Valentine's Day, oh what a strange day indeed. My Facebook is filled with all kinds of V-Day updates, from the haters who equate it to a Hallmark holiday (no arguing here,) to the sappy, TMI updates about flowers, chocolate, and awesome spouses. (Also no arguing.)
As for us, we used to epically disappoint each other. I always chose to take on the role of the romantic, spending way too much time pouring over greeting cards, stressing out about whether to go mushy or funny, and glaring at those people down the card aisle that somehow manage to block half of it with their bodies.
Pick up, open, read, put back. Pick up, open, read, forget where I got it from, glance around to make sure nobody is watching, put back in the wrong spot. It is not an exaggeration to say that I often spend a minimum of 30 minutes finding "the" card. Once "the" card has been chosen, I spend another embarrassingly long amount of time writing a love letter of sorts that fills the signature space on the card, spews out into the margins, and finishes up on the back. (Which is carefully directed to with one of those little "turn over" arrows. In the shape of a heart, no less.)
Then when the big day would come, I'd present my card to my handsome spouse, anxiously anticipating his response, which without fail has always been "whoa, you wrote a novel in this thing, do I really have to read it all?"
Then he'd ask "So... what did you get me. Jerky? Last year you got me jerky. WHERE'S MY JERKY?"
Jordon, on the other hand, has always been more about buying something cool. Or at least thinking about buying something cool, and promising to buy it later. Sometimes this would come up with a folded, printed up page from the internet, but more often than not he would forget to do even that in time, and would deliver my future gift with nothing more than his pretty voice. No flowers. No card. The gifts have always been pretty awesome, but the lack of effort used to leave me deflated.
By the end of the day both of us would end up feeling disappointed in ourselves and each other.
That is why my advice to couples would be this. Decide ahead of time what is expected from this day, and then deliver. No surprises. Do you want to ignore the day? Sweeet... Dinner and a movie? Awesome! Flowers, chocolate, and a mushy card? Whatever works. Edible underwear? Okay, that's just gross.
These days in the Zander household, our Valentine's Day roles have been honed in. We have learned to look forward to, and appreciate each others' interpretation of the day. I am the mushy card giver. Jordon attempts to respond to my mushy card in an equally mushy way, and that is enough for me. Jordon is the gift giver. He finds something cool for us to do together. This system is perfect for us. Now, we both benefit from all ends of the Valentine's Expectations Spectrum, or VES for short.
I am totally excited about the flyer Jordon unceremoniously gifted me this year. I can't WAIT to do this. He knew I would like it, knew it is exactly my kind of thing.
And that, truly, is the best gift of all.
The website to my gift! Float On