Darrick and I have been married for ten years, and this year, Valentine’s Day consists of a romantic dinner with our wild children. After we wrestle the kids to sleep, we’ll probably throw on our flannel PJ’s and settle in for a rousing episode of Downton Abbey. Brew up some mint tea, and you’ve got yourself a party. You may think I’m cuckoo, but I swear, this is my idea of perfection.
It’s not that we’re anti-Valentine’s Day. We exchange cards and make a big fuss over the kids. This morning, Sophie donned pink and red, and said, “I can’t wait to CELEBRATE!” We both get a kick out of experiencing days like these through their eyes, and even better, rifling through their candy when they get home from school.
I think we’ve gone out for Valentine’s Day only once or twice in our marriage, and we both broke out in commercial-induced hives. Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m all about the romance. I just don’t want my romance dictated by Hallmark. It’s like there’s too much pressure or something.
Romance is at its best when its organic and unexpected.
Like when Darrick brings me Starbucks, just because. Or the time, early in our marriage, when he signed me up for a writing course at CU. I’d always loved to write, but thought I needed more “life experience” before getting serious. That class was the gentle push I needed, and somehow, he knew that.
Hands down, his most romantic gesture happened just before we were engaged. While I was on a business trip, he flew from Denver to Montana, rented a car, and drove straight into the middle of nowhere to ask my parents for my hand in marriage. I still wish I could’ve seen the looks on my Mom and Dad’s faces when he showed up out of the blue that night. It was crazy and expensive and unnecessary, but sweet and old-fashioned and wildly romantic.
Darrick will be mortified I’m posting this, but tough berries. I figure that if he has to put up with my spastic moods, my murderous need for caffeine, and my weird mini-crushes on Marcus Mumford and Buster Keaton, the least I can do is profess my love for him from the cyber rooftops. And Valentine’s Day seems like the perfect time to do it. In an organic, non-commercial way, of course.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! How will you spend the day?