My father-in-law, God bless him, used to phone me at lunch time once in a while, “just to check in” and see how I was doing during the day, and one day – the day AFTER Valentine’s Day – he got more than he bargained for, poor man.
“Paul completely forgot Valentine’s Day!” I wailed, “I didn’t get a card or anything!” Tears, drama, hiccups.
“Valentine’s Day? It was Valentine’s Day?” said my father-in-law. “I guess I didn’t get Mum anything either, then.”
“WHAT?” I started to realize where my beloved might have gotten his forgetful genes from, “how can you possibly forget Valentine’s Day? There’s decorations all over the mall he eats lunch at every DAY!” (I was quite dramatic, as I recall) “It’s on the radio, there’s chocolate boxes on display in every grocery store – how can any man forget Valentine’s Day???”
“Now, Laurie,” my father-in-law put on his best “I’m about to teach you a valuable lesson on marriage” voice, “that stuff is great when you’re dating or engaged but it has nothing to do with being married. Paul loves you and you shouldn’t need a card to prove it to you.”
I don’t exactly remember how the rest of the conversation went but I know there was more “lesson-chatting”. And certainly, that was early on in our marriage and we’ve been married thirty years now. I’ve come to realize there ARE more important things than Valentine’s cards. (In fact, Paul’s given me many beautiful cards over the years.)
Which made me think this week, of all the “unromantic” things he’s done – some of them many, many times – which have proven to be more loving and romantic than any dozen roses, or chocolates, or Valentine cards could ever be.
- Going out in -30C weather to start my car and get the ice and snow off it. We live in Canada so this is a Biggie!
- Getting said car washed and filled up before I go somewhere on the weekend.
- Running up and down stairs with basins and towels when the kiddos have stomach flu.
- Buying me a chocolate eclair on his way home from work because he knows I’ve had a bad day.
- Faithfully keeping the humidifiers going and buying filters so I don’t have to worry about them.
- Noticing a new TV show trailer he knows I’ll love, and taping the pilot to surprise me.
- Making extra coffee to go on the weekend when I’m off for the day.
I know I’ve matured since we got married and so has he, thank goodness! And I treasure the cards he’s given me, signed “Longrifle” as well as just “Paul”. But I’m happy to say that the “unromantic” gestures mean even more to me than the big romantic splurges because they mean he’s paying attention to me on a day to day basis. He’s being kind, he’s being thoughtful. And he can still surprise me!
All of those things are the “glue” that hold a marriage together. They’re the characteristics of a true hero – the kind of romance hero we love to write in our books. The quiet guy who faithfully does the right thing, day in and day out. Who perseveres, who does the morally right but difficult thing, who doesn’t give in to temptation. That’s the “Warrior” archetype.
What “unromantic” things does your Guy do for you in your relationship? What are the little things you cherish about him? Please share!
Speaking of Valentine’s Day, we’re going to have Patti Jo Moore here to dish with us about her new release, there’ll be a giveaway, and you can ask her whatever you desire about her writer journey and her book! Save the date!