On Valentine’s Day, romance is all relative

You know you’ve been married a long time when the person you promised to love and cherish until death do you part asks what you’d like for Valentine’s Day and you’ve forgotten about the romantic holiday.

“So do you even want something for Valentine’s?” He’d say over a cup of coffee he was sipping in the morning, after reading a story about Valentine’s Day in the newspaper.

You would look up at him a bit confused because you were thinking about what to make for dinner and when you saw the big pink heart on the newsprint you’d think, “Oh yeah, the most romantic day of the year.”

So you would say something like, “Yeah, I think I do. I want a composition textbook.”

The surprised look in his eyes would make you just a bit ashamed so you’d mull it over a bit more and carefully say, “Or flowers, yeah, I mean if you want to get me flowers I’ll take those.”

“No, I know how you are,” he’d say then he would dismiss you with a sip of coffee.

So you’d try to justify your request.

“I just thought that I’m going to need that composition textbook anyway, and I’m not going to buy it until the summer but since you asked I’d really like to have it sooner. But, you know, flowers would be fine.”

To get out of what you believed to be a tight spot you’d say, “But what do you want?”

And he would say, as if he’d been waiting for you to ask him all along, “I’ve been wanting a book called American Rust.”

Then you’d come to the realization that romance can be many things.

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2010-02-11 digital edition

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