As grumpy as I am most of the time, I have to admit that I absolutely love Valentine’s Day. The boy is not a big spoiler/gift-giver, but this is one of the few days in the year where I know he’s going to get me something, and I get so excited in anticipation. He always does well in the presents department; I’m not easy to buy for, and while he agonizes quite a bit before making a decision and/or purchase, he nails it every time.
I spoil him quite a bit the rest of the year. Every month, on the 26th (to commemorate the date that we met), I give him a card to remind him how much I love him. Sometimes he gets a gift (usually clothes or cologne) or I treat him to dinner. Today, in spite of my size and weight, I slaved over a hot stove for literally hours, hoping to pull off a lovely gourmet-inspired meal that was kind of out of my culinary league.
One of the dishes I made was braised beef in a red wine reduction, which required a day of pre-marinating, and about three or four hours of cooking time. Just before the final hours of slow-roasting in the oven, I invited him to taste a little bite of the meat – for flavour, not texture, mind you. He tentatively took a bite, and then replied, “it’s chewy, babe. Can I offer a suggestion? Next time, boil the beef before you cook it…”
He might as well have told me it tasted like shoe leather and that he was going to order pizza instead. In my tired, hormonal state, his comment set me off, and up the stairs I went, huffing and cursing under my breath. As I washed up and prepped to change and do my makeup, I wept hot, salty tears and fumed at what a jerk I had for a boyfriend. Who in their right mind offers culinary tips to the nine-months’-pregnant lady cooking for them on Valentines Day? I was fit to be tied.
Scrub, scrub, scrub.
Sob, sob, sob.
When I was finally out of the bathroom, the boy came upstairs to a pair of baleful, puffy eyes, and a still-quivering lower lip. “What’s wrong?” he asked in concern. The dam broke anew, and a fresh wave of tears poured forth.
“I just…I just wanted…I was just trying to do something nice for you today!” I wailed. “And you said it was chewy!” He took me in his arms and assured me that he knew dinner was going to be absolutely delicious, and that he meant nothing untoward by his comment. “I was just trying to be helpful,” he said. He stroked my hair and shushed me as I heaved giant sobs.
He let me go to bring me tissues from the bathroom, and as I stood, sniffling, trying to pull it together, he led me to the bed to sit and handed me a card and a little bag. “Here. Read it. Open it,” he said gently. I read the card and smiled. Never one for words, he’d simply signed the bottom of a funny little Hallmark card with, “Love you large, babe!”
I thanked him, and he reached into the bag and pulled out a pink and white rectangular box. He opened the lid, and I gasped. “Omigod,” I said. He knows how much I love sparkly, shiny, silver bangle-y things, and he knocked it right out of the park with today’s gift:
He fastened it on me, and I admired the weight of it and feel of it on my wrist. “It’s your first mom-inspired Valentine’s Day gift,” he explained. He sat next to me on the bed and gave me a nuzzle. I responded with a big kiss and a hug.
“Thank you, Chachi,” I said. “This is the best Valentine’s Day, ever.”
Isn’t it funny how a bauble can transform a man from Very Bad Man to Boyfriend of the Year? 😀