To My Valentine,
On this day, 19 years since you proposed marriage, I suppose it’s entirely predictable that tonight, I will once again pull the blankets off of you.
I don’t do it on purpose. I simple pull the blankets with me as I turn away from you in my sleep, effectively rolling myself up like a giant, double thick roll of Bounty paper towels. I don’t think about how this leaves you with nothing but a corner of the sheets and, likely, seething anger. I am asleep and way too busy trying to save the universe from invading Goldfish crackers on mo-peds, or whatever the dream of the night is.
But you got your comeuppance this weekend in the form of a gift card and a phone call. It is a known fact that you often don’t listen to me past the verb. Stay with me…over here. Listen… So it should be no surprise that you heard only part of my request to buy a gift card for Aaron, our son’s friend who is having a birthday party today. Also, that whatever you didn’t know, you filled in with your own information, because you don’t ask follow-up questions. (On your job compatibility tests in high school, were “investigative journalist” and “private investigator” at the bottom?)
While I am certainly grateful that you handled the task so I wouldn’t have to make a special trip, it did require a special phone call from you at the store:
“The Visa cards charge a $4.95 inconvenience fee,” you told me. “What else can I get?”
“Do they have Borders?” I asked.
“No. How about Bloomingdales or Bed, Bath & Beyond?”
“For an 11-year-old boy?” I asked. And that’s when it hit me: You thought you were buying a gift card not for Aaron, but for Erin, our 14-year-old niece, whose birthday is in November. We will see her today for her father’s birthday, and so, somehow, you decided for whatever reason you’d filled in in your head, that Erin needed a gift card.
It’s a good thing I didn’t ask for anything to be monogrammed.
Once we got that squared away, Aaron got his Barnes & Noble gift card, and I got a good (exasperated) chuckle, and so did you. It’s predictable, and yet, interesting at the same time, and it has been since you got down on your knee 19 years ago tonight, and I thought, Did he drop something?
But you hadn’t dropped anything. Rather, you swooped up my heart and have been keeping it warm ever since.
So Happy Valentine’s Day to the love of my life. I’ll try to share the blankets tonight. Thanks for getting past the verb.