My Valentine Do Over

Valentines Day was Tim’s favorite holiday. I never understood it. But, on this day, it wasn’t uncommon for me to get fine jewelry, flowers delivered to my work, and a romantic dinner at a fine restaurant. Not once in our 38 years, do I think he missed celebrating this most romantic day.

Then a few months later, he’d completely forget my birthday. Leaving me sobbing for hours.

His response, “I’m sorry honey, I forgot. I thought about it last week, then I just forgot.”

I used to think he remembered Valentine’s because the holiday is so heavily advertised. But then, he seldom gave Christmas or Easter the same respect as this day set-aside for lovers.

casablancaIn retrospect, I have to admit, the man was a hopeless romantic. It wasn’t uncommon for me to come home and find him glued to a Turner Classic movie. (Really – how many guys count Casablanca as their favorite?) When I’d ask what he was watching, he’d shush me and say, “I don’t know the name, but she’s in love with that guy, but he doesn’t love her…” A clear sign he’d seen the film before.

When it came to romance, the tomboy in me came out. Not that I didn’t believe in love, I just didn’t believe in fairy tales. Or happily ever afters. Love to me has always been hard work.

But…if I could have a do over, I’d change a few things.

  • I’d watch those movies with him. Then I’d ask him what it was he liked so much about them. Something about them resonated with him, and I never found out what.
  • I’d put more emphasis on what he did on February 14th, and less on what he failed to do on my birthday, or Christmas, or any other holiday.
  • I would make February 14th the biggest day of our year. In other words, I’d join him in making it a banner celebration of us.
  • A week before my birthday, I’d give him a list of things I’d like him to buy for me. On top, in huge letters, I’d write: “MY BIRTHDAY’S NEXT WEEK!” And I’d accept it graciously if the reminder only generated a card and some cash.Tim and Ellen

Too often, our expectations set us up for failure. And even if what we get is good, it seems small compared to what we had in mind.

So, if your Valentines Day fell short, I encourage you to reevaluate your mate within the scope of his or her entire life. Make a pro and con list if you must. Just don’t hold them to a standard you set that only fits into a small slice, of one day, of this big time frame we call life.

If I had it to do over again, that’s exactly what I would do.

Happy Valentine’s Day


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