It’s that day where half the world posts photos of their bouquets of roses on Facebook, and the other half of the world posts quasi-sarcastic links ridiculing Cupid and his victims. Well, here we go again, because I am just sure you want to hear my deeply realistic take on the subject.
You see, the roses and the chocolates are beautiful and heart warming, but Valentine’s Day is pretty sad when one has not loved well all year up to then. And loving another person well is not always as effortless as it would seem in the early days of infatuation. In fact, I am pretty sure it isn’t supposed to be easy! Real love, by definition, is to put the interests of the other person before my own, and that, my friends, just plain stinks sometimes. Sure, the perfume of the roses sweetens the deal considerably, but it still comes down to little choices that crop up every day.
If you really, really love someone, you may find yourself
- frying “dippy” eggs through a haze of morning sickness, even though the very thought of eating them makes you want to hurl. Because, guess what! He likes his eggs dippy!
- remembering to close that closet door that, hanging open, so bugs the other person.
- being the parent that volunteers to change the sheets and wash the child who wet the bed.
- never, ever throwing your wet towels into the hamper again, but hanging them up to dry because she can’t bear the musty smell.
- moving the furniture around for the third time, since it still isn’t quite right. Even though you could care less, personally.
- knowing just exactly how another person likes their tea/coffee fixed. This knowledge is both romance-ammunition and an ongoing obligation. 😉
- listening politely while your significant other rants about the inefficiency of this or that brand of erasers, for goodness’ sakes!
- buying rabbits and building hutches and feeding cats and other critters because another person thinks the children need pets to learn responsibility. And then you have to bury the cats that get killed on the road and catch the rabbits when they escape.
- eating Chinese when you really crave Mexican.
- cleaning up the attic, because she really cannot have that baby until the attic is organized. Seriously.
- bringing ice packs and Exedrin to a migraine sufferer, and rubbing their shoulders while they moan ungratefully about how this unbearable headache is keeping them from sleeping.
- trying not to show how totally gross that story about the chainsaw wound is.
- disagreeing on such fundamental things as paint colors, or where the cherry tree should be planted. And then you find that capitulating graciously is a skill not so much built-in as learned.
Well, there is a little sampling. Some of them have been Gabe and some have been me, but every single one of them is real. Here is the thing, after eleven years of marriage, we both agree that we have a good thing going. Sure, it isn’t always as easy as we wish, and we do a lot of forgiving, but it is a good thing!
Tonight, because of the generosity of some young folks in our church, we have babysitter service, and we are going out! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Long live love!