Friday, February 12, 2010

Love....and Valentine's Day

I love Valentine’s Day. It’s a chance to celebrate love. With your spouse, your parents, your siblings, your children, your pets. Yes, I said pets. You DO love them, don’t you?

I was working on homework and listening to the radio this afternoon, and was amazed by what I heard people calling in to comment on about the approaching lovefest. Many of them expected their spouses to be extravagant and romantic, they wanted flowers, candy, a nice dinner, diamonds and pearls. No, they didn’t want – they demanded.

Uh…did I not get proper Valentine’s Day etiquette, installed while I was in the factory? Diamonds? Pearls? Heck, I’m happy with a card and dinner.

I was thinking back over the past 10 years of Valentine’s Days and was surprised. Do you know what I remember? Are you sure you can handle it? Are you sitting down? It might surprise you.

I remember our first year together, we had been married a few months, and we spent our first Valentine’s Day in the ER. My husband had gotten bite by a dog earlier that day. I think we had a hamburger for dinner, but I’m not sure.

And the year after that? And the next year? And the next year?

Nothing. Zilch. Zip. Nadda. Absolutely nothing. (Sorry honey!)

I’m not a big jewelry person, my husband has bought me 4 pieces of jewelry in 10 years. The necklace he got me for Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary 2 months ago. The diamond ring he bought me 2 years before that. The new wedding ring I got for our 1st anniversary, and the engagement ring he bought when he asked me to marry him. But those four pieces mean something to me, they are special. I don’t know how special jewelry would be if I “required” some each year.

Flowers are nice, but after a few days they wilt and die. So I usually get Tulips in March, because they are my absolute favorite flower, and he knows this.

Dinner, yeah, we usually go out to eat. Not typically anywhere fancy, usually Carinos. Because it’s one of my favorite places to eat at. And we exchange cards. But that’s it. No big tokens of love, no jewelry, no diamonds, no pearls.

According to the ladies on the radio, he doesn’t love me like he should.

That goes to show what they know, or maybe what they don’t know.

Love isn’t found in diamonds, or pearls, or flowers, or fancy restaurants. Love is found in the little things. It’s in the details.

It’s in the things that John does without even thinking about it. Like wiping the snow off my truck this morning so I could go to work, and letting me sit in the nice warm truck while he got all wet and snow covered. Like, in starting dinner when he gets home early. Calling me just to say hi. Laying in the bedroom at night and telling me how happy I make him. Letting me cross stitch past bed-time. Letting me stick my cold hands to his warm back when I get into bed at night. His love is simply there, in everything he does, whether he means for it to be or not. It’s there.

No, he doesn’t buy me diamonds, or pearls, or take me out to extravagant dinners. He doesn’t have too. I would be perfectly happy staying home and eating cereal for dinner and running around the house in my pj’s, and he knows that too.

He knows that I don’t “require” certain behaviors, or gifts, or fancy meals. He knows that I’m simple and easy to please. He also knows that I love him the other 364 days a year too. He doesn’t have to buy my love for another year today, he already has it. And if he never bought me another Valentine’s Day card again? That would be OK too. Because I don’t need Hallmark to tell me that he loves me, and it makes my heart ache, that those women on the radio do. They take those “men” in their lives for granted. And if those “men” were suddenly gone, they wouldn’t miss the diamonds and fancy dinners on Valentine’s Day. Or maybe they would.

I would miss all those things I mentioned earlier, the phone calls, the hugs, the voice messages, the emails, simply I would miss him.

So my question is this – What is Valentine’s Day? Is it about the diamonds and pearls? Or is it about celebrating your love?

While the day should be a blessing, I believe that to those many important men in our lives, it is a chore. Maybe it shouldn’t be. It’s not to late to change that, you still have the chance to show your significant other, that they mean more to you than the gifts. That those “gifts” aren’t a requirement. That maybe, just maybe, he means more to you than what he can buy you. That you love him for him, not because of what he gives you.

Besides, I don’t think any diamond necklace could top him giving me his heart. Do you?

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” ~1Corinthians 13:1-8

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”
~Henry Ford

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