Friday, February 14, 2014

When You Didn't Get All You Had Secretly Wanted

Someone silence the V-day haters. This winter can't afford anymore grump. Down with the card companies, they say. Down with the historical misrepresentation, they shout. Down with the cheeriness because that's just ridiculous, they mumble!

Well, I say let's make of the day what we want. Throw some confetti. Bake a cake (or pick up one of those gourmet cupcakes) for yourself because I say you should. For those loved ones, spend $5 or $50 or nothing but the effort it takes to cut out a hundred little hearts and call it good. Power to the people! {cue awkward fist pumps}

I capitalize on any opportunity to celebrate life (or just pass the time with connect-the-parties until we've finished with this longest winter), but even I can see why February 14th puts some of us on edge.

One year, maybe our 1st or 2nd year of marriage, Paul surprised me with an enormous bouquet of tiger lilies and friends. The bold and the beautiful cascaded and burst vibrancy in that vase for over two weeks. I truly loved it. Also, I floated. Stuff dreams are made of--walking back from your workplace's office truly stunned with a proceeding bouquet three times the size of your head. I also feared, in between doe-eyed elation, that maybe the garden on my desk was a week's worth of groceries on the straight and narrow path to death. 

Oh, I loved that bouquet so very much, but I also think there's a lot of love in a gift which never came to be.  It takes a great deal of confidence and self-control for a spouse/boyfriend/fill-in-the-blank to want to give all the things on all the special days, but instead give a little of what he or she can and practice restraint on the rest.  There's something sexy about a "no", especially when it's a part of something bigger, a yes to other things.  Yes, let's uproot and go follow that dream of yours. Yes, I think one more baby will be okay. Yes, you can stay at home with the kids for a while.  Yes, we really should bulk up our savings.  Yes, you totally need a new car. Yours doesn't reverse or have any air conditioning, is 15 years old and the speakers have all blown but one. (Hint: the car one is from real life experience.)

I've been married to Paul almost six years.  We've had to say no to each other many times.  Sometimes it's out loud.  Others are known with just a look.  And now we're having to say no to kids.  Sometimes it's a gift which never came to be. It doesn't miraculously become easier the 100th time.  You just get a little bit more comfortable in your skin and with each other to know that your love transcends that initial disappointment felt.  

Maybe you are in doubt in some way today because a little secret hope tickled you jealous at the gourmet chocolates on Facebook or because you crossed paths with an absurd bouquet proceeding your friend and her mouth wide enough for a dental exam shouting, "I JUST AM TOTALLY SHOCKED HE DID THIS?!"
Case in point... probably not Paul's wildest dreams to receive a frame for love day.
Just this past week, Paul and I discussed snatching one of those Edel tickets (a mommy conference taking place this summer in Austin). We have the money and we both wanted me to go, but it was ultimately a "no".  It was a hesitant-because-Paul-would-love-to-do-all-the-things-for-me no, but it was a no. Which only could mean there's a bigger YES that edged it out and for that, all his giving and his holding back, I felt completely loved. 

I'll say it. I'll just come right out and say it. Every Valentine's Day I want it all.  I want the chocolates.  I want the flowers.  I want those stuffed animals with balloons that would make me vomit the 364 other days of the year.  I want a stack of new books five feet tall and me up to my neck in a bubble bath of solitude whispering, "I just am totally shocked he did all of this!" and grinning from ear to ear like an idiot while my kids run/crawl circles around my husband beyond the door.

I want all those things, but I love when he doesn't do them all just a little bit more.  The next day anyway. Not today. Today is for eating those chocolates I was going to give him because I think he may have forgotten to buy me any. (Hint: absolutely real life experience from just two minutes ago.)

Hugs and kisses!


  1. I really wanted to go to Edel too but it's just not going to work in our schedule this year... Maybe you and I will both have to look forward to 2015 ;)

  2. Danielle, it didn't really work in our schedule well either. My sister is expecting her 1st bundle of joy right around the time. Another good reason to use the money elsewhere for our needs/wants. But, yes, maybe we'll meet up some day. That would be very cool! :)