Paul and I have been together for what seems like forever. We were 12 and 13 years of age when we met. The rest is history.

Anyone who knows my husband will agree that this man would go to ends of the earth and back again for me.  Between you and me, he probably already has.  I appreciate him greatly, and over the years I’ve tried to express to him just how much I love him.  I specifically wanted to show him my feelings of gratitude on February 14, 2000.

It was a Monday morning, and soon after Paul left for work, I shipped our son off to school for the day and made arrangements for him to spend the night at his grandparent’s house. I then began working feverishly in the kitchen. I cooked a gourmet dinner. (It took me ALL day, and I feel you need to know this as it’s important to the case I’m about to present.) Everything was heart shaped, right down to the juicy fillet mignon. This was no easy task. Above and beyond the heart shaped appetizers, main course, and dessert, I cleaned the house spotless. Everything was perfect, including the background music, which just happened to be Marvin Gaye’s hit, “Let’s Get It On.” But enough about that…

That evening, when Paul walked through the door he was completely surprised. He knew we were doing something special, but he had no idea what it was. He especially did not have a clue that we would be kid-free that night. We had always celebrated Valentine’s Day with Pauly. Our goal was to teach him that Valentine’s Day didn’t have to be all about romance; it could also be about the love and kindness of family, as well.  Paul was shocked. He also had a smile on his face which spanned from ear to ear. We had a wonderful evening consisting of dinner, slow dancing, and then “TALKING.” (This is not a page from a harlequin romance novel.) It was lovely. Except for one thing…

During dinner, it crossed my mind he hadn’t given me a gift. Listen, I don’t require an expensive elaborate present on Valentine’s Day. We are already married for crying out loud, but I DO want some tiny token of appreciation. (Raspberry chocolate truffles from Godiva will always suffice.) After dinner I thought to myself, “What is going on here?  Where is my gift?” But I let it go. After the slow dancing I thought to myself, “What in the world?  Where is my gift?” But I let it go. After the “TALKING,” I thought to myself, “WHERE IS MY GIFT???” But I let it go.  Soon it was late and we were both tired.  Guess what? HE WENT TO SLEEP!!!! That is the moment I began having a mini (or not so mini) meltdown in my mind. I was ranting to myself saying things like, “I have aching feet from cooking ALL day, and cleaning ALL day, and cutting things into stupid little hearts ALL DAY! WHERE IS MY GIFT?” I kept telling myself, “let it go. I love this man. He works hard to provide for us.” I knew he deserved that special night no matter how hard it was to cut meat into heart shapes, or how much my feet hurt from standing on a ceramic tile floor ALL day over a hot stove.

But then “IT” happened. Do you know what “IT” is? “IT” is the “IT” that creeps in and completely changes your personality. The “IT” that transforms you from the bride of his youth to the “Sybil” he didn’t know he married and never saw coming. I’m talking about the “IT” that when emergence begins cannot be stopped. My poor husband… The “IT” struck at 2 a.m.

I woke him up, and all I can say is there was yelling. A lot of yelling. For the record, he has never entered the house on Valentine’s day again without a gift in hand. To this day I feel bad about “IT.” I should have been more grown up. However, I did spend an entire day cutting food into hearts! Okay, I now rest my case…

Psalm 4:4

Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. (N.K.J.V.)

I failed at Psalm 4:4 that night. Yet, I do have to wonder if God took all the back-breaking work of cutting things into beautiful, little, elaborate heart shapes under consideration while watching poison spew from my mouth. Does heart shaped food translate into extra grace and mercy? I’m thinking probably not… But I dearly hope it does.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you have a great one and that your ‘IT” stays repressed, regardless of the circumstance.



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