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Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Happy Valentine

Category: Contests, Contest - February, Short and Tricky

I am so over Valentine’s Day.  Jamie never gets me anything.  I almost got him a sweater, and even thinking about that at the store depressed me.

Samantha’s husband got her a 28 carat gold bracelet.  I don’t like gold, but she thinks it’s the best.  It looks good on her too because her long hair has a tinge of red.  She looks like a Goddess sometimes.  And they went out to dinner.  And then my sister and her husband went camping without their kids.  A weekend Valentine camping trip.  It made me sick.  I literally got stomach pains thinking about how devoid of specialness my Valentine was.  I had to get out of the office and stop reading my email and browsing Facebook.

Melanie was laying on the floor watching cartoons with a couch pillow under her feet.
“Melanie!  Get that pillow back on the couch!  How many times have I told you I don’t like you putting them on the floor?”
Jamie stared at me after I yelled.  I didn’t care.  It was his fault.

“Sorry, mom,” Mel apologized.

“I don’t want to hear it.  ‘Sorry’ doesn’t fix it, Melanie.  You have to stop putting them on the floor!”  I really laid into her, and she started crying.

“Is something wrong, honey?” Jamie asked.

I considered for a second.  “Maybe it’s me.”

“Did you read something on the computer that upset you or something?”

“I don’t know.”

We sat and watched Mel’s cartoons for a while.  Then I changed the channel.

“Hey!” cried Mel, whose tears had dried up.  She looked at me and quickly turned away.

“I want to watch CSI, and so does dad- Would you rather watch cartoons, Jamie?”

“No.  CSI sounds good to me.  Plus, Mel, you already seen that one.  Many times.”

“Not the whole thing.”

“Stop the backtalk!” I yelled at her.  She started with the tears again.

“And I don’t want to hear you crying.  Go to your room!”  She curled into the fetal position.

“NOW!” I barked.

My bark got her on her feet, slowly slinking away to the stairs.  Jamie’s head had snapped to face me too.

“You’re acting like something on the computer really upset you.  You wanna talk about it?” he asked.

“Like I said, maybe it’s just me.”

This is what my Valentine’s are like.  They are supposed to be a reason for happiness and love, and that expectation isn’t met in my family, and it destroys me.  But Jamie is a really great guy. He just doesn’t do the gift giving thing.  Well, he did once, for Mother’s Day, he bought me some diamond earrings.  I totally did not expect them and it was the best gift ever because of that.  I always tell him I like to be surprised, and that was the one time he pulled it off.  But my birthday, Christmas, whatever… Nothing.  I still love him with all my heart though, and it is because he’s so nice.  He’s patient and calming and just everything.  I can’t blame him any more.  I blame Valentine’s Day instead.

Ok, that was a few days ago.  I just read about Samantha and how her husband makes her think he’s cheating. My sister’s always blaming her husband for spending so much on beer and chips for Sunday 29er football games.  These problems never happen to me, and it makes me realize that every day is like Valentine’s Day for me.  He’s there next to me, awake, every morning, ready to rub my back or hold me, and he doesn’t pressure me or get frustrated when I don’t feel like messing around.

I thought Jamie would like this story, but after I let him read it, he went into the office and wrote me this reply:

Helen,
You have let me off the hook too easily.  I am afraid that what you perceive as a nice guy is just a guy with a good strategy for getting into your pants.  I had to develop the nice-guy image because I am too forgetful to please you with gifts at the appropriate times, and you know I suck at choosing gifts.  However, if my act is more pleasing to you than getting gifts five times a year, then I guess we were meant for each other.  The danger I see now is that I won’t feel the guilt that motivates me to be such a nice guy.  After you said “Maybe it’s just me,” it took me about 24 hours to figure out that Valentine’s Day was what upset you.  Er- well, my failure to take the appropriate actions on Valentine’s Day, I should say.  But now I know, and I recommend you keep at least acting that way around those times, as that will make me keep playing the nice guy.  I love you with all my heart.  And Happy Valentine’s Day.

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