Saturday, February 18, 2006

Value, time, Valentine

Just catching up as I was too ill to post earlier this week.

Husband came back from work 14th February and came into the kitchen where I was getting him a 'welcome home coffee' and a simple meal ready (some tasks still need to be done even when one is ill).

He stuck two £10 notes under my nose. 'For you.'

Me: 'Whatever for?'

Husband: 'Your Valentine's Day present.'

Me: 'You're joking.'

Husband: 'It's money I did not spend on overpriced roses.'

Me: 'Take it away.'

I continued cooking.

Valentine's Day is one day in the calendar that we do NOT celebrate. Wedding anniversary we make a big deal of. VD (Would you celebrate a day that's short for 'Venereal Disease'? I ask you.) We are as anti-Valentine's Day as we could be.

No, we are not unromantic. But romance should not be dictated by the card-makers, florists and restarateurs. It should be inspired by feelings of love and care for each other, unique to your very personal circumstances, that is beyond an ostentatious display of gift (or favour?) buying.

And it certainly should not be restricted to one day a year.

Would I love him less for not buying me roses on VD? Would I love him more had he bought me over-priced roses? No, and no.

My husband became my best friend long before we decided to marry each other. He really wormed his way into my affections by doing little acts of kindness way before romance set in.

For example when I was renting a tiny room in a little flat and was ill, he phoned to say if I'd like him to come round to cook me a meal. It was a simple meal, but it was the gesture of taking the effort and the trouble that indicated that he valued our relationship.

He has probably forgotten that episode -- until he reads this -- but the point is it is little acts of kindness like this that 'add value' to any relationship.

We became very good friends partly because he did not register on my marriage radar at all. Apart from the fact that we were both well past the normal age range for first marriages, I was, and still am, a committed Christian. He, on the other hand, was an out-and-out 'money-theist' (but thankfully he has seen the Light!). He felt completely comfortable in my presence knowing that I was not keen to 'trap' him in a marriage that would mean sharing all the material trappings in his life.

Any way, wining and dining your loved one in the most expensive restaurant when you are filthy rich is not as valuable to me as, let's say, offering to clean the toilet when you're just not up to it. (I own up, cleaning the toilets is not 'my' duty in our household.)

Giving each other time to do the things one wishes to do most, either on one's own ('space') or together ('couple time') is important for a relationship to thrive.

I often feel guilty that I spend too much time working on my business or school fund-raising matters when husband is home. So it takes effort to just pull myself away to spend some 'couple time' with him. Even if it means staring mindlessly at some TV programme, simply because he needs to unwind, and it's just nice to sit next to each other.

On the other hand, both of us need 'space' from each other as well. In my case, letting him watch 'Top Gear' in peace is important, too.

Anyway, after our simple meal, husband thanked me, 'Considering the fact that you were at the doctor's today, I expected to have only cheese and biscuits. This is really nice. Thank you.'

Now that speaks volumes more/louder than roses I do not need. Don't you agree?

By some coincidence, that meal was almost exactly as the one he cooked for me when I was single and ill. Only this time we shared it with our young son.

Back to Organic-Ally.

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