Romance is in the air because February is all about hearts, love, and flowers, right? My husband and I try not to buy into commercial holidays such as Valentine’s Day, but sometimes it’s hard not to succumb to the subtle subliminal hints that greeting card commercials leave with all of us long after they’ve played during a Lifetime Channel movie.
I asked my husband recently, “So are we exchanging anything for Valentine’s Day this year?”
He answered diplomatically, “What do you think?”
“I asked you first,” I responded indignantly.
“How about a card?” he replied.
“Cards are good, but awfully overpriced for what you get,” I said. “What about candy?”
“Did we stop our post-holiday diet already? Usually we keep going until April at least,” my husband answered.
“I guess that means no candy,” I muttered. “What about flowers?”
“Flowers are so expensive this time of year,” my husband sighed.
“I’m out of ideas,” I said. “Me too,” he answered. There was a long silence as we both contemplated the meaning of romance in marriage.
I started, “Do you remember last week when you finally bent over and picked up that little gum wrapper off the kitchen floor that had been laying there for weeks?”
“Sort of,” he answered.
“I thought that was really romantic,” I smiled as he reached for my hand and held it. We sat there again and thought about how much we both wanted a piece of gum.
“Honey?” my husband asked, “Do you remember around Christmas when you found that dollar in the back pocket of my jeans and actually gave it back to me instead of keeping it? I thought that was really romantic.”
I took his face in both my hands and kissed it.
“Honey,” my husband said, “I want you to know how much I adore you.”
I grinned. “I adore you too.”
I’ve learned a few things in 13 years of marriage. In most marriages, romance isn’t really about all the big gifts that come one day a year. It’s about putting the toilet seat down because you know she doesn’t like to sit on a cold, wet rim in the middle of the night. Romance is also about covering him up when he’s napping on the couch, snoring like a wild pig with drool running down his chin. Most importantly, romance is about coming home 365 days a year – and wanting to be there … together … more than any other place in the world.