Friday, February 14, 2014

For Alex, the last Valentine's gift you'll ever get.

My husband and I have argued about Valentine's Day for almost our entire relationship. It's been a source of contention for at least a week every year. Why? Well, up until just yesterday, I thought the reason we were arguing was because he was stubborn.

He refused to just be romantic on Feb.14. He claimed that the consumerism and expectation made the whole thing feel insincere. In his words, "It's a day people have to go out of their way with romance just to break even." His theory is that we shouldn't need a day, especially one that has so much unreasonable expectation wrapped up in it. He thinks we shouldn't be putting so much energy and money into something just because everyone else does.

Until yesterday, I strongly disagreed. Yesterday, as I prepared myself for dissapointment, I finally became aware that my dissapointment had only to do with expectations that were unreasonable in light of my husbands clearly stated opinion. Yesterday I realized every single thing he says actually lines up with my own core values and beliefs. Yesterday I finally understood that we really, truly, do not have to love eachother on the same days or the same ways as I percieve everyone else to. Yesterday I saw my husband for the first time again, and I saw the million ways he loves me every day.

My husband has never tried to teach me to use the espresso machine. He makes me lattes and has taught my children to use the espresso machine.

My husband gets up early with me once a week and makes breakfast for the living room full of teenagers that are my responsibility, not his.

My husband let me keep the puppy and several cats over the years.

My husband, who is an introvert, has fully embraced my intentional-community lifestyle. We have been foster parents, had family live with us, had room mates and regularly host large gatherings in our home.

My husband makes gourmet standard meals for our family and the various other people I invite to live and dine with us.

My husband, though he will not move into a van with me when the kids move out, has agreed to let me park it in his driveway.

My husband worked hard as a blacksmith to provide financially for our family for twelve years and allowed me to stay home with our kids as I wanted to. Then, when we moved and life changed, my husband put his dream of owning his own blacksmith shop on hold. He is now home-schooling our kids so I can work full time with YoungLIfe, my dream job.

Last night, my husband asked me not to order food when I went out with some ladies because he wanted to make me a snack when I got home. The day before Valentine's Day, my husband cooked me lobster, in spite of his strong feelings, sacrificing his stand on an issue, to love me the way my expectations demanded. He is so good to me.

So, on this Valentine's Day, 2014, I am blogging my last Valentine's gift to this amazing man. I am putting this in blog form so I can't take it back and my friends will hold me accountable should I complain in future years.

Alex, I commit to never expect or demand romance just because of Valentine's Day again. I will surprise you with affectionate gifts and gestures throughout the year, for no reason in particular, with no expectations attached, just because I love you. And if, for some unforseen reason, we should find ourselves in need of a specific day to remind us to express our love again, I will make up my very own holiday just for that purpose. It will have nothing to do with anyone else, or even with how I expect you to love me back. It will just be my holiday, just to remind me to love you without expectation of reciprocation. Just like you do for me everyday.

Happy Valentines Day!

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