To be honest, Valentine’s Day has never been that big of a deal to me. Maybe when I was still in the dating phase of life it was something to look forward to, but since being married, Valentine’s Day has kind of seemed pushed and shoved in my face without my wanting. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate and will never say no to the thoughtful cards my grandparents send every year with a little bit of cash in them. But the whole sentiment behind grand gestures, expensive dinners, and really high expectations just wears me out even thinking about it.
It’s taken my husband a few years to figure out that I prefer simple over fancy any day. When we first started dating, he bought me so many gifts on Valentine’s Day I didn’t know what to do with my hands. I was so overwhelmed. Year after year, he’d grab a Pandora charm or bracelet or plan a big expensive dinner out on the town, and although I was grateful for his attempts and his thoughtfulness, I often felt like he didn’t truly understand me if this is what he thought I wanted.
These are things I should probably process with him, but you know, I love me some writing and the interwebs, so Hubs, if you’re reading… I love you ;)
This year though, things are different. We’ve been running full steam ahead since Christmas. December through March are some of the busiest months for my husband’s job, we brought home a dog, considered moving to another city, are navigating a new found toddler girl we didn’t know existed, and oh yeah - we’re having another baby in like 10 weeks. It’s been a mess.
The last thing I wanted to do was try to find a babysitter on a Thursday night (those don’t exist in a college town…) and get dressed up for an overly priced dinner. My fear was my husband had already planned a night out so all week I’ve been preparing myself to smile and have a happy heart because I really do love this man’s efforts. He’s just the best.
So when he texted me a few days ago, “Aldi ice cream and a movie on the couch for Valentine’s Day?”, I thought I was going to explode in tears.
Maybe it’s the simplicity of his text or the way he literally read my mind of what a perfect Valentine’s Day would be, but I fell so hard for that man when I read his text. And I think I fell even harder for him this morning when I woke up to nothing on the kitchen table to open from him. Not a card, not a Pandora box, no flowers, or even something “made” by our daughter. Most of you are probably thinking, really dude? But ladies, I’m in love with this man. This man who knows me and gets me. This man who has finally understood that the gifts and the dates out and the overly priced cards just aren’t me.
Four dollar ice cream from Aldi is me.
A free movie on Netflix is me.
Time with my man on the couch, under a blanket, with our pup at our feet…
Social media can tell us that Valentine’s Day has to look a certain way. It has to be full of red, pink, glitter, gift guides, fancy dinners, romantic gestures, homemade Valentine’s Day cards that look straight from Pinterest, matching outfits for the kiddos, or even sugar-free candy (this is a sin, I’m sure of it). Even in talking with friends, Valentine’s Day can become such a competition.
What did your husband do?
Where did he take you?
What did he get you?
All things we ask, and if we’re honest, with a little jealousy or resentment attached to the question. And if we’re not married or dating anyone, then Valentine’s Day is a bad day to celebrate in the first place.
Social media… I love it and hate it.
Instead of letting perfectly curated squares dictate what you want for Valentine’s Day or what you think your man should do or how you should handle the Valentine’s Day party at your kiddo’s school, let’s just shut down that app for a little while and look around. Look at the people in front of you, in your home, in the backseat, or your girls around the table. Look around at the love that’s pouring in from all sides and recognize that love is the point on Valentine’s Day, regardless of how it comes to you.
Love for me has come in the form of a simple text, from a simple man, whose love is simple and steady and strong and sure. I’d gladly put on real pants and brush my hair if he wanted to take me out tonight, but my yoga pants and wet bun obviously turn him on just the same ;)
Love has also come for me in the form of Aldi ice cream, and y’all, this might be the best Valentine’s Day yet.