Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Reason #57,567(c) To Hate Valentine's Day

Did I mention that I'm married? I met my husband, let's call him Oscar, 10 years ago. Hotass introduced us, actually. We were all in college, and Hotass had been hanging out with him for quite a while. She regaled me with all sorts of stories about their exploits to the point that I had stopped listening and started rolling my eyes when his name was brought up, so imagine my frustration when I finally met this man and couldn't remember a single one of the million sordid little details she had told me.

Oscar and I have been attached at the hip since day one. And, with the exception of some bumps in the road, we have had a great relationship. So you would expect that we would have big plans for Valentine's Day, right? Not so much. You know how some people make decisions with their heads and some people make decisions with their hearts? Well, Oscar is in the former category, and I am in the latter. And while, yes, we should celebrate our differences and opposites attract and variety is the spice of life and blah blah blah clichecakes, this can be a problem when you get to a day that's devoted to overblown declarations of eternal devotion and expensive, but tasteful, gifts from the heart. So when Oscar asked me if we were celebrating Valentine's Day this year, I said, "No, let's not worry about it. We don't really have the money to do anything big, and it's really just a cheap commercialization of a feeling you should feel compelled to express every day, not just on one predetermined day and in the socially accepted method of 'nice dinner, flowers, chocolates.'' (Yes, I really do talk like that. Don't judge me.) Now, while there is some truth to this (I always do appreciate the little things that Oscar does for me "just because" a lot more than those he's mandated to do for me on Valentine's Day), I mostly said this because gift-giving is not Oscar's strong suit, particularly when we are on a tight budget, and with Christmas a recent memory, I figured he didn't need the pressure.

So my expectations were low on Valentine's Day. We had no plans for dinner out, and I wasn't anticipating any special deliveries to the house that day. But then, something weird happened: Oscar insisted on taking our truck to work. Most days, Oscar rides the bus to work, or, if he misses the bus, he'll ask me to drive him in. But on Valentine's Day, he insisted on taking the truck himself. Insisted. My mind started racing. Did he change his mind? Is he going to pick something up for me on the way home and, having left me stranded at the house with no transportation, ensure that he will have a sweet, romantic gift for me but I will have nothing for him and score ALL of the "Awesome Spouse" points up for grabs that day? I didn't know what was going on, but the seeds were planted in my mind, and I was just waiting to see if they'd bear fruit.

Can you see where this is headed?

The day ended with no card. No gift. No special dinner. He hadn't used the truck to do something really cool in order to surprise me. And I couldn't be upset, because I had told him not to worry about it. I had told him not to get me anything. But I was disappointed...really disappointed...and the worst part was that it was all my fault. See, I know that Oscar thinks with his head and I think with my heart. So if anyone is going to be sneaky and insist on taking the truck in order to get a really cool gift as a surprise, it's going to be me. I know this. I KNOW THIS. And I got my hopes up anyway. I am a moron.

I told Oscar later about my silly fantasy about why he'd insisted on taking the truck that day. He sheepishly said he insisted on having the truck because we had both been sick and he didn't want me to have to worry about driving him back and forth all day. My adorable, practical husband....


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