Another Valentines Day came and went, nothing from the postman or even left on the kitchen table, but this is normal for us.
I am probably married to one of the most unromantic men in the world. I have absolutely no doubt that he loves me but he feels silly to express himself in a romantic way.
We met when I was 17 and he nine months older. My eighteenth birthday was just one month later and he arrived for our date carrying a box of chocolates and a birthday card, both carried in a brown bag, right from the shop. I thanked him for the chocolates and made a big fuss over opening my card, this was the first correspondence I had received from him. The card was pretty but he had not thought to write in it, it was just blank as when he bought it. Being of a rather sarcastic nature, I thanked him for it but pointed out that as it was not written on, he could maybe keep it for next year and re-use it. The sarcasm backfired when he replied that we may not still be an item, so I should keep it.
For some unknown reason I still went on the date with him and gradually I warmed up to his unromantic ways. He thought he was romantic and took every opportunity to kiss and cuddle, one date he pushed me up against a wall for some heavy breathing which earned him a smack. When I got home my beautiful red coat, that had cost me several weeks’ wages, was black at the back from whatever was on the wall.
If I make an issue of it he will actually buy me a card but then it takes all the romance out of it, so I don’t bother. This goes for birthdays and other events, it is just his way. I used to say I would like to get flowers and he replied that I should buy them while I was out shopping. He honestly didn’t see that this was not appropriate for the occasion.
While Dave’s mom was living, she would always take my girls shopping for my birthday and Christmas gifts and Dave would give her money to get something nice from him. When she passed away, he tried to pass this job onto my daughters but they refused to do it and made him shop himself. They would give him some ideas but make him the work, the uninspired gifts were always accepted with profuse thanks but I knew his heart wasn’t in it.
Mothers’ Day had always been left for his mom to deal with and I had to look for an appropriate gift for his mom, an easy chore as we knew one another so well. The first year after his mom passed, Mothers’ Day brought me nothing from his. When the girls expressed their disappointment with him, he said that I was not his mother, so why should I get a gift.
I had always bought him Fathers’ Day gifts but that year I decided to beat him at his own game. I went into the garden and collected a red brick that still had bits of dirt clinging to it. I wrapped in gold foil and put on a beautiful bow. When he sat down at the breakfast table I presented him with the gift. I mentioned that it was going to be something he had never thought he would get. He however, on a recent shopping trip, had shown me a brass Golden Retriever ornament that he really loved and this is what he thought was in the wrapping. The weight and size was about right for that and I felt a bit mean at disappointing him.
The look on his face was priceless as he unwrapped the brick. I explained that his disappointment was how I felt every time he ignored one of my special occasions. I had already bought the brass dog and gave it to him for his birthday, a few months later.
Once we moved up here we had no children to remind him of special events and I suggested that we both stop buying gifts for one another on special occasions but to treat one another any time we felt like it, this has worked well and took a lot of pressure off.
One Valentines he presented me with a rose bowl and a copy of the Love Is Patient, verses from Corinthians, it made me cry. The roses lasted several days the verse is still displayed on my fridge so I see it every morning, it is the nicest present I have ever received.
Romance comes in all forms, bouquets of flowers, champagne and chocolate, and expensive dinners for two. However, everyday love is displayed by remembering that I like raisins in my oatmeal; that I change from regular coffee, to decaf, in the afternoon, warming up the car for me when I have an early morning appointment and the hundred and one little things that make daily life warm and cosy.
Each little thought may seem insignificant but they weave themselves into a lifetime of love.