My Funny Valentine

Before Valentine’s Day, recently I happened to read a well-known book called Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  This book describes the huge differences between men and women in terms of the distance between two planets. As if men and women are two creatures that come from different planets. That resonated with my experience of my husband and myself..

I am a person who loves romantic movies and stories. The romantic purple is my favorite color. But in contrast, my husband is a guy who has no single romantic cell in his body.

Every year, February 14, Valentine’s Day is a day I always hope to escape. On my first Valentine’s Day after I married my husband, I had expected something sweet from him, just like any woman does. I was expecting maybe a bunch of beautiful roses or something he had carefully picked just for me. I had imagined a scenario where my man was shopping in a mall and was looking for something just for me. “O, he is looking at a new perfume for me…how nice, go ahead with that, I will love it….oh,no? You want to shop somemore ,look at that beautiful necklace over there in Birks. I definitely will cherish that…”How sweet it was thinking of that scenario!

I had waited and waited on my 1st Valentine’s Day. In the afternoon that day, I had been checking my messages or checking with the receptionist at the office a couple of times, just want to make sure no messages or roses were being missed.

It was almost 4:30 in the afternoon, and my other female colleagues had received gifts, flowers, or phone calls for a nice dinner for that day except me.

I was disappointed and I had no patience to wait. In stead, I called my husband and said: “Dear, have you forgotten what day it is today?”

“Valentine’s day of course.” He said.

“I am so glad you remember, but…do you have any plans for tonight?” I was hoping he had a plan but just wanted to give me a surprise. I hoped my dream was not a bubble.

“I have no plan. I will pick you up from office and go home to have dinner. Our worker is working today, she should prepare dinner.” He said.

I was very disappointed. I could not help proposing: “Do you think a bunch of roses will be nice for me for this special day?”

He paused and said: “Why roses? What can you do with roses? You cannot eat it nor use it. They will die in 3 days. It is just a waste of money.”

I admit that Valentine’s Day is a day shop owners love best. They can sell roses, flowers, chocolates and gifts to people who believe in this special day. As a woman, who doesn’t like the idea? From my personal philosophy, the idea is just one day in a year, the lovers in the world are celebrating a sweet love , do something special for their lovers just to let they know that they are loving and beloved. Although Valentine’s Day is something over publicized by commercials. It is still a special day that lovers need to be treated differently. I have chatted with my girlfriends, everyone of them said they do hope to receive something special from their spouse, partner or boyfriends.

10 years later this year’s Valentine’s Day, although I had hinted that this is the 10th Valentine’s Day for us. There seemed still nothing in my husband’s plan. Again, I proposed to him to have a nice dinner out somewhere so that I don’t have to cook. My husband said, “Of course, I follow you. ” In the afternoon of 2015’s Valentine’s Day, my husband, my mother-in-law, my son and I went  downtown and I was hoping to have a family Valentine’s dinner in a nice restaurant.

But because we had not planned in ahead of time; all restaurants did not receive walk-in guests unless we could wait for 2-3 hours. Eventually, my husband proposed that we could have Valentine’s dinner at McDonald’s.

Why would we take the skytrain for 30 minutes and come downtown just to  have dinner at McDonald’s? No way! I insisted to go to another restaurant and finally we found one and the waiting time was only 45 minutes. To top off the romance , I paid the bill!

So over the years there have been numerous times that we did not celebrate a single Valentine’s Day in a way that I had hoped , such as having a nice candle light dinner or receiving a sweet gift to let me know that I was specially loved.

However, is it the case that we are not in love? Actually there has been some moments reminding me that my unromantic husband has his way of showing me how much he values me.

On the important days he was afraid that I would be late for flights, or important meetings such as citizenship celebrations ceremony, he always reminded me to set 3 alarms so I would never miss them. He even bought me eticket for flight to China that I missed because I confused 12am with 12pm. In addition to that, he sometimes would call me to wake me up from China in case I sometimes missed the 3 alarms in my deep sleep.

Or sometimes he would help me dry my hair after bath when I was too busy to dry it before sleep. “You need to dry your hair before sleep otherwise you will have a headache when you get older.” My husband said it to me lots of times.

Another example of my husband showing his affection was  when we both were working in China and both of us were on trips. My cell phone battery ran out when I was in a taxi going home from the airport. And he could not reach me.

Later my mother-in-law told me that he had made a dozen of calls to home to check if I had come home safe.

So although he is not a romantic guy, he is using his way to care and love me. I maybe cannot expect a bunch of roses in my life from my husband. But I can feel that I am special, from time to time, not just on Valentine’s day, but in daily life. We may come from different planets but we have landed on earth and chosen each other as life partners. Over the years, I come to spend less time regretting what’s missing on Valentine’s Day, instead, I am learning to say : “Vive la difference.” (we are celebrating difference) .One exception is No McDonald’s on Valentines’ Day.