Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, and there will be no flowers for me.
Between dating and marriage, we’ve been together 14 years. Aside from our wedding day, my husband has only bought me flowers once.
(that was early in our marriage when a mutual male friend pressured him into doing it. when my husband handed me those roses, he said “here – i only got you these because marvin made me do it. i hope he’s happy.” nice.)
I’m also not going to be given a giant box of chocolates. My husband knows me well enough to know I have a stash of quality dark chocolate somewhere in the house and that I’m not a big fan of the mixed assorted stuff.
(the good stuff is currently hidden in my sock drawer. don’t ask why.)
I was given jewelry for a wedding present (and obviously for our engagement) but I haven’t received any since. If I want jewelry, I tend to go out and buy what I want.
I’m totally OK with this.
Before you totally freak out and think my husband is some kind of neglectful lout I should tell you that last week we did at least talk about Valentine’s Day.
Hubby: Do I need to get you anything this year?
Me: Nah, I’m good.
Hubby: OK. You sure?
Me: Well… there’s still that really expensive kitchen gadget I want.
He knew the gadget in question. And he’s now shopping for it via some online auctions. When I talked about the gadget, I was thinking it would come gift wrapped from a fancy kitchen store. Apparently it will arrive at my door wrapped in newspaper and shipped in a recycled brown cardboard box. Good enough.
We go through this every year.
Some years, he takes me to lunch. But there have been years where he had business meetings or where I had kid’s school parties to cover.
Some years, I remember to cook his favorite dinner. But there have been years where I totally spaced it or the kids were sick.
Most years, the whole thing is a non-event in our home.
If I didn’t need to send the kids to school with valentine’s stuff we could probably skip the whole day all together.
As long as I stay off social media I’m OK.
When my friends start posting photos of the roses they got from their husband I feel a twinge.
When I see the fancy dinner dates I may sigh briefly.
When the flower delivery truck rumbles down the street I confess I might hold my breath until it has passed my house completely.
But then I remember.
I remember that my husband takes me out for a lunch date every single week that the kids are in school. We don’t miss it.
I remember all the times that my husband does the dinner dishes, takes out the trash, and cleans the toilets without me asking him to do it.
I remember that my husband fills my car up with gas and cleans out the trash every chance he gets.
I remember that he let me pick paint colors for the entire house without questioning me. I remember that he totally took my side when I was upset with the contractor (even though I was wrong). I remember that he doesn’t seem to mind when I neglect to put his laundry away.
I remember that he believes in me – sometimes more than I believe in myself. He pushes me and won’t let me quit. He won’t accept excuses when he knows I’m shirking.
He cuts me a ton of slack when I need it. The man doesn’t complain when I serve cheese and crackers with apple slices for dinner (on paper plates… for the second time in a week.)
My husband will probably never win a prize for the most romantic amazing pintastic Valentine’s Day.
But the other 364 days of the year? He’s a prize winner for sure. On a random Sunday afternoon of your choosing, he stacks up nicely against the mythical competition.
(yes, i said competition. don’t act shocked. we all do it. at some point we’ve all been in a circle of women who are determined to out-do each other for who has the most amazing husband just so we can make the other women feel envy.)
When I look at it that way, it’s ok.
My husband shows his love with acts of service and words of affirmation. Why in the world would he need to give me roses too?
No flowers for me.
I wear it like a badge of honor.
When a friend tries comfort me with sympathy, I just smile and say
No, hubby didn’t send me flowers for Valentine’s Day. He didn’t need to. Do you know what he did the week before?
Then I proceed to tell her.
My list is way better than flowers. Every.single.time.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Do you see your husband’s gifts of service as equal to a gift of roses?