Friday, February 14, 2014

February 14th, 2014.

It's that day of the year, which comes 4 days before my birthday and 5 days before the husband's. It's that day of the year when roses are overpriced, violets can't be found, and restaurants are overbooked and way too crowded. It's that day of the year when people are wishing their hunnies happy "loveday" (is this a new thing this year?!) on facebook even though they are seeing them everyday, going to sleep with them, and waking up beside them (assuming you haven't fallen out of bed in the morning).
Like most people relational wisdom has come to me late. I didn't know what was good for me in my 20s, and it took a long, drawn out, horrible relationship where I was cheated on and mistreated to bring me to my senses. Oh yeah, I received roses (or maybe it was lilies) on one (maybe a few?) Valentine's Days and a run of the mill proposal on another. But I would definitely fit the bill for any other emotionally abused woman on most of the other days of the year.
Thankfully, things didn't work out and I met a guy soon after, who said to me (upon hearing my miserable story) "you can't tell someone you love them, without saying, 'I' first". And, I might block out many other things my husband says to me, but that little morsel of wisdom is not something I will easily forget.
Today is Valentine's Day, and I have no roses (we think flowers are a waste of money - especially today), no restaurant reservations (we are waaaaay too lazy to book in advance). I had a long day at school, gave my students a test (on Valentine's Day I later realized), picked up some takeout from an awesome Malaysian restaurant (Penang in Chinatown) and came home to mark said test papers. The husband isn't home yet but will probably be soon. The takeout will be a nice little treat because all we have been eating for the last week or so is hot chicken soup (I've been battling a horrible viral infection and sore throat). My sore throat is back today, but if I have to eat another cup of hot soup I'll most definitely bawl. When the husband comes  home, we will heat up the takeout, snuggle up on our couch/bed and finish watching the third episode of Sherlock (we both dozed off last night), maybe catch a few episodes of Breaking Bad (we are mid season 2 now), and go to sleep.
Boring? No, comfortable. Lacking Love? Absolutely not!  I get to do what I want to do when I want to do it, and my husband supports me. If it wasn't for him, I would never be in a PhD program now. I know that, if I'm too tired to cook, he will either cook something hot and steamy, or he will have a cup of coffee with some cookies and go to bed with no complaints. I know, that if I don't feel like doing the laundry (it's my most hated chore forever in spite of all the gadgets we in the west have) he'll scrounge around in his closet to find that last clean shirt and pair of socks. I know, that on my birthday he will come home from a long day at the lab and make me hot steaming luchis in the kitchen because it's my favourite birthday food. I know that if I wanted to go away for a month to Toornto, I can do that without worrying about my husband and his meals, the dishes, the laundry, and grocery shopping.  I know that when diaper duty grosses me out (because it absolutely will) he's going to be able to take that on (blech. gross)

It's not that I love him because of all these things. I love him because he loves me enough to understand what makes me happy.

Some men who are doing extra special things for their wives/girl friends today do take on all the things I talked about above. But, I know that many don't. Valentines day perpetrates the idea that roses can wipe away the wounds from a few thorns - but really, they don't. Roses and shiny jewelry is not what happiness is made of. My friends who are the happiest are those who have similar relationships - ones that are based on trust, honesty, mutual respect and of course, love.
Now, back to grading papers!