Tag Archives: husbands

Valentine’s Day, Schmalentine’s Day

If my husband was married to a different sort of woman, chances are he would dread the month of February every year. Not only is Valentine’s Day coming up, but our wedding anniversary is on Feb. 28.

In ‘guy’ world, that’s like the ultimate double whammy.

Luckily, however, he is married to me, a woman who hates V-Day and was perfectly OK with celebrating our first wedding anniversary last year by going apartment hunting and was then thrilled when it ended with a signed lease. Perhaps I’m just unsentimental, but to me, not being homeless was a way better gift than, say, a scented candle.

I’ve never really been into all the hoopla surrounding Valentine’s Day. Even as a kid, I never understood why myself and my 24 other classmates were forced to give cards featuring cartoon characters to each other. I didn’t really want Bobby L. to “BEE MINE” and yet I still had to sign my name to that card of the bee hugging the honeycomb.

See, even back then I had an idea of how Valentine’s Day forces romance into one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter, pink and red decorated box. It’s a completely insincere holiday disguised as supposedly the most romantic day of the year.

Call me a cynic if you will, but I don’t find tasteless, chalky candy with generic messages such as “Luv U” and “Tweet Me!” and singing teddy bears romantic. Nor do I find waiting in line for an hour at a restaurant where my husband and I can split an appetizer, entree and some dessert called “Lover’s Brownie Delight” for only $20 romantic.

But it’s not like I’m some cold robot or some weird emo girl who finds scabs sexy. I’m still a red-blooded American girl who cries at “Love, Actually.” It’s just that what I find romantic is my husband emptying the dishwasher before I wake up in the morning and then coming home with vodka, cheeseburgers and a stack of books he thought I’d like that he grabbed from the free book table at work under his arm. And then he tells me I look hot in my sweatpants.

When I asked my husband what he found romantic, he said “Um…I like it when you cook me dinner. And there was that one time* you folded my laundry. That was pretty romantic.”

*Domestic goddess I am not

And that’s the thing. Every person has a different idea of what they find romantic. In fact, when I did a brief survey of my female family and friends about what they find romantic, not a single one said “roses, chocolates and going to a restaurant where I can’t pronounce half the menu.”

For example, my friend Michelle said “Random little surprises of things I love but don’t buy for myself. Tj [her husband] doing the laundry. And holding hands.”

My cousin Carrie, a married mom of two, said “Love notes and doing something that he doesn’t want to do but does it happily, like taking a walk or playing card games at a cafe. And anything that would actually take some thought or effort.”

My friend Kimberly, a newlywed, said “A kiss goodbye and a kiss hello when I see my husband. That my parents still dance together to the radio after 38 years of marriage in the living room. And that my grandpa would pick my granny wildflowers every spring until he could no longer drive.”

My former co-worker Allison said “I’d say taking goofy little excursions together-even if they aren’t to ‘romantic’ places. Just being alone together, making memories and having fun.”

And my friend Misty perhaps summed it up best when she said “Anything that has been personalized, like not red roses but your favorite tabloid magazine and your favorite wine or whatever you’re into. Also, anything that’s ‘just because’ and hasn’t been prompted by a birthday, anniversary or holiday.”

See, fellas, we know you feel obligated to buy us worthless crap on Valentine’s Day. But it doesn’t have to be that way. While there are some women out there who really do want pink and frilly and mass-produced consumer products on Feb. 14, in more cases than you would think, cleaning the kitchen and dancing with us in the living room on Feb. 15 will get you more points than giving us a box of chocolates on the day before.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: We will still eat the chocolates though…probably all in one sitting).

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It’s exhausting being a chick…

This past Sunday, my husband Ryan and I were out with some friends, having a couple beers, a couple of laughs. Naturally, I was being my usual charming, slightly buzzed, self-deprecating self.

But then…THEN I had to go and make a comment about how since I’ve been struggling to find work as a writer, at least it gives me plenty of time to clean the house. HA HA!

We then moved onto other topics (mostly farts and boobs, since it was all guys save for me) but for some reason (beer, and possibly the fact I own a uterus), I got irrationally angry at my husband for not jumping into the earlier conversation and defending me.

Which is ridiculous. Defending me from what? Even my baffled husband, when confronted with my irrational anger, said “I thought you were just doing a schtick.” Technically all he was guilty of was sitting at the bar and having a good time.

And then, because I couldn’t just leave well enough alone, my husband soon after bought me the bracelet and necklace I’d been admiring from a street vendor, to which I also responded with irrational anger.

But what the poor guy didn’t realize, through no fault of his own (since he’s not a nut job crazy 30-year-old woman), is that for months I’ve been dealing with conflicting feelings on going from a full-time, hard-working journalist to being a struggling freelance writer financially dependent on her husband when we moved to Boston. And apparently on Sunday they just boiled over.

So I decided to create some visual aids to give dudes an insight into the mind of a woman. And although these aids are specific to my own neurosis, you will at least get somewhat of an idea of the way a modern woman’s mind works.

For example, chart No. 1, which I like to call “The Cycle of Guilt,” is all about my mixed feelings on being a freelancer writer and occasional photographer and not making much money:

Long before my current employment situation occurred, my husband and I had already discussed the possibility of one of us staying home with our future children if we could afford it, instead of schlepping them to daycare all the time. We agreed, as mature, rational adults, that whoever did stay home would take on the majority of the household chores since they would have more free time. Gender roles be damned.

And so, even though we don’t have kids, I have kept my end of the bargain during my non-9-to-5 lull. But seeing as I’m not really doing anything meaningful, like, oh, I don’t know, raising a human being, it is constantly sending me down what I like to call the “Cleaning Spiral of Shame”:

Of course, being a woman, I let all these feelings fester inside, which leads to the Pie Chart of Reasons for Overeating:

And for a former athlete and one-time size six, all this over-eating makes me worry even MORE and feel bad about my body, which makes me feel even MORE guilt, meaning most of my days are spent in cycles and spirals of these feelings, which leads into the Bar Graph of Time Mis-management:

And what does all of the above equal out to? What I like to call Husband-Oriented Anger Displacement:

Yeah. It’s exhausting being a chick.

Now where are those damn Oreos?

P.S. Ryan, you are a very, very tolerant man. I love you.

P.S.S. Where are the damn Oreos?