Let me tell you what love is.

Last week I got an email from my editor, asking me to profile a local hotel for Valentine’s Day. Our publishing deadline is, sadly, a week afterwards… but his idea was to find a place and spin it as an option for couples who couldn’t celebrate on the 14th.

This happened to be my exact situation. My husband works Sunday. I have plans Saturday. And I gotta be honest – we usually don’t go for the usual Valentine’s tropes. Last year he bought me roses and I was pretty surprised. It’s not that we’re anti-Valentine’s. We tend to go out for anniversaries and the occasional date aaand that’s about it.

But the opportunity was there. So why not?

I booked the hotel, which happened to be the place we stayed when we got married. A romantic choice! We dappered ourselves up and went out for a fancy dinner… that turned into us playing Scrabble on our cell phones and making googly eyes at each other and our meal.

Back at the hotel we got settled into the room. Cookies waiting for us! Wonderful! And CABLE TV. We haven’t had cable in 10+ years. Pajama-clad, we turned on the TV and found a Parks and Recreation marathon on. Yes, we’ve seen the whole series. Yes, it is on Netflix right now and we could be doing this same thing at home. Shut up. It was date night.

Then things took a turn. My often uncooperative body decided it wasn’t feeling well. And how did my romantic evening conclude? My husband. Sitting up with me when I was sick.

I know this doesn’t sound like this evening ended in a very romantic way. But I have to be honest: this meant a lot to me. More than roses. More than jewelry. More than bacon.

I’m lucky to have someone who will sit up with me. He’s a good guy. I love him a lot.

 

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To my valentine.

My husband has been my valentine for twelve years now. What we’ve done over the years has varied. He’s flown into town when he’s been away. There have been candlelit dinners. Roses. One year I made him a heart shaped cake that read “fart” in frosting or something like that. We’ve also done nothing. It’s less about the pressure of a “Hallmark holiday” and more about taking time to celebrate each other, whatever that looks like.

Well, we were talking about this year and what we wanted to do and started reminiscing about our first Valentine’s Day. This is when we still lived apart. I decided to make Nick a box of valentines. Just like in grade school. I took a shoebox, decorated the outside, and filled it with candy and Star Wars valentines from fake classmates filled with inside jokes. It’s dumb and dorky.

What’s even dumber and dorkier? He still has it.

valentinesboxI can’t report to be some relationship guru. I can’t tell you what works and what doesn’t. Honestly, I got lucky. Sometimes I feel messy and flawed in other areas but I got this. I met my best friend on the internet. We’re partners and I’m thankful for that. Happy Valentine’s Day.