When Valentine's Day rolls around, I take matters into my own hands. I buy myself exactly the kind of flowers and chocolates I like, thus taking the pressure off my husband.
While he would be happy to supply a bouquet, he feels pretty much like other guys who eschew the romantic obligations foisted on them by wives, florists, and candymakers. It smells to him of expectations, and if your significant other is anticipating roses and sweets, where's the romance?
I haven't been able to convince him otherwise.
I realize that romance goes deeper than mere tokens. The daily living together and sharing child rearing and household tasks and an occasional night out provide opportunities for closeness, if not dreamy-eyed romance.
Also, Valentine's Day cuts both ways. I could buy him flowers or bake heart-shaped cookies, but these aren't things he enjoys. He'd prefer a lower MasterCard bill or less nagging about wearing muddy shoes in the house to sentimental gifts. My husband is that kind of practical guy.
Men in general grumble about Valentine's Day, but it should be pointed out that there are 364 other days in the year to be romantic, and few guys take advantage of that fact. So, a subtle reminder in the form of Valentine's Day has to be instituted.
As a woman of the new millennium, I feel a little guilty about all this. It's prosaic of me to like roses and chocolate. If I were truly a feminist, I wouldn't need flowers, candy, or jewelry to feel appreciated. Instead, I would be the one sending a dozen roses to my husband's office.
There goes the MasterCard bill.
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