Monday, February 14, 2011

Can't Buy Me Love

I’m not usually big on holidays—mostly because of commercialization. Don’t get me wrong, I make turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas, lamb on Easter, and on Oct. 3, I make hutspot. Hutspot is a carrot and potato mash and celebrates Dutch political and religious freedom. (And, yes, the mash tastes much better than it sounds.)

But these holidays are real and celebrate something of historical weight. Valentine’s Day, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I believe love is real. I just don’t think a Hallmark card, a box of chocolates, or an expensive dinner has a lot to do with real love.

Real love was the other morning when Cal told me, “I’ll make breakfast. You sleep in. You were up all night at ER with your mom and dad” (which explains why there was no blog post on Friday). It was years ago when Cal volunteered to take an extra Matt session. When Matt’s autism was severe, he only slept 3 hours out of 24—the rest of the time he screamed. So to take an extra Matt session meant another hour plus of rocking a screaming child who would not be comforted. That beat any Hallmark card hands down.

It’s the two of us replacing a bathroom sink, painting the sliding, figuring out how to put in insulation—it’s the hundred projects we’ve done together where we laugh, mutter imprecations against direction writers who clearly don’t know English, and where I step in the paint tray (it happens with every painting project we’ve ever done).

Yes, I’ll say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to Cal and tell him that I love him. And he’ll do the same. Then tomorrow, we’ll go to the store and buy conversation hearts at half price—which is my favorite part of Valentine’s Day.


  1. Awesome post--it's the gestures throughout the year that really show love :)

  2. No, you can't buy love, that's for sure! Four teens and one with autism? You should be sainted. And every day should be Valentine's day for you!

  3. I agree that every day should be Valentines day for you.

  4. This is sooo much like us. I had a college friend who got upset with her boyfriend because he did not buy her flowers, so he went out and bought her some that day. This made me never want a gift that someone thinks they "have to" get me. We are secure in our love for each other.

    I did make a little gift for my husband and am planning a candlelight dinner for the family as a fun little unexpected surprise, something we rarely do.

  5. I'd rather have one rose...or better yet, a rose bush...on any day except Valentines Day. Surprise me, don't Hallmark me.

    Wayne got me a beautiful card and chocolates that have plenty of caramels (he gets those):>)

    I made him a snapfish bookmark that changes from our wedding pic (44 yrs. ago) to us in front of our 2010 Christmas tree. Nothing major, but he loves it...says it will be his Bible bookmark so he can show it off to everyone :>)

    (Thanks for the reminder...keep meaning to phone your parents.)

  6. I agree with you completely! I love the things you shared about your love.

    I did buy my honey a Kit Kat - his favorite candy bar - but we are not into celebrating Vday, either. Another blogger (Nichole Giles) in fact came up with a great idea that I decided to do instead: she said to pick one day a month (any day) and set that aside as a secret day to express our love in special ways to our significant other. I picked the 22nd of each month. Now, just have to rememeber. For this month and the next 10 - or for as long as it takes him to figure out that the 22nd is a special day!

    I'll tell you what I do love about valentine's day though - I love all the fun things it has inspired for posts here in the bloggy world!

    Thanks for your encouraging comment about my writing progress. The comments really do make a difference! I got 1000 words in last night!

  7. I think people sometimes need the reminder that a holiday like this affords them (even if it is super commercialized), but it's the every day gestures like yours that truly show what love is all about. :)

  8. I think Valentine's Day was invented to give guys an excuse to kiss their girlfriends. Not that I have any experience along those lines.

  9. Wait.. hutspot..?!