Yesterday the internet filled to capacity with pictures and stories both good and bad about Valentines Day. Most of my friends on FB posted pictures of the flowers or gifts that their sweeties had given them. AWWW (truly no sarcasm, I promise) and others posted vents about gifts that were not so well received for one reason or another.
“It’s the same thing he got me last year!”
“He got his mother something better!”
“How does he not know I hate that type of chocolate?!”
“He only wrote my name on the top the card and nothing else, I’m not dating hallmark!”
I do not envy the male of the species on Valentines Day. First of all, I highly doubt that the modern traditions and practices would have been ratified by a comity of men if there had ever been an opportunity to do so. It seems to have become a day where female expectations often far exceed natural male ability.
Oh sure they can be trained, and the smart ones learn the Valentines day tricks early. But ask yourself; if not acted on my multitudes of women and the media would men choose to cram a year’s worth of affection and expectation in to a 24 hour period.
I think not.
This Valentines Day, my husband woke early, quietly got out of bed to start cleaning the driveway so that he could get to work. We got almost over a foot of wet heavy snow (pronounced “Fu*@n’-icky” snow) and our driveway is about half the length of a football field. He did all of this with a flat snow blower tire, it took him more than two hours. He had to leave immediately for work after that, worked all day. Got the boys, took them grocery shopping.
Then came home to his wife (me) having forgotten to shovel the other half of the deck and walkway. I had ALSO forgotten to retrieve the gas can he left at the bottom of the driveway, even though he had asked me twice before he left to grab it. Not that I was sitting on my butt all day. I did my usual deep cleaning of the house so the boys would have blank canvas to work with when they get here. (They make some of the most creative messes I have ever seen.) So he put the groceries away and headed back outside to finish the snow removal while I started dinner for the boys. He did all of this with a smile on his face and absolute patience with my failure to complete my simple ‘honey do’ list.
As I mentioned a few days ago, I had no expectations of flowers or gifts. Instead of looking at all my friends’ pictures on the internet and feeling slighted or left out, I was struck by an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness for all the simple things my husband does everyday to keep us all happy and this home running smoothly.
The boys walked in the door greeted me and the dogs emphatically then went straight to their room, weird.
Scariest of all they were quite.
A highly suspect maneuver. They almost always dance around the living room for the first couple hours every week. They emerged right before dinner with handmade valentines for me and daddy.
I guess what I am saying is that for Valentines day this year I got a snow free driveway, forgiveness for my faults, handmade hearts from my favorite little men and my family together for the 14th and it didn’t cost anything extra.
Flowers and chocolates ARE wonderful, don’t get me wrong. For next year, just maybe, consider giving your spouse the day off from expectations and appreciate how much effort the basic stuff takes to do; day-in and day-out with consistancy. We all know it is the thought behind a gift that counts. Everyday my partner is considerate of my needs and tries to make my life easier in lots of little ways.
Does he get it right every time? Hell no! Occasionally he too fails spectacularly, forgets or just plain gets it wrong but I know he tried. There can be no perfection in a finished act but I believe there can be a perfect intention and that is enough for me.
On another note: