Valentine’s Day is almost here.
I am a romantic at heart. I am like Elizabeth Barrett Browning in flannel.
I am a traditionalist. I am like the Rick Santorum of gift giving. Roses. Chocolates. One of those fancy greeting cards with the word “Wife” embossed in gold and sprawled across the front in cursive letters. Maybe a poem or a special note if the muse is present.
I am a planner. I am like a survivalist when it comes to gifts. I look for little gifts and trinkets throughout the year. Things I think W or the kids might like. I buy them and place them in my gift stash located in the basket on the bottom shelf of my closet.
I am sneaky. I am like Sylvester the cat trying to catch that poor old canary. If W and I are out shopping and she points out something she likes, I make a mental note. I’ll go back when she’s not with me, buy the item and save it for later.
The first Valentine’s Day that W and I were together, I gave her a big basket filled with books, CDs, DVDs, candy, coffee … It was like she had won one of those basket raffles. Or a gift horse had just thrown up all over my apartment. I was in full-on wooing mode.
But this Valentine’s Day, I won’t be pulling out all the stops. We have all three kids. And W has been in a funk. I’m pretty sure she won’t be up for a full-on Valentine’s day celebration.
And that’s ok.
We are at that point in our relationship where we celebrate occasions in a clump. We are going to New York City at the end of March to see Kinky Boots on Broadway, and that will be our Christmas/Valentine’s Day/my birthday celebration all rolled into one. We keep the fires of romance burning with these little getaways once or twice a year. It’s like injecting our relationship with a shot of testosterone but without the facial hair.
On Valentine’s Day, I will give the kids and W candy from a little chocolate shop down the street. I like to support our local businesses. Two of the kids like these thin patties of caramel covered in milk chocolate. The other one prefers dark chocolate-covered cherries. W loves their milk chocolate salted caramels. I’ll hand out a few other surprises and call it a day.
Our relationship is solid, so there’s no need to buy or persuade or prove with gifts.
I have tried to provide W with a soft place to fall while she sorts things out.
Patience is quiet.
So is love.
Those are the gifts I offer this year.