Last Saturday (or the one before?) was mine and Beloved’s wedding anniversary. Whenever Groundhog Day was – that was our day.
Before our anniversary, we talked about what we would do. Perhaps I asked. He responded, “Well, it’s not that big of a deal to us, right? Isn’t that the way we’ve always felt?”
There was a little sadness in me. Because while I know that we have always played down “marriage” and our participation in the game, we are married now. I am glad about that. I love him. I’m glad he’s my husband. I think he is such a true, real, fantastic partner. And I thought it would have been nice if we had a babysitter, and we could go out and just gaze into each other’s eyes. (I must admit – I am capable. I’m capable of being hugely giddy over my adoration for Beloved. It’s scary sometimes, really.)
But alas, it was a busy weekend. I had work to do, E had a school project to do, the house was a mess. Beloved was working frantically on school work. He took the day of our anniversary to work at the library for the day, and was planning to be home as dinner was going on the table, at 7 p.m.
I did cook a very nice pot roast for dinner that night.
After dinner, I went looking for him. He was hiding … wrapping a gift.
A gift!! But I didn’t get a gift! I was going to stores looking for circuitry items, and reviewing documents, and roasting a cow! I thought our anniversary was “no big deal?” Why a gift????
The gift was sweet – he went with the paper theme of our first anniversary. I told him I felt like a heel – he told me to think nothing of it, that I’ve done enough for him already (like he hasn’t done enough for me already).
Then Valentine’s Day rolls around.
We never have done Valentine’s Day. We always did Chinese New Year, instead. Some of this was timing – when we were living in CA, the girls had a 4 day weekend at President’s Day which they tended to spend with their father, and that just so happened to be the same weekend as the Chinese New Year festivals in San Francisco. So Valentine’s came with a quick kiss, and Chinese New Year became our Valentine’s Day.
One year, since we moved back to New England, we made it to New York’s Chinese New Year celebration for a romantic weekend.
This year, once again because of work and school and kids’ projects, I only heard it an odd chatter out of the corner of my ear “gung hay fat choy!” Crap. Another holiday missed.
So here’s Valentine’s Day. The kids are too old to make cards (J still brought some purchased cards with lollipops taped to them), work had me running more ragged than ever before, life is just insane. I’m on my way to work thinking, “Wow, this is such a non-holiday for us.” We had, however, discussed how we were going to make our girls feel special – Beloved got them chocolates from their favorite neighborhood specialty chocolate shop, and I brought the home roses.
(What the fuck? Since when does it cost $50 to bring roses home for your kids? Since you buy them from the florist in the lobby of a fancy-pants downtown office building, that’s when. Apparently.)
I had a meeting that morning. I spent a lot of time out of my office.
When I returned, there was, sitting on my desk, a gorgeous vase full of tulips. I was stunned. When I first saw the box, I even wondered if it was from my father. Beloved has never sent me flowers before.
The card was signed by all 3 of my loves, because Beloved is not greedy at all.
At least there was a fancy chocolate shop on my way home, and I could save face.
These are two of the 1,000 ways that I suck. I don’t think ahead, I don’t plan, and I end up a lousy wife. I was thinking later in the day on Valentine’s Day, as I was figuring out how to scramble on the way home to prove that I don’t suck 100%, that I have become a shitty husband.
I was at lunch yesterday with some colleagues, and the other woman said she got flowers on Valentine’s Day, and I said, “You know, we don’t really do Valentine’s Day” and the man interjected to say, “us either,” and I went on to say, “but my husband surprised the crap out of me and sent me flowers.” To which the man slumped over in dismay — thinking he sucks, too, because he did not get anything for his wife.
But it is typically a man who does that – who takes someone’s word for it that “it’s no big deal” just to find out later that they let someone down.
Although – to be fair – Beloved did not seem at all let down on our anniversary.
But I want to be better! I want to find the PERFECT thing every year. Something unique, something wonderful, something that shows how well I know him, and how much I adore him.
That’s going to take some planning.
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