For My Valentine
As agreed, there is no card, no chocolate to make your gym visits null and void, no dead flowers for the cats to knock over, only this blog post, my public love letter to you.
It’s a little weird, posting an “I love you, honey” post right after the obligatory “book’s out, go buy it, thanks” number. It’s also a bit tricky to come up with something new. I’ve done the “yes, it’s okay that my husband isn’t coming home with flowers” post and the photo retrospective and even the tender devotion post. Now I feel like this one has to be something else. I’m just not sure what the something else is.
I suppose it’s best to use this space today to do a bit of all of the above all over again, which at this point is the point of the holiday. The early days were the dozen roses and the carefully chosen cards. Remember the time we met at The Brown Bottle in downtown Iowa City and I wore the red dress I’d made? As with so many of my sewing projects, it didn’t turn out quite like I wanted, but it was still fun. And you told me I looked beautiful whether the dress was weird or not.
Of course, you tell me I’m beautiful when I’m in my robe with my hair sticking straight up and at odd angles, and you manage to make me believe it. Same goes for you, Mr. One-Pant-Leg-of-Pajamas-Rucked-Up-t0-Knee. I always tell you that you’re cute, and you are. Handsome too. Today when you came around the corner to meet me for lunch at the hospital, my heart still did the little skip because it was you.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: seeing you, being with you is coming home, and I
wouldn’t trade that for anything. We have our quiet adventures and our parts of our relationship we share with each other alone, and we’re always reaching, always growing, but you’ve been home base almost from the moment I saw you in Jeff’s doorway in your Unlucky Shirt and black hat, and this is nothing to sneeze at. In point of fact, it’s something I never want to let go of.
Maybe we aren’t wildly romantic or full of sturm and drag. Maybe we were an old married couple almost from the word go. Maybe our personal romance novel has a very boring arc. But you know? Those “boring” qualities really aren’t boring at all, and in fact they really are quite alluring. We’ve had so many crazy adventures
through the years, starting with the spontaneous trip to Madison, Wisconsin during our honeymoon. Backpacking around Washington, DC. The train ride from hell. Wolf Creek Pass, may I never have to cross it again. Hovering in theblistering cold outside of our fifth or sixth or whatever it was viewing of The Titanic. Our nerdish obsession with that boat and our joy at all the books that came out around the movie, and that crazy game. The nights of pure bliss of playing with Audiogalaxy and looking for songs with the word “pants.”
And really, I may infuse a bit more plot in the novels I write than our real life has, and I definitely tweak the pacing, but I’d like to think that the things that make my characters’ relationships sparkle mimic our own. It isn’t their gender or what their outward struggle is or even the flavor of the kind of sex they have. It’s the slow, steady current beneath the flashy stuff that makes a fictional relationship come to life, just like the nonfiction ones.
I had a lot of ideas about what romance was before I met you, Daniel Cullinan, but every day with you is yet another curve in the ever-expaning journey of that steady current of our own. The reality of being your partner is ten thousand times more exhilarating than the most exotic novel I or anyone else could dream up. Only you could make steady and dependable anything but boring.
And only you can make going nearly completely grey before 40 sexy as all hell. Love you, baby. Love you forever.