Column post by Laura Hyers
“It’s materialistic and stupid,” my husband, Caleb, said when I asked him why he hates (loathes) Valentine’s Day. “We should care for each other every day, not just one day out of the year. Its just dumb. It was invented by Hallmark. Well, perpetuated. It is what it is now because of the American… whatever.”
It was a point of contention in our relationship all during dating, that he hated Valentine’s Day. I just wanted to do cute, couple-y things, the things I had dreamt up in my head that would happen when I found the man I was going to marry. I don’t need a dozen red roses that cost ten times more than they should, not was I looking for dinner at a five-star restaurant that neither of us could afford. I simply wanted to know he was thinking about me, attentive to what I enjoy and appreciate and am passionate about. He just wanted to rage against the social norm that states he has to buy me stuff because of what day of the year it is. So, like any young couple does about these things, or like we always did about these things, we fought about it. Every single year. We’re both passionate about what we think–and just as stubborn.
Last year was our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife; I was so excited. I had plans to decorate and make a fancy dinner, buy him something cool and guitar-related and surprise him, drink some wine, have a romantic evening. But we had absolutely no money, so those dreams faded into something more realistic, more like dinner and drinks and a rented movie.
Until I was scheduled for a tonsillectomy six days before Valentine’s Day. He laughed it off because he hates it anyway, and I begrudgingly assumed it would be his get-out-of-jail-free card.
Cue surgery, and painkillers, and weird post-op Laura who had to set alarms to remember the next dose of steroids and antibiotics who could barely remember that its February in the first place, who was in and out of sleep for what felt like forever. One afternoon, Caleb came home and rushed into our room where I sat (groggily) trying to read. He strode to my side of the bed and set a plastic convenience store bag down with a flourish and a grin. Inside I found a gigantic Dr. Pepper and a bag full of mini York Peppermint Patties — my favorite soda and my favorite candy.
Confused, I looked at him and he smiled big and said, “Hey, Happy Valentines Day.”
So this year, I made sure to ask him what he wanted, to set a budget he felt was reasonable in spite of how he feels about this greeting-card holiday. And even if I’m buying something as unromantic as shotgun shells, I’m thankful I can buy him anything at all. We’re still passionate, and just as stubborn, but like young couples do that love each other the way we do, we found something that works.
Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.
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