Monday, February 11, 2013

My Unromantic Ideal Valentine's Day Celebration

Breakfast in bed - Be still, my heart!
My ideal Valentine's Celebration is not elbowing my way into a bar for a 2 for 1 happy hour or calling two months in advance for a restaurant reservation that won't seat me until 9pm. I am not interested in red roses or a box of chocolates...although chocolate never hurts. I am not interested in navigating the city in heels in a snowy February or gearing myself up to wear red and black lingerie that cleverly covers my winter belly. My ideal Valentine's Day is a day I hope not to look forward to. It's a day I hope that falls into any week in any other month in any year in what I hope to be a long book I  recall from memory one day by some fireplace with some version of a grandkid.

The most romantic thing I ever heard was from my brother who told me how he explained to his long time girlfriend why he would not be proposing to her on their vacation to Paris after a friend had planted the idea that it was a possibility. He explained that he didn't want trips to Paris to be something "special," something out of the ordinary for them, but rather have traveling be a part of their regular lives, and in so many words, that romance be a part of their everyday, not something they look forward to.

Mike and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day, often opting to stay in and skip the dinner crowds. But usually there is a handwritten note or card. Sometimes there have been flowers or cookies, but mostly we treat it like a footnote, a post-it on the refrigerator to make sure we are keeping it all in check. And when I say "it," I mean romance. And yes, sometimes we have to work at it or remind each other when an overture is due.

We both have more than one job and on most weeks, the only date night we get is Saturday night. It's easy to let the couch call to us more than the bedroom when one or the other gets home from a 12 hour day. It's easy to become great partners and forget about the intimate stuff. When your time is limited together, it is easy to remember to get the laundry done, clean the bathroom, go food shopping, fix the closet door, hang that picture that has been sitting on the dresser for far too long, get the brakes checked on the car, take the recycling out, buy a gift for your friend's kid whose birthday is coming up....and that's when it's also easy to forget the last time you went on a date, forget a date, how about the last time you had a conversation that didn't happen in front of a television or in a grocery store, or the last time you both didn't succumb to exhaustion after work, or the last time you surprised each other. It's not about the flowers and the cards on one designated day. It's about the notes left on the table when you miss each other by one our for dinner. It's about being woken up to the smell of bacon and a fresh cup of coffee from your favorite cafe waiting for you. It's about picking up one of those Bacci chocolates at the bodega when your out buying toilet paper and tossing it to your partner after they have finished dinner. It's about the little moments in between birthdays and anniversaries and holidays that keep it all together, cause no fire lasts forever without a constant, subtle fanning every now and again.

In short, a note, a reminder that I am loved when I least expect it takes the cake over any Valentine's Day Celebration.


Carmen said...


daleboca said...

true dat. we never celebrate this holiday either (except with kids making 1000 cards for their friends). this hallmark holiday makes more people feel bad than others feel good. really dumb one. kind of feel that way about new year's too. overrated!

Lindsey Anthony-Bacchione said...

I think that is what V-day is really for. Teaching kids how to make love letters.