My husband, bless him, hates Valentine’s Day. He has good reasons for it: a history of girls breaking up with him on or around February 14th, his insistence that a dozen roses shouldn’t double in price for one week in the middle of February, his habit of surprising me with small gifts just because he found them (so why should he have to do it on one day in particular?).
But he knows it matters to me. I freely and generously admit that I’m the more high-maintenance of the two of us; I read a lot into holidays. So he always has presents for me (and for our daughters) at the breakfast table on Valentine’s Day. They’re frequently uber-geeky and thus perfect. Case in point: this morning’s solar-powered plant, which consists of a plastic “bowl” and two plastic sprouts that bob contentedly when placed in the sun.
I know my husband is a huge fan of Groundhog Day – the day, the movie, the name Phil, and the whole idea of trying to make some horrible mid-winter day more enjoyable by doing something extremely silly in the coldest place possible. So I usually have presents and a special dinner (involving – wait for it – sausage!) for him on the 2nd so that we can both celebrate sappy February holidays. The first year we were married we even made the drive from Pittsburgh to Punxsutawney in the wee early hours so we could be atop Gobbler’s Knob to sing “The Pennsylvania Polka” with 10,000 other Punxsutawney Phil disciples, a large percentage of whom seemed to be drunk Penn State frat boys. My feet froze. Phil saw his shadow. We found some super-kitschy souvenirs to take home. It was great.
Anyway, the short version of this story (I said it would be short, didn’t I?) is that I skipped Groundhog Day this year. I was burned out and overscheduled. I didn’t make cookies with our groundhog-shaped cookie cutter. I didn’t bother to even find our plush groundhog. And my husband was great about it. I gave him a scarf (which I’ve been working on since last Groundhog Day) and chocolate truffles and a Batman mask (don’t ask) today instead, and he was really sweet. I know he hates Valentine’s Day, and he let me celebrate it for him anyway.
What’s the most thoughtful thing someone has done for you recently?