I’m trying to decide how to properly cherish my husband for Valentine’s Day. It seems like the holiday is more geared to shower gifts on women than men. Brent could give me a number of things: jewelry, flowers, candy. What to give to him? I could cook a nice meal but how’s that much different than what I (attempt) to do most every night of the week? Picking out a Valentine’s greeting card is as much fun as going to the dentist, especially if I have my kids with me. “Why’s that man only wearing tiny undies and why’s he so greasy and why does the card come with paper one dollar bills?” are not a questions I want to answer when they check out a birthday card for a woman celebrating her fortieth.
Brent and I are both painfully practical most of the time. You’re never going to see a picture of us hugging in front of a Lexus trimmed with a giant bow posted on facebook. We don’t live extravagantly so we don’t gift extravagantly either–at least not to each other. It may be a popular notion that women are focused on diamonds and roses and we’ll pout if we don’t get them but that stereotype isn’t very flattering.
Brent will recognize Valentine’s Day with something special because he’s thoughtful of my feelings and his mission is to build me up but it’s not necessarily going to be a balloon ride or a trip to Venice. The thing about Brent is he spends the other 364 days of the year bestowing small gifts on me. When we’re watching TV at night, he’ll ask if I need something to drink and get it for me. On Monday nights, he helps me sort the dirty clothes and on Tuesdays, he helps fold them. He always leaves me with the understanding that he is here to serve and care for me. That’s better than a million diamond tennis bracelets. When he listens to my tediously detailed stories about that day’s grocery shopping or my frustrations with the most recent episode of a Sister vs. Sister Cage Match, he’s giving me the most amazing gift of all–his attention.
It reminds me of the 90’s movie Singles. Bridget Fonda’s character is just looking for a boyfriend who says “Gesundheit” when she sneezes. (Although she prefers “bless you.” It’s nicer.) She realizes that good looks, lots of money, and charm is nice but it’s the little consistencies and considerations that make a difference.
So here’s my gift to Brent: Gesundheit, Baby and Happy Valentine’s Day!