Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ode to V-day

In the last two years Valentine's Day has dramatically changed around my house. Most of this is owing to the birth of my son, who now gets the dubious honor of being "the cute little love boy in class who was born on Valentine's Day." (Oh, I can hear his future complaints and the swoon of little girl classmates already.)

But I think something else changed even before his birth, something in the last ten years of being married. Maybe it's called old age. Maybe it's called having small children. But I remember prior to hitting that divide between newly wed and old hat, V-day was treated as sacred a day as our wedding anniversary. Now, the catering and mooning is just not there.

This is no slight on my husband, who is the world's greatest. I mean, how many wives can say that they get breakfast in bed 4-5 times a week, can have a girl's night out whenever she dang well chooses, and never has to lift a finger to dish duty? He's smart too, and funny, and has earning potential. And did I mention sexy? (No, you can't have him.)


I think we've gotten old.

We used to cuddle up to movies on the couch and have dates once a week. Now we each cuddle our laptops and ask each other what just happened in the movie because we were too busy "looking something up just really quick" on the Internet.

And the weird thing, I'm okay with this change!

I love him more than I ever have and I know he feels the same way. The ga-ga days are long gone (not that they were ever very distinct with our personality types). Something deeper has taken it's place. Perhaps we SHOULD lay off our Internet obsessions. Perhaps we should get a bigger couch so that we can snuggle easier. But when the buoyant shininess of our initial love wore off, I felt the solid bottom beneath. The expression of our commitment has changed, rather than the commitment itself. There is a peace somewhere at the heart of all this that feels as unchanging as stone.

Why do I bring this up today, so near the tribute day of love? Because I'm trying to work this kind of love into my WIP. Is this the kind of love anyone else can relate to? (I mean the love I have for my husband, not the Internet love.) And moreover, does anyone else have similar stories? Would they read a book with a tinge of romance similar to this? I wonder. I seriously do....


  1. I'm not really sure you want my opinion, but i've read a lot of romance in books so I thought I would share what I think. the "comfortable" love is the best kind in 'real life'. it is the kind that puts a smile on your face and makes you feel warm and greatful inside. but on paper,... it doesnt stand out much. The passionate love, forbidden love, and new love is what I think reads well.

  2. Wow - Steve is so nice! I already knew most of that but when you put it all together! NICE! ;)
    We are the same about V-day, and Anniversaries actually.... sad! We always have been though. I would rather make a big deal out of it but the hubs is just not that way! Oh well, he has lots of other great qualities!:)

  3. I get it. We are pretty much the same here, minus the kids. It's like a worn-in, comfy sweatshirt that you put on after as soon as you get home from work and wear all weekend because it just fits well and feels good. This is a metaphor of the the relationship just to be sure you're following me!

  4. But it may not seem least not at first.

  5. Brooke: Yes, I really do want opinions, not just mine repeated to me. The romantic theme is a minor part of the book so I want it to be just right with little word space. Good to know what you think!

    Kristi: At least our guys are always predictable!

    Jer: I love it when you wax metaphorical. And I'll take the sweatshirt over a cocktail dress any day. :)

  6. I definitely think Jon and I are getting to what you're talking about, even if only in a small way. We've only been together 5 years so far after all! So we have a ways to go. And we don't have small children yet... or any children for that matter. BUT we used to celebrate EVERYTHING: the anniversary of when we started dating, evey valentine's day was awesome, and our wedding anniversary is still a big deal :) but January was our 5 years of being together, and I gave him a hug. HAHA. Does that mean that we don't have fun anymore? NO. I mean, just a couple weeks ago we wore red and ate chinese food in honor of the chinese new year! We find other reasons to have fun together and express our love all the time in little ways like when he makes me lunch every day for work or when I come home and he's made the bed, vacuumed, and has a fire in the fireplace so that I can just relax :) Valentine's day isn't what it used to be, but instead of just being a sign of getting "older" it's probably just a sign of being more set in our ways with each other. I now solidly know Jon is mine forever, and I don't have to get a huge bouquet of roses on a certain day to know it. (Although I still grumble for my couch/movie snuggle time every week!) Maybe once we hit our 10 year mark that will wear off a little. HAHA.

  7. Ok...I was going to write yesterday when I read your blog, but all I could think of was "amen!!" and that's not very helpful (but completely true.) Kenny and I are the same way...I don't know that we've ever been super romantic or had the really "ga-ga" (as you call it) kind of love. Of course there is always that initial giddiness, but you're right, at some point in time that love is replaced by a comfortable, true, deep love...the unconditional kind (although he can still make your heart go wild...maybe just for different reasons.) You can be yourself and yet you always try to be better simply to make the other person happy. Anyway...a book about REAL love...that would be refreshing (however you might have to market it to all us old fogies!)

  8. I tend to like love stories that show love which is deep and real. So I am going to have to counter Brooke's comment:).

    As for the dates and growing love...

    Before, our dates consisted of studying for our classes. And yes we did actually study, but we would always sit right next to each other. Watching a movie, we were still doing our homework and asking what we just missed. We were too poor to do much for Valentine's Day or our Anniversaries.

    Now, Paul rarely even turn on his laptop when he gets home. We try to have "dates" more now than we did - watching a movie together snuggling on the couch, going to dinner without kids, playing games together (we were playing Yatzee, but we need to change games because I am losing my winning record). We have taken several anniversary trips. But as for Valentine's Day, I still have not thought much about what I am going to do (and it is tomorrow.)

    As for the love growing, I think you described it very well. I think the more time you spend with someone you love, the more you love them. There is just a deeper sense of it. I am not great with words, so I'll just quit rambeling now.