The role reversal in our marriage is that my husband gives awesome, sentimental, thoughtful gifts, and I suck.
Maybe that’s why I’m the one who insists that we don’t exchange presents for Valentine’s Day.
Really, what do I need that I can’t buy for myself? I’m hard to fit in clothes unless I try them on first, I’m particular about jewelry (meaning that I like it cheap mostly, not worthy of Valentine’s gift-giving), I can’t eat chocolate these days, and it’s too cold for garden plants.
But I do insist on cards. I have my pride, after all. Even so, often the day creeps up on me and I’m caught NOT red-handed.
I KNOW it’s coming. I KNOW Valentine’s Day is February 14. I’m looking at the calendar now and I can see that it’s on Tuesday this year. But I have doctor’s appointments this week, and errands to run on Saturday, and then Sunday will roll around with a nor’easter probably, or at least a snowstorm. Monday I’ll be shoveling out and will forget about it until I look at FaceBook and see all the ads. But then I’ll be busy writing and if I stop, I’ll lose my great idea.
So I may end up in the CVS greeting card aisle at 8 PM the evening of February 13, elbowing my way through a wall of sheepish men lined up three-deep, waiting to pick among the dregs of the red and pink cards. Talk about sheepish – I’ll probably be redder than all the glossy hearts. And there are never any good cards for husbands the night before Valentine’s Day. I mean, I would guess that’s the case.
Worse, because I’m free during the day this year, I’ll really try not to, but I may end up in the card aisle on February 14. I’d have to tell Michael that morning before he leaves for work, “Let’s open cards tonight, Dear, is that OK with you?”
He knows. I can’t fool him anymore. It’s been 34 years. (Please note – I was about 8 when I married.)
Gift or no gift, card or no card, here’s what I do that I hope tells my husband how much I love him all year round:
I thank him often. For washing his bowl that sat in the sink for two days, and mailing my letter, and putting up with me, and killing the Black Widow spider in the bathroom. OK, it was only one of the little yellow spiders, but I’m sure it was about to attack me. And I tell him that he’s a genius for figuring out how to fix our basement stairs without costing us a fortune. And I tell him how glad I am that I married him 34 years ago, when I was about 8.
And for some reason, even though I suck at gifts, he thanks me when I wash his bowl that sat in the sink for two days, and hugs me when I’m sad, and saves me from four-legged and eight-legged and winged critters, and tells me how glad he is to have married me 34 years ago, no matter my age.
When you have words and deeds that are so precious, who needs gifts? But I’d still like to exchange cards for Valentine’s Day, if I can get my hands on a red-hot one before they’re all gone.