Valentine’s Day

I woke up the other morning realizing that I forgot to brag about my husband on Valentine’s Day. After dropping the kids off at school and doing some errands, I went home to enjoy my first day off from work with Paul. Upon opening the door, rich aromas of his cooking greeted me. He had set the table with white linens and iced wine in front of the fire. Lunch was almost ready, and then he served it Italian style with the salad as the last course.

After 17 years together, Paul knows what I like: simple gifts like wild flowers or yellow roses, a couple of chocolates with a hand-made card, or a simple candlelit lunch that he planned. Last anniversary, it was a bottle of champagne to share with family and friends and a special toast.

I never demanded romance but Paul always remembers to deliver. I forget sometimes, most times actually, but he doesn’t.

I imagine that some poor, unsuspecting husbands who forgot their Valentines on Feb. 14 are getting some dirty looks right now as they’re innocently camped in front of the TV. I can picture the glance from the TV over to the wife, the surprised what? in their mannerisms, and the confused shrug as they turn back to their pasttimes.

Some of them may come over to search out the source of the dirty glare and they’ll read this blog. They’ll feel a little superior because Paul might look a bit … whipped. Which is why I need to include this second part of my post to redeem my poor husband’s machisimo from his irritated peers at being so outshone on Valentine’s Day.

Here’s the other side of my husband.

Paul climbs into bed and sighs an exhausted sigh.  I open my eyes briefly and feel the pain release from my varicose veins, badges of motherhood.  He pulls me close to him and we wiggle into our spooning position for the night. 

The light is on. 

“I’ll turn the light off if you’ll make love to me,” Paul says.

“I’ll turn the light off if you’ll leave me alone,” I retort.

There’s a brief moment of silence. In a sudden flurry, we both fling the covers off, burst from the bed, and race to the light.  Paul’s hand just beats mine.  He throws his head back and howls with triumph as he points at me and laughs, gloating.  

I stare back, stony-faced, eyebrow raised, arms folded. 

Que romantica!” I say sarcastically.

He laughs without remorse.  There is not a hint of shame or apology.  Then, he points at the bed and commands, “Woman, get in my bed!”

I stalk back to the bed, dignifified. But I obey. I obey, because there are huge deposits of sweet generosity in my heart that compels me to obey.

There. You’ve seen both sides: romantic and … well, I don’t know what you’d call that other side. Just plain wicked, I guess. Cave-man-like. But in the end, it all works out and I’m very, very happy.

 I think Paul is too.


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