How was Sweetheart’s Day?

[DISCLAIMER: I hesitated to write this because I know there are some unmarried or unattached readers who follow me, but I wanted to put this out there for anyone who might have made their significant other sleep on the sofa last night.]

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day.

That pretty much sums up my feelings on the “holiday” that I affectionately call Sweetheart’s Day.

It’s not because I was that girl who never had a date or a boyfriend on Feb. 14th, but for me, and this is just me, I prefer my imperfect husband to a hero from a romance novel who goes “all out” on “big” days.

Bob is flawed. Flawed. Flawed. FLAWED! I won’t lie. He is. His mouth needs a filter–not because he uses filthy language, but because he doesn’t always think things through before he says them. An example: Why didn’t you just wear your robe to cook breakfast? It seems a waste to put on a dress to cook breakfast before church only to change into what you’re going to wear to church after the meal. Uh, dear, this was what I was going to wear… He has this awful tendency to interrupt me and need something at the worst time possible. An example: clothes have just come off of the fictional characters and I get a text asking me if he left his homework on the printer? After I go look and see that indeed he did, I know what’s coming, “Can you bring it up to the college for me?” Sure, dear, I wasn’t doing anything of any import. Often when we’re driving, he’ll miss his exit or turn because he’s talking. Or more recently, when he unknowingly keeps sending me inappropriate texts while I’m at the cell phone store getting my phone fixed…

Whenever he does any of these things, or exhibits any of his other unmentioned flaws, he always pulls a face, blinks his eyes and says, “You love me, don’t you?”

Yes, I do. Every day I love him. Whether it’s a good day or a not-so-good day, I love him. And for as much as I try to deny it on the not-so-good days, I know that he loves me. I know this because of how he treats me.

We’ve only celebrated Valentine’s Day once before yesterday and the only reason we did anything yesterday was because it fell on Thursday or Date Day as we call it. The first year we were married we did something. Ever since then, getting a card and trinket from him is hit and miss. We’ve never gone out to dinner (this has a lot to do with having children though, too). And the majority of my gifts (and cards) for anything from our anniversary  to my birthday to the occasional Valentine’s Day card have come from the gift shop at the hospital where he worked.

This never bothered me until someone made mention of it and made a big deal out of it. Then, suddenly it became disappointing. Bob hadn’t put enough forethought into any “special” day to order flowers (something he’s only done three times in eight years) or buy an extravagant gift, because believe me, options are limited at the gift shop. Not that I don’t still love (and wear) my set of three mis-matched socks, I do. I even still have the floppy pen that magnets to the refrigerator and the gigantic crocks. But in all of my hurt feelings, I approached him about this, and I wasn’t prepared for his answer:

“I’m an every day husband. I don’t do well planning big dates (which explains a lot in regards to our courtship, by the way). I try to show you that I love you every day, not make a huge show of it a few times a year.”

Talk about a moment where you’re caught completely off-gaurad and put in your place. It wasn’t that his words were spoken unkindly, they weren’t. They were just the honest truth. Something that in my moment of self-pity had missed. Bob helps me with the dishes and laundry almost daily. He reaches all of the high cabinets and shelves in our house for me. He rubs my feet, back and shoulders without being asked because he knows they hurt from my RA. Because I can’t see small details very well, he offers about once a month to paint my toenails. Seriously. And when I take him up on this, he goes all out: foot bath, creams, he even teases and bring out the pumice–not that I’d ever need such. Every day before I leave to take the kids to school he insists we kiss, no matter how much our kids hate to see it. He reads all of my books–and offers oh, so insightful opinions on them all. Bob also doesn’t mind and complain that I discuss him on my blog, either. LOL There are many, many things I didn’t realize that he does that while not big displays such as a giant bouquet of flowers, chocolates and some sort of gift, are just as meaningful and probably even more so to me.

I’m not saying not to appreciate and love the gifts and whatnot–do. But, if you didn’t get everything you expected or find yourself wishing he’d put a little more thought and planning into the night, you might actually have an “every day” partner, and have never realized it before!

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24 comments on “How was Sweetheart’s Day?

  1. Mindy s says:

    Thanks for sharing ! That was great and so many people focus on the “one” day that they forget about all the other days.

  2. Sarah R. says:

    It’s not my favorite day either. Of course when I was in high school it was because I never had a boyfriend and even those few years of college too. Like you, my husband and I only celebrated the first Valentine’s Day we were married and that was because it was the first “holiday” that came after we got married in January. I let the boys have fun and do their parties at school but we don’t do anything special our home on the day.

    Sounds like we are married to very similar men. I don’t think my husband would ever offer to paint my toes and do all that other stuff to them, but he has rubbed my feet from time to time because he knows I love a good foot massage. He too often speaks before thinking things through and after 14 years of marriage I usually just shake my head and sigh, but it was pretty embarrassing when we were first together. The one I never let him forget is when we were engaged I spent the week of my birthday in PA with him and his parents (he hadn’t moved out here yet) this was probably the fourth day or so of my visit and so far we had eaten lunch everyday with his parents, as well as dinner. He and I were driving out to his parents shop around lunch time and I asked him if he thought we might eat lunch out just the two of us that day since we had eaten with his parents the previous three days. When we got to his parents shop to switch vehicles his mom asked what we wanted to do for lunch and he so nicely replied “Well, Sarah said she didn’t want to eat lunch with you guys today so we are going to go out by ourselves.” I thought I was going to die of embarrassment and was hoping the floor would open up and swallow me. Funny thing is, we wound up eating lunch with his parents because I felt so bad.
    He also isn’t the best gift giver either, but through the years I have had to learn to let that go.

