Valentines are what my husband affectionately refers to as “crap.” Though I am not one to ever refuse an opportunity to binge on chocolate, I tend to agree. The one year we did celebrate included a scavenger hunt around the house in which Jim placed several clues far out of the reach of his 5ft tall wife. I was too lazy to get a latter, so maybe the new tenants are enjoying the candy I couldn’t reach.
I did, however, have full intentions on teaching my kids all about the traditions of forced romanticism. As I chugged the cart vehicle around Target with three kids in tow, I explained all the in and outs and what have you’s about cards and candy and affection, James interrupted. “Uh mom, I’m not really interested in this.” His words, consistent with those of his father, did not hold up when he realized that he too would be receiving so much great crap to join the crowded drawers of his bathroom.
So, we’ve drawn hearts and made approximately 4 million cards for people we don’t know but may be in need of a red glittery note signed with a backwards J and scribble. Sugar intake has reached its max. Jim tried stealing the card I got for him by giving it to me first, so i think its a lackadaisical draw. We later got kicked out of my sister’s house when a red piñata party turned wet and wild with an indoor super soaker competition. (I’d like to point out that my children were more the victims of the situation, but Rita did go to town with a heart stamp and hard wood floors, so the welcome was overstayed in a number of ways. And hopefully those 6 boys give their mom something nice because she likes Vday and gave birth to 6 boys, and they just majorly soaked her basement with water guns.)
Even though Valentine’s Day is not for me, I do very much appreciate the Church’s celebration of World Marriage Week. It conveniently coincides with the legend of St. Valentine and a personal favorite Gospel. We are reminded of our essence as the “salt of the earth, the light of the world” and I am eternally grateful that my marital vocation is the way in which I get to attempt this mission. It was a silly discussion almost 10 years ago between me and JIm and a bunch of others at a Park City, Utah Asian restaurant, in which Jim suddenly became very attractive. His explanation of the meaning and power of salt as flavor and fuel for the earth and his demonstration of a spiritual interest, was the first time after years of knowing him, that the conversation got deeper than Dumb and Dumber. So here’s to World Marriage Week and salty dinners!
And for all you love birds, some rules of fair fighting when the flowers are dead and cherubs are busy:
1. Echo and empathize what the other has said before expressing your own feelings. The acknowledgement of being understood, especially in moments of difficulty, is enormously helpful.
2. If a fight takes place in front of the kids, so should the apology.
3. If its heated, calm down and discuss later.
4. Eliminate the words never and always. BUT! Never, ever, under any circumstances, ever, use the word fat.
5. Insinuating that your wife resembles an elephant in the 9th month of pregnancy is a solid path toward divorce.
May the weekend be good and lovely, and may the chocolate be as delicious as the wine. And if someone serves you a heart shaped steak, don’t eat it.
P.S.: Did you know that St. Valentine protested a bad emperor by marrying couples when marriage was outlawed as a way to promote men from going off to an unjust war? That is cool. Heart shaped steak and overpriced flowers…not so much.