Je suis desja d'amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée
In my wife's case, I can substitute flowers, chocolate, and fancy words, for melted cheese, orange juice, and a card. Sometimes I feel that Valentine's Day is nothing but a commercial gimmick, and I'm right, mostly. There are many parts to love. I can't imagine not loving Mickelle. She cherishes me in spite of my many faults; she raises my children; she takes care of me; she is quick to forgive; she doesn't care that I'm an extrovert. In short, I hit the jackpot. I tell her how much I love her everyday, so I feel sometimes that Valentine's Day is superfluous in our relationship. When you have kids and can't afford to go out or even hire a babysitter so you can shag and not risk waking the children, Valentine's Day loses a bit of the magic it used to have.
When we were engaged, ten years ago today, I drove 3 hours from Provo, Utah to Logan, Utah. I went to Shopko and bought the only card they had left, a bunny rabbit card meant for a 4 year old with a little bit of fake fur on it. I also bought her a buckwheat pillow and a heart-shaped-box of the nastiest "chocolates" you have ever eaten. I waited for her in the parking lot of her apartment complex because I knew that she would be walking home from class at a certain time. I completely surprised her, and I was rewarded with a great memory, and some pretty serious makeout if I remember correctly. We were very much in love back then, and we still are today. Now, my love for my wife is more than it ever was back then. I love her for the lines in her face, for the way her voice sounds when she talks to little children, for the way her face looks as she sleeps on the sofa while I watch TV, for the way she says my name "MAC" when she pissed at me, for the way that she eats Cheerios straight from the box, for how nervous she gets talking on the phone to someone she doesn't know, for her chestiness, for her ability to see right through all my bullshit, for her reservedness, for how she braids Marley's hair, for aquéllo, for following me around the world, for not letting me quit my PhD program when I got dispirited, for all the many other things that she does, and for loving me in spite of the fact that I always follow something wonderfully touching with a crude sexual comment (I can't help myself). My love for her is just as strong as it was when we were in the hot and heavy mode. Intimacy now is better than it was when I was a young buck. Now, it means so much more than I ever thought a physical act could. In the immortal words of e.e. cummings:
The best gesture of my brain
Is less than her eyelid's flutter, which says
We are for each other
Valentine's Day means nothing to me in and of itself. For many other married people, it has evolved into a man's day to supplicate himself to his wife in the hope that the scoreless inning streak will come to an end. I don't want all the pretense. Even worse, for single people, Valentine's Day is an all-too-obvious reminder of the condition of being alone; some refer to it as Singles Awareness Day.
When I think of all my blessings, I think of the fact, that just like little Ralphie Wiggam, Mickelle choo choo chooses me, each and every day. She's mine for eternity, and I hers. My infinite soul, my etinifnialma.
With that said, I always look forward to March 14th.