You know when, every single season, there’s a one-on-one date on The Bachelor/Bachelorette (Oh, you don’t watch that show? I do – judge as you wish!) and the couple ends up slow dancing on a private little stage in front of a crooning country band that no one has ever heard of? And there might be a crowd of people around them, snapping cellphone photos, while the couple spontaneously makes out like teenagers because ohmygod it’s the most romantic setting ever?
I have never been a rose-petals-sprinkled-on-the-bed, three-course-romantic-candle-lit-dinner kind of girl and I never will be.
Recently, we cleaned out the clutter from our basement workshop/storage area and I found a bunch of notes and cards that Mike has written to me over the years (Yearsss ago. Like circa 2003). In the beginning, we were so gross. We wrote the sappiest crap to each other. And I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that we actually exchanged cards at monthly and weekly intervals in the days counting down to our wedding. I have no recollection of doing that, but I think if we’d just saved all that card money, we probably could’ve afforded to invite a few extra people to the reception dinner.
I mean, I know I liked those things back then and those gestures made me feel special and blah blah blah, but both back then and now, I have always believed that actions speak louder than words. It wasn’t the card or the mushy sentiment written inside, it was the fact that Mike was thinking about me when we weren’t together and he wanted to do something nice for me to make me happy.
Now, 15 years (where did 15 years go?!) and two kids later, my idea of special is even more transformed. Small things like taking the garbage out without being prompted and replacing the bag are what truly make me happy. Doing all of the laundry all summer because he’s a teacher … that’s better than a box of chocolates. Deciding what’s for supper AND making it? That’s at least as good as anything from the jewelry store.
I’m not being facetious. Having a partner to shares half the household and parenting load (mostly) is worth much more to me than any grand or expensive gesture could. Would I say no to the occasional $5 bouquet from the guy selling flowers out of his van down the street? Of course not. But if he’ll listen to what I have to say, respond thoughtfully and remember the details of our conversation five minutes later, I’ll take it! #marriedlife