Lost in Midlife column: All I want for Valentine’s Day
Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
Being the wonderful guy that he is, my husband knows that the way to my heart is through chocolate. I’m not a snob ... really any chocolate will do. Except the kind with coconut on the inside. Or cherry goop. Or insects. But other than that, I’m happy to be lavished with any other kind of chocolates.
This has made buying me a gift for Valentine’s Day a somewhat simple chore.
Until this year.
This year I am following a very strict diet plan, which, shockingly, does not make any allowances for Valentine’s Day chocolate. So, with chocolate off the potential gift list, I needed to come up with some other suggestions for my husband to show me the Valentine’s love. Yes, of course, there is always the tried and true bouquet of flowers. But being me, I wanted something more unique. Something more enduring. Not that chocolate is enduring, but we make exceptions for truffles.
Both of us always felt that jewelry was too extravagant for something that is basically a Hallmark holiday. Jewelry for birthdays? Anniversaries? Making up from a fight? Sure. But not for Valentine’s Day. OK, maybe sometimes for Valentine’s Day, but not usually. Of course if he happened to get me jewelry for Valentine’s Day, I wouldn’t complain, but I wouldn’t be expecting it. Much.
Anyway, with chocolate and jewelry off the table, I had to come up with something else to hint about. Left to his own devices, my husband would probably get me lacy lingerie that he would like very much and I would wear once for his benefit and then bury in my drawer under the t-shirts I usually wear to bed. Not to be ungrateful, because I have a lot of friends whose husbands routinely get them household appliances for Valentine’s Day, but I’m just not a lacy lingerie kind of girl.
With all this in mind, I set out to find a gift for me, from him, that said love and romance, but did not seem greedy or presumptuous. I decided to peruse the internet for inspiration. But as I reached for my laptop, I knocked over a box of cereal that husband had left on the counter and Lucky Charms (don’t judge ... they’re gluten free!) sprayed all over the rug. I quickly ran to get the vacuum cleaner to clean up the mess and get on with my gift hunting.
I plugged it in, hit start and assumed the vacuum position. The vacuum roared to life, then gave a scary-sounding whine and died. I tried two more times, but it was clear that my vacuum had gone on to that great Hoover Heaven in the sky.
Reluctantly, I got on my hands and knees and picked up the Lucky Charms one blue moon, pink heart and green clover at a time. Then I went to my computer, printed out a page and left it on my husband’s desk.
Yeah, nothing says love and romance like a new vacuum cleaner.
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