So, how did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Was it a holiday filled with love, passion and romantic notions? Were there roses and little chocolate hearts gracing your bed pillow? Did your sweetheart whisper sweet-nothings into your ear pledging his or her undying devotion, romantic music playing in the background?
Yeah, mine was almost like that. Except take away the passion, notions, roses, chocolate and sweet nothings and substitute the romantic music for the sweet whir of Daytona racing. Ahhh…the romance.
I remember the days of Valentine’s past. The romance rangedanywhere from anonymous roses delivered in homeroom classto a slightly more mature holiday celebrated over a candlelit dinner with a spectacular view of the ocean. I’ve always loved this day but the meaninghas certainly changed for me overthe years. What began as a holiday centered solely on the flowers and candy has slowly evolved into a holiday centered solely on love.
For the first time in about twelve years of celebrating Valentine’s day with my husband I initiated a “no-gift” policy…and actually meant it. I will have to admit that I have actually previously verbalized my intentions of not wanting to exchange presents only to have changed my mind about 30 seconds after realizing that Jer actually took me seriously. Imagine mypoor bewildered husband standing in front of me with empty hands discovering that, yet again, he married a liar.And in subsequent years he learned to always have a gift at the ready, despite my insistance that they were entirely unnecessary. (Obviously, they were.)
But this year was very different. I suggested (yet again) that we save our money and not exchange gifts.
“Yeah, right,” Jer answered.
“Uh, huh,” he says.
“No, really, Jer. We were just saying we needed to save a little money. We love each other. We know it. Let’s not do gifts.”
He looks at me sideways. “Okay. Are you serious? Is this going to be one of those situations where I listen to you and then I look like the big ass when I have nothing for you?”
“No, Jer. I am completely serious here. I do not need anything for Valentine’s Day. We’re good.”
“Al…right. I guess,” he says.
And, folks. I can tell he’s still not trusting me. About an hour later he comes back out from the garage and says, “Um, Mindy? I’ve been thinking about this whole ‘not get each other anything’ situation and I’m not sure about something.”
“What, Jer? What are you not sure of?” I ask, exasperated. We’ve already gone over this.
“I don’t believe you. Somehow I’m going to end up screwing this thing up and now I’m all worried about it.”
And this here was my defining moment. This was the pivotal point in time when I realized that Valentine’s Day has taken on a completely different meaning for me. Because listening to Jeremy and his “should I/shouldn’t I” struggle only reiterated to me that this year I was much more interested in simply spending the day together than opening little gift-wrapped heart-shapedjewelry boxes.
“Jeremy,” I began as I walked up and wrapped my arms around him. “I seriously do not want anything for Valentine’s Day. We need to save some money. I’d much rather just spend the day with you and the kids than waste a bunch of money on dinner out and gifts.”
And with that, he believed me. I woke up Valentine’s Day to absolutely nothing. And I’m actually okay with that.
Now, don’t misunderstand me here. If we ever get into the position wherespending money is of little consequence than you better believe I’ll be fully expecting a little somethin’-somethin’ awaiting my very anxious attention.
But, until then, I’llstay content with a hug from my (extremely paranoid)honey.