The male of the species feeling quite confident in their feeble attempts at awe-inspiring romantic gestures.
The female of the species expecting quite profound and moving expressions of love.
The people currently without a significant other in their life feeling mildly pissed that everyone has taken a day just to remind them of this fact.
Hot air balloons.
'I Love You' spelled out in rose petals.
Bouquets of flowers sent to places of business.
But I. . .
I require something a little bit MORE.
I am hard to please.
Though I have occasionally been unseeing, and quite stupid, regarding those that I have entrusted with my heart, I will readily admit that I am rather hard to please when it comes to grand, sweeping, romantic gestures. A store-bought card and an afterthought of flowers is not going to be enough.
And my dear one HAS set the bar a little high.
Our first Valentine's Day in the loft (we have gotten on well for a while now, and I find that I have completely misplaced the year), he made a Valentine's video for me, featuring a sequence of him walking down the street with a video camera to the place on a sidewalk in downtown Birmingham where we first laid eyes on each other. After that, it was pictures of us together, synced up with a song by Davey Jones (My Personal Penguin) from a Sandra Boynton book that I LOVED to read to Pad right before he went to sleep.
Not sure why I just wasted time describing it. Here it is:
It was the very best thing I had ever gotten on Valentine's Day. It was beautiful. It was moving.
It was perfect.
As I said, the bar has been set RATHER high.
And so, the NEXT Valentine's day, I really pulled out (what *I* considered to be) ALL THE STOPS, and purchased several little bags from our neighborhood crafts store, and affixed tiny candles in the bottom of each one. With glue. And roughly 20 little pink bags. . . .Words cannot even express the horrible, astonishingly sticky, mess I made trying to glue those candles into the bottom of those bags. If I remember correctly, I completely ruined a perfectly good pair of work pants, and it took roughly 8 years to complete. (This last bit is, of course, an exaggeration. But only SLIGHTLY.) And then I filled the bottoms of all the bags with sand. (Because I am afraid of fires.)
Then, when the time was right, I had Michael start a Valentine's playlist that I had created especially for the occasion, while I ran down to our courtyard and arranged the bags into the form of a heart.
I then lit each candle in the bunch (which also took MUCH longer than I anticipated, and I was seriously starting to wish I had purchased a fire extinguisher when I was at the craft store, too), and he came to our balcony and looked down to see this:
But for THIS V-day. . . the bar is set a bit lower.
We are parents now.
Time is short. Romance is a luxury.
But I STILL require quite a bit more than the usual chocolates and flowers. . .
(Though this is NOT to say that I am opposed to chocolates in ANY way, or at any given time, for that matter.)
I require loving looks when he first walks in the door from work.
I require a laugh the enunciates JUST HOW FUNNY that joke that I just made was.
I require a kiss on the cheek on mornings when he leaves for work before 5 a.m.
I require that longing look in the eye that CANNOT be falsified that says that, in HIS mind at least, I am more alluring and attractive than Angelina Jolie on her best day.
I require snuggles. In the middle of the kitchen, WHILE he's making dinner.
I require, and reserve the right to, dry-hump him in any room of the house, in a display that would make ANY canine envious, and exhibits very clearly how untethered I am to any sense of decorum or propriety.
I require tiny smiles, and long glances of indulgence, when I am performing interpretive dance in aforementioned kitchen, that say 'I would never survive a single day without you, and your silliness, and magic, and you do nothing less than keep me afloat in this weary world.'
. . . I kind of require quite a lot. And I am completely unapologetic about it.
If I could write songs, I would write a beautiful ballad that would tell the world just how much I adore this man.
If I was a gifted painter, I would capture him on canvas. Because despite any physical flaws he may have, he is the most beautiful creature on earth to me.
And if I were a man who made potions in a travelling show. . .
But the only discernible gift that I possess is the ability to write down what I feel in such a way that I (hopefully) convey those thoughts fairly accurately.
And so I will try to do just that.
I love you Michael.
For everything you are, and everything you're not, and everything you dream of someday being.
I love you for being a father that delights in his children.
I love you for being a friend that I can count on.
I love you for living this life with me, and I love you for keeping me from taking it too seriously.
I love you for making me laugh.
I love you for trusting me with your true opinions, and your true feelings.
I love you for holding my hand, and kissing me on the cheek, and being my personal definition of beauty and truth.
I LOVE WHO YOU ARE.
I adore you.
You are my favorite person.
And you have made me happier, and more complete, than I ever dreamt was possible.
I feel this way every day. I feel this way every time I look at you. I still get overwhelmed by you on an almost-daily basis.
You amaze me. And the ability to still be amazed is quite a great gift in itself. So I thank you for that.
So, in addition to the list above:
I require sunsets, and backyard cookouts, and giggles in the den, and uncountable Christmases still to enjoy with you.
I require dinners on the couch, with you by my side, bitching that I use too much ketchup.
I require vacations with you, and Saturday mornings spent together, and feeling that if it is just us against the world. . . then we're gonna be just fine.
I require a lifetime of kittens, and hugs, and live music.
I require you by my side as we watch the kids grow into the men they'll become.
I require several more decades of ironing your shirts for work, and I require that you NEVER spend one day of your life where you DON'T know how treasured and adored you are.
And, seeing as how my Valentine's Day gift last year was a kitten. . . this year I'm going to have to require a Valentine's Day gift that doesn't poop in the den.
. . .You are really just SO close on this one!!