With Valentine’s Day a recent memory I have been amused by several inquiries about what I bought for my lovely wife for the day.
These questions always leave me in a quandary about how to respond without upsetting the questioner.
That’s because my bride of almost 29 years is a very unique and special kind of woman.
She has never expected or requested any type of gift on Valentine’s Day or even on Mother’s Day for that matter.
Over the years we have kind of wondered and chuckled about how a day that was originally celebrated as a religious feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus has been morphed by commercial interests into an $18 billion spending spree by people who believe spending a wad of money on someone will prove their love and devotion.
Please do not misunderstand, I am not even hinting that buying someone you love a gift, any type of gift, is not an inappropriate way of showing your affection.
In my 30-plus years of dating and marriage to my wife I know I have purchased some type of gift around Valentine’s Day at least three or four times.
They were always appreciated, but never expected so there was some surprise involved.
Or, as I alluded to earlier, does she expect something for Mother’s Day.
As she has said on several occasions, “I’m not your mother.”
Yes, I have helped the kids when they wanted something for their mom and when my mom was still with us I was faithful in my recognition of her sacrifice.
The responses to my attempts to enlighten usually range from “what an uncaring husband” (women) to “I can’t believe you’re still married” (men).
Well, as I stated, I am married to a very special woman.
We have both seen the responses of people, men or women, who expect presents at certain times of the year and respond with the gushing artificial thanks that will placate the giver.
After all they deserved it.
Or how about the person that expects something and doesn’t get it, Wow, “Let me see how miserable I can make you for failing to remember.”
As a couple we believe that our marriage is more than just a ceremony and agreement to live together as long as we can keep each other happy.
We do not believe that marriage is a fifty/fifty partnership where favors, gifts, recognition or consideration is based on repaying like actions.
How about this for a plan to achieve relational harmony?
Both individuals have a goal of giving 100 percent toward making the marriage or relationship a success, knowing, ahead of time that there will be occasions when the efforts will not be equal.
I think everyone will admit that today’s best effort may not be as good as yesterday’s or maybe next Wednesday’s.
Don’t categorize or limit times that love and support are to be expressed. I adore my wife every day of the year and I hope I convey that to her every day of the year whether it be by word, gesture, gift, hug or just that touch to let her know I’m near.
Personally I have a very simple approach to my marriage, “I am blessed with a gift from God” and I have the responsibility and pleasure of doing my best to love and care for her.
I have at least 365 opportunities each year to show my love and admiration for her and on occasion Valentine’s Day might even be one of them.