Week 28: Valentine, Schmalentine

Victorian Valentine's Day Card
Damned cherubim. Or are these putti? (Image via Wikipedia)

When I declared myself a Valentine’s Day Humbug on my Imperfect Happiness Facebook Page, Victoria suggested that since it’s Marriage Month, I might consider celebrating Valentine’s Day this year.

I explained that, while this would seem to make sense, I was having trouble just looking my husband in the eye and not yelling at him. Romantic stuff was out of the question.

I was doing pretty well in Florida, but by the end, it was clear that I was having trouble maintaining my niceness. I was not looking forward to going back to winter and desert and no ocean and no extended family again, so I was in a sour mood. Still I persevered and got through the trip with a minimum of ire directed at my spouse.

When we got home, I dove into the house, unpacking, doing laundry, cleaning. By Saturday I apparently had reached my limit. Yesterday was a veritable yell-fest (just on my part. My husband doesn’t yell back, for which I’m grateful. I refuse to lose a yelling match and if he were competing, too, I think it could get ugly(er)). All of the criticisms I’d been holding in over the past two weeks just came spilling out.

Last night we watched Tombstone together. There’s the scene where Johnny Tyler (played by Billy Bob Thornton) is playing cards at The Oriental and complaining loudly the whole time about every little thing. He is whiney and very disagreeable. I mentioned that playing cards with him must be like playing cards with me the way I’d been acting that day.

My husband did not disagree.

While my husband and the kids are at the zoo this morning, I’ll probably do some soul-searching about why I’ve been so rude and angry at my beloved. Maybe it’s because I’ve been ignoring my own needs. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling contrary with all of the lovey-dovey, “I love my husband because his feet smell so manly after he works in the yard all day” Facebook status updates.

Or maybe it’s sour grapes because I secretly want my husband to be romantic and he’s not. He’s the kind of guy who’ll sit with me in a tub of “birth soup” in our dining room while I push our son into the world, but he’s also the kind of guy who has me buy my own presents, which he wraps and gives to me from him. I’d rather have the birth support than flowers, but I’d really rather have both.

Victoria also commented, “Don’t forget to be willing to accept any treats, chocolate or otherwise, that he might gift to you…just in case he surprises you.”

I mentioned this to my husband. We both looked at each other for a moment before we started laughing.

“She’s not aware of the nature of our arrangement, is she?” he said.

I’ve tried to be romantic with my husband. He doesn’t care about flowers or chocolates or that kind of lovey dovey Valentine’s Day thing. He treats me like he’d like to be treated, which means he doesn’t get me those things because he doesn’t want me to get him those things. He’s pragmatic. It’s one of the things I love about him (and one of the things that really pisses me off about him).

While it would be easier to get him a bouquet of flowers and cook him a nice meal and book us a ride on a hot air balloon and have a skywriter put a message of my undying devotion into the sky over our house and to etch our wedding vows onto a grain of rice, I think the thing he’d like best is if I just observed my Marriage Month resolutions.

Of course he prefers the most difficult gift.

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