Love Practically

Almost 20 years in, the idea of romance has shifted in our marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I still fully expect to be swept off my feet. I mean, let’s face it, I am so worthy. However, the way I expect my husband to go about it now is completely different than when we first met.

I used to love flowers. Mostly I loved getting flowers at my office. Making your co-workers envious may not propel you up the corporate ladder but it does make you a total rock star in the moment. Nowadays, if I get flowers, it is just something else I need to take care of. Find the vase, pour the little life-extending powder in the vase, take a pic for FB, crop pic on FB so no one sees the papers covering my countertops, find a place for them where they are prominently on display but not in the way, and stab yourself with 1000 thorns as you dispose of them when they die. I’m good. Really.

Chocolate was my first love. Long ago I gave my heart to Hershey, leaving little for my poor husband to claim as his own. He has accepted his lot as an also-ran and is my biggest chocolate enabler. Back in the day, I dove right into that heart-shaped box of chocolates. At 50, it causes me anxiety, guilt and extra crunches so I end up pawning most of it off on my kids. Of course, I take all the caramel and toffee before handing anything off. I haven’t totally lost my mind.

The classic scene in “Father of the Bride” when the fiancé presents a blender to his bride-to-be was the penultimate example of bad male behavior in my 20s. We would tsk-tsk that household gifts meant the beginning of the end.

Ummm … well, hold on … not so fast.

You see, our bathroom has a badly placed window over the tub. We love the natural light, so we leave the shade up. At 5 a.m., I find it’s easier to shower in the dark, razors and all. (And yes, there is one house that can see into my bathroom. Patty, if you are reading this, you’re welcome.) My birthday present this year? A set of plantation shutters for my bathroom to save me from unpleasant nicks and my neighbors from, well, you get the picture.

Being a word girl, the one thing that makes me swoon—then and now—is a card. If there is no card, I will go full-out Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” on you. As I spit fire and bile and cast aspersions upon you, you will struggle to remember why you ever loved me. And don’t even try and buy a card the same day; that card will suck because all the other husbands remembered ahead of time and took the best ones. The only chance at redemption is 1) a homemade card or 2) a blank, store-bought card filled with words proclaiming my pure awesomeness. These two are the relationship equivalent of get-out-of-jail-free cards.

So I hope you did right by your Valentine this year. Remember, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Sometimes saying I love you is as simple and practical as ensuring your beloved doesn’t bleed to death while shaving her legs in the shower.