    • Rose Gordon says:

      That conversation sounds like something Bob would do–and the thing is, they have no idea how it sounds or how embarrassing (and uncomfortable) it is for everyone. Good grief.

  3. darah says:

    We don’t do “forced gift giving” at our house… When people ask, “what are you doing for Valentine’s Day” and I say, “Nothing special” they almost look like they pity me. I just smile because I too have an “every day husband” (thank you, Bob… This term is going into my everyday glossary) and I try really hard to be an “every day wife”. The only event we make a big deal about is our anniversary because it celebrates all the work we’ve done that year to cement our relationship. Overpriced roses that die in a week can never say more than kissing goodbye every morning and goodnight every night!

    • Rose Gordon says:

      You’re right. Overpriced flowers die too soon to ever be bothered with. I try to be an every day wife, too, but some days, I’m just not.

      Glad we gave you a new word for your vocabulary! Bob will be thrilled.

  4. LeeAnn says:

    I am also married to an everyday husband and after 18 years I would not trade him in for a less flawed one. Thankfully he feels the same way about me.

  5. Aw Rose you got me a little teary eyed there. I don’t have a hubby yet but I think I’m much more of an “every day husband” type of girl then a big occasions one :)

  6. Victoria says:

    I have loved my “everyday husband” for 32 years and will continue to until my last breath! I never could describe him as accurately as you did, thanks for putting into words my thoughts!

  7. Carol says:

    I must admit – I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day either. I too, have an “every day” husband (and I am an every day wife) and would not change it for anything. I try not to ask for too much – but he never lets me down when I do. He never says “oh, I forgot.” This means more to me than any flower or candy gesture that retail deems appropriate. This time every year I tell him that I don’t want him to buy me flowers because he feels pressured into buying them or that I am expecting them. I would appreciate them more on a day for no reason at all. The love and respect we have for each other is evident 365 days a year – and I would not have it any other way.

    • Rose Gordon says:

      I mentioned that Bob has ordered me flowers only three times in our marriage, what I couldn’t figure out how to work in is that he’s gone to the grocery store to pick up something for me several times and come back with flowers. Those flowers, though only a fraction of the price, meant so much more than the roses I received for our anniversary or the strange bouquet of this and that which was delivered to my hospital room after our oldest son was born.

  8. Tami says:

    That was so sweet! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Judy DV says:

    I am the Bob at our house. My mouth don’t have the filter, etc. etc. Next week is our 33rd anniversary and hubby would have liked a romantic getaway, it finally hit me the other night but I couldn’t find anywhere near by, which he was fine with and we’ll go to somewhere on the East side that he enjoys. He knows I’ll throw a fit and bite his head off he dares buys me flowers. Always thought of them as a waste. He has bought me a few cards during some of worse times. It was those bad times that make these the best of times for us. We don’t buy gifts on birthdays, Christmas, etc. (yes when our sons were small but not now.) We get what we want or need through the year. No day is going to dictate to us. Anyway, February 14 is his mom’s birthday so that’s what I think of. Now to sneak out and buy some cheap valentine candy ;-)

    • Rose Gordon says:

      LOL about your mouth not having a filter. Congratulations on 33 years! As I mentioned down below, in this toss it when it’s old society we live in, it’s an inspiration to hear how long some people stay married! Hard work, I’m sure.

  10. Karen Miller says:

    That’s sweet. It seems this is the message that I have been getting everywhere this time of year. On Retail Comic the girlfriends gift to her boyfriend was telling him not to go all out for Valentines day. Then Last night Amy did the samething on Big Bang Theory for Sheldon and now this blog. SO I’m guessing the lessons I can see here for when I do actually have a boyfriend or even better a husband for Valentines day is to give them the greatest gift of letting them off the hook for that day.

  11. This post brought tears to my eyes. So many times we look at one little thing and don’t see the big picture. Even though my husband wouldn’t paint my toenails, and he hates to give massages, he does most of the house cleaning and laundry. I would say 80%. At least. I can’t say enough about how wonderful my man is. And like I said in my post today, he did buy me a smaller size blue jeans for Valentine’s Day. :)

    Cherish your every day guy.

    • Rose Gordon says:

      He sounds like a catch!

      By the way, I meant to congratulate you on the size 14s over at your blog, but I’ll do it here! Yay! Keep working at it. And you’re right, you have to “slow down” at some point, just don’t give up. You’re doing great.

  12. The only thing I like about Valentine’s Day is the candy, esp. the chocolate covered cherries. :D I’ve never done anything big to celebrate it, before and after marriage.

    In my house, we don’t make a big deal over any of the holidays or even birthdays. We get a lot of weird looks when we tell people that. My mentality has always been that I show love in what I do every day, much like your husband’s reasoning. I think it’s the small things that say a lot more than the big things on the special days. For example, the fact that you dropped your writing at a crucial scene to bring your husband his homework says “I love you” much more than a bouquet of flowers. I think real romance is making life easier for the one you love. It wouldn’t do well in a romance novel, but in real life, it works very well.

    • Rose Gordon says:

      I LOVE chocolate covered cherries. Yum.

      You’re right, this is a huge difference between romance novels and real life. In romance novels, if the guy “misses” or doesn’t make a huge deal out of an important day, he’s an unfeeling cad who doesn’t deserve the heroine. But in reality, we’d all rather have someone show us they love us each day rather than focus huge on day day.

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