Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Most Romantic Day of the Year?

by Annette Dashofy

To all the men of the world: you have my sympathy.

This is Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year. Or at least it is according to all the commercials. Jewelry stores and greeting card companies play it up to such an extent that all of us women now expect diamond rings, red roses, the most heartfelt Valentine’s Day card ever created all while dining out and sipping champagne.

No wonder the guys break into hives in the weeks leading up to this day. Who can possibly match the expectations created by the Valentine’s marketing machine.

My husband isn’t especially romantic. But then, neither am I. I think I used to be, but reality set in. My point, however, is that this spring, we will be celebrating our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. And we were together for three years before that. And we still like each other.

Have you seen the stuff on Dr. Phil lately? Women whose husbands are class A jerks weep and moan. But I still love him, they wail. Somehow, I don’t think they like him very much, though. There’s something to be said for the practicality of being friends. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still in love with my husband. But most days I think I value his friendship even more. I know he’s there when I need him. Borrowing from Dr. Phil again, my husband is my safe place to fall.

But does he buy me flowers? Sometimes. Usually a cheap bouquet from the grocery store. A rose, a couple carnations and some greenery. A dozen roses? Get real! He’s too cheap. Hey, I love him, but I know him too well. Does he buy me jewelry? Rarely. But when he does, I have to tell you, he has great taste. He doesn’t like champagne (I do!), so there will be none of that this evening either.

In fact we won’t be celebrating at all tonight. In true Working Stiffs fashion, I will be teaching yoga class and my hubby has the three to eleven shift. By the time he gets home, I’ll be asleep. Like I said, I’m not all that romantic either.

A couple years ago, we made the grand effort to do what you’re supposed to do on Valentine’s Day and go out for a romantic dinner. He even promised me dessert! Woo hoo! The first restaurant we stopped at had a two and a half hour wait for a table. The same for the second one. Neither of us had thought far enough ahead to make reservations. Oops. We were both starved and ended up at Mad Mex’s. Not especially romantic, which is probably why we could get a table.

We agreed that night to celebrate Valentine’s Day on any day except February 14.

And to make sure I get to go to the restaurant of my choice, inside his Valentine’s Day card my husband will find a gift certificate to Olive Garden. I bought it at Giant Eagle to get the fuel perks points. Romantic? No. But then I’m a little cheap, too.

So what are your plans for the most romantic day of the year?


brenda said...

Annette, I knew I liked you for a multitude of reasons! Congrats on being married for 24 years and still liking each other. Does it really get any better than that? If you're missing that part, you can't fix it with a card. Also, I flat out refuse to go anywhere on a holiday. Too many phobias! Phobias are not really romantic.
Great post.

nancy said...

Yesterday, my beloved woke me up and instead of "good morning," he said, "Boy, is your nose red!" (I have a romantic headcold.) Today he said, "Boy, your nose is even redder!"

But we're coming up on---gulp!--30 years together, so I guess we pick our moments.

Thanks for the blog, Annette!

Annette said...

Now both hubby and I have a cold and mine kept me up most of the night, so I'm pretty bleary-eyed this morning. And my voice is more like a frog's croak. But I found the card he hid for me in the cupboard by the coffee mugs, complete with a cut-out of the Olive Garden logo pasted inside. I had put an Olive Garden gift card in his. Yep, I got the fuel perks for it!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Joyce said...

I'm with you, Annette! Jerry and I have been married for 26 years now, and he is definitely my best friend.

We don't really buy each other many gifts. Today he left me peppermint patties arranged in a heart shape and a couple of handfuls of Hershey's kisses on our dresser.

I cut out a bunch of hearts from pink paper and put them in his lunch box so he'll have a surprise when he opens it.

I'd much rather get "little" surprises like that than jewelry any day.

Tory said...

It looks like most people's Valentine's Day plans are being messed up by the weather this year! I have to say, I'm grateful for the snow and the day home.

Annette said...

Joyce, that is sooo sweet! And anything involving chocolate is always good!

Tory, with the snow and ice, this might be ONE Valentine's day when you COULD get a table at a restaurant without a long wait! Hmm.

Kristine said...

Chad and I learned a long time ago that it's a bad idea to go out to dinner on V-day. We also gave up on the expensive gifts once we got married and bought our first home, when the real bills started coming in.

Tonight, I'm cooking a romantic dinner for my valentine and baking a decadent chocolate dessert for both of us to enjoy.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

We're going to hold hands at the Penguins game. Hopefully it won't be a close game (and hopefully the Chicago Blackhawks will make it into town on time!!) because last time I held the Tour Manager's hand tightly, I almost broke a few of his fingers.