hope you will do right by your Valentine this year. Remember, you don’t have to come up with anything fancy. Sometimes saying I love you is as simple and practical as ensuring your beloved doesn’t bleed to death performing basic hygiene in the shower.