It's Valentines Day.
My years in the flower business short-circuited my appreciation for this holiday.
I confess--I'm a Valentines cynic.
Over-priced flowers, gushy cards, chocolate, stuffed animals...I just don't buy into it. I appreciate a genuine romantic gesture any day of the year and am the recipient of them on a fairly regular basis. However, none of the romantic gestures I treasure the most have happened on Valentines Day nor did they involve flowers, chocolate or showmanship. To me, it's more about the thought than the gesture.
The truth is I am married to a very observant thoughtful man--and I am spoiled. The very first Christmas we spent together (1990) he demonstrated a level of thoughtful gift-giving that totally blew me away. We'd only known each other for 4 months. We were dating exclusively and very much in love. He knew of my love for crafting, so he ventured into the local craft store and purchased a large assortment of crafting supplies, including about 6 different colors of twist paper ribbon. I know there were other items in the box, but the twist paper ribbon stands out in my memory because it came directly from a conversation we'd had in which I had said something about never having the right color ribbon to finish my projects.
We were college freshmen. He couldn't have afforded the "grand gesture" gift even of he'd wanted to. I certainly didn't expect it. What he gave me--as simple as it was--said more about how he felt about me than any grand thoughtless gesture ever could. It told me that he listened to me and he wanted me to be able to do the things that made me happy. It was a gift *for* me...not one designed to look good to other people.
Maybe that explains why we were married by the following Christmas.
Through the years, he's continued to demonstrate the same sweet attention by giving me truly thoughtful gifts. To me, love is more about what you do on the other 364 days of the year than the grand gestures made because of the pressures of a commercial holiday.
The fact that he calls from Sonic on his way home to see if I want a drink and if I say "the usual", he knows what that means brings me great pleasure.
The fact that he abstains from drinking sweet tea when we go out means more to me than any flower ever could. He knows I l-o-v-e sweet iced tea but can't drink it anymore so we drink water together. I would never ask him to do such a thing, but he does it lovingly.
The fact that he warms the car before we go to church on cold Sunday mornings warms my heart as much as the rest of me.
The fact that he made his 6'5" frame sleep on a 5 foot sofa in my hospital room for many many nights when I was pregnant with Greyson says far more about his heart than a card ever could. The magnesium in my veins made me feel hot, so the AC was running constantly in my room...down to 60 degrees at times--in February. He bundled himself in layers and slept by my side every single night I was there.
To me, chocolate and flowers are nice but somewhat superficial. Thoughtful gestures are the way to my heart every day of the year.
In the last few years, my cynicism has limited our Valentines Day festivities to the exchange of cards but this year was surprisingly different. Yesterday he brought home a gift certificate for a special salon day to have my hair and nails done before our trip. It is something I wanted to do but I wasn't sure I would have time. Now I will make the time. He knew I would enjoy it but wouldn’t make it a priority over the other things I need to do unless prompted.
I love that man.