Eek, I know, I’ve been gone for a long time. Again. I’ll have a few fashion posts coming up soon, so stay tuned for that. But this is my Valentine’s Day post.
I had not had a good Valentine’s Day since freshman year of High School. My boyfriend back then, our relationship was always a little tenuous, to put it nicely. Every major holiday or life event got messed up somehow and it just left me with a sour taste in my mouth for things like Prom, New Year’s Eve, birthdays, graduation ceremonies, and especially Valentine’s Day. But then I met Tom.
We had just started dating 2 weeks prior to Valentine’s Day. I was crazy about him, but I knew him about as well as you know someone you’ve been dating for two weeks. I got him the book “Choke” by the same author who wrote “Fight Club.” Let’s just say he never read it. But I got him a card, too. One which did not say “I love you.” He got me a giant heart filled with chocolates and a card which did not say “I love you.”
It was a 4-day weekend at school. My roommate’s little sister was visiting from freakishly far away. His roommate had gone home for the weekend. So we stayed in his dorm room the whole time. We spent every waking moment together. We’d walk to the dining hall, holding hands, for our meals. We’d take walks and grab coffee, other stuff outside the room. But we spent a lot of time in the room. We’d lie on his teensy dorm room twin bed and listen to music. He showed me his favorite songs, some artists I’d never heard before, and we’d talk about it for hours. Then we watched South Park on his laptop, we talked about movies and books and school and our lives before each other. We talked about what we wanted in the future and what kind of people we wanted to be when we grew up. And, you know, other stuff. Grown-up, not-very-religious, couple-y stuff. But I got to know him so well. I felt like we really connected. Deeply.
Five Valentine’s Days later, we’re married. We’re happy. For the following Valentine’s Days, we went out to eat, got each other elaborate (and more meaningful) gifts, and even bought cards that said “I love you” inside them. But the first Valentine’s Day was my favorite. I don’t really even remember the other ones. I know they were wonderful, they just don’t stand out.
Tom and I had an argument a few days ago about whether or not we’d go out to eat that night. He said that he couldn’t afford to get me a Valentine’s Day gift if we went out to eat. I was hungry. I said I would rather go out to eat. And I meant it. But we didn’t go out. I told him, after we’d made up, that all I really wanted was a card. Something I can keep and hold onto forever. Something that, when I look back on it, I’ll think “this is what he wanted to say to me on the first Valentine’s Day on which we were married.” (Probably not so grammatically complicated, but you know what I mean.)
Flowers die. Chocolates get eaten. Jewelry always finds its way into a box, never to be worn again. Teddy bears get relegated to closets or guest beds. A card can linger for as long as you let it. If one day, he leaves before I do, I will have something to hold, open, and say “he said this to me. He loved me. He wanted me to know how much and he made an effort to tell me.”
So, what are we doing tonight? Well, I will get home from work 2 hours before him. I will lie on the couch and watch Bones reruns. Or maybe Pride and Prejudice. (Haters gonna hate, but I love that movie.) Tom will come home from a 12-hour shift. We will lie on the couch together, maybe order pizza, watch something stupid and most likely not romantic, and talk. We’ll talk about what we’re looking forward to in our future together. About what our plans are for this weekend. About the show or movie. And argue over whether we can afford pizza and what to put on it. Maybe adult-coupley-hey-now-we’re-married-and-its-ok stuff. But we’re just going to be. No serenades, no bouquets of roses, no elaborate dinner. Probably no alcohol, either. Just like our first Valentine’s Day (plus arguing.) That’s exactly how I want it to be.