we don’t ‘do’ valentine’s day.

Zac doesn’t do Valentine’s Day.
He’s told me at great length, time and time again that he doesn’t do Valentine’s Day.
He hates it.
Last year he laid it on really thick about his dislike for Feb 14th because he’d already planned to take me out for dinner, so I was rude enough to be in bed all day with a migraine.
We did still go out to dinner and it was exactly what I love about Valentine’s Day: a good excuse to spend a night together, to have a date, get all dressed up and be special.

As much as Zac hates Valentine’s Day, I love it.
I never ‘got’ Valentine’s when I was a kid. When everyone else was sneaking hand drawn cards into each other’s drawers at break time I was left with the unfading optimism of a child that this year, someone would think of me.
I don’t know why I was so bothered, I had bigger things to worry about, like a swimming gala at the weekend, or how annoying my sister was. I certainly wasn’t interested in, ew, boys.
But it was kind of ingrained in us that it was an important day and your self worth was somehow directly correlated to the number of Valentine’s you got.
I of course went through the ‘it’s an over commercialised holiday, invented by Hallmark to push profits’ phase (what self respecting, politically savvy teen doesn’t), but largely that was self preservation, a defence mechanism disguised as satirical anger so I wouldn’t have to be disappointed when my boyfriend didn’t live up to expectation.

I do still agree, that by and large Valentine’s Day is overly commercialised, but I love love and sometimes people do just need a little nudge to get the ball rolling: what’s a more perfect nudge than a day dedicated to love?
For couples who don’t get to see each other as much as they like, who have busy careers, or kids around their ankles – that’s one more day a year they’ve got to schedule in some time together.
I love it because I think it’s important that we never stop dating, never get complacent and never stop trying to show each other we care. I’m not materialistic or high maintenance, but I do need a lot of attention. I feel love when Zac gives me a cuddle from behind when I’m cooking our dinner, when he holds my hand when he’s driving or shouts through the house looking for me: “Boodle, where are you? I need you!”
I feel love when he brings me my coffee in the morning or that sunbeam smile when we first wake up, bleary eyed his first words are usually ‘Good morning, gorgeous.‘ – nearly two years and it’s still not old, I still get those warm and fuzzies.

Being so far away from each other for this Valentine’s is hard.
Not simply because he’s not here.
It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try.

I don’t need one day a year for Zac to tell me, or show me how much he loves me. He’s the biggest, soppiest old romantic (something he got from his Dad, by all accounts) and he never stops showing me how much he cares for me.
I’m the complete opposite, I’m still very guarded emotionally, I show him I love him by doing all those little ‘fairy’ jobs, washing clothes he didn’t realise he was going to need, organising his receipts, writing him notes and sticking them on his lunch, buying oats before we run out, buying chicken before we run out, just buying food before we run out.
I feel most satisfied when I’ve got his dinner nearly on the table as he comes home from work, happy housewife that I am, but when I feel uncomfortable telling him how much he means to me, I show it instead.
Valentine’s Day is one of those rare days in a year when I feel completely at ease pouring my heart out and shouting to the world about how special Zac is to me. How much I love him and how exciting scary it is knowing I’m spending the rest of my life with him. Sometimes I think this whole ugly chain of events had to happen to take me exactly where I needed to be to meet him, and I’m grateful for those horrible few years, because without them I wouldn’t have found Zac.
I feel restless without him, an unsettling restlessness I’d lived with most of my life, satiated by travel and adventure, but never truly satisfied. That caged, trapped feeling that at times feels like it’s quite literally driving me mad.
Only I don’t feel like that when we’re together.
It’s like my wandering soul finally found a reason to be still.
I get impatient we don’t have a house, or a puppy, or that we’re not millionaire’s to pay for all the houses and puppies, but it’s fleeting, it’s not the same gnawing feeling.
So when he says he hates Valentine’s Day, I feel like I’m losing a chance to tell him all of that, one less chance to switch off from the world for a day or a night and just bask in the warmth of our love.

That last part sounded cheesier than I meant.

I still can’t get over how beautiful these flowers are: pastel roses are my favourites.

We’d had a disagreement when we were on the way to work about V-Day and how he kept hearing ads for guys to buy girls roses, he went on a rant about how ‘bullshit’ it was and that the onus shouldn’t be on the guy to make the effort, that they shouldn’t have to do anything and that was the reason so many girls were disappointed and I tried and failed to explain to him why he was wrong.
Ending the discussion with: “Maybe, Zac, because not everyone is as romantic as you, maybe sometimes girls just want their arsehole boyfriends to buy them roses, because roses are fucking pretty.
I was in a shitty mood for the rest of the day. I knew he didn’t do Valentine’s but it was making me so angry he wouldn’t even try and understand why I did.

I got his usual, romantic text in the morning, telling me he was going to spend all day thinking about how his heart might burst with love (not the best sentiment given his family’s history with hearts…).
And that was enough.
So imagine my surprise when a bouquet of pastel roses are delivered to work for me, with a note saying:

“No matter how much I disliked Valentine’s Day, my love for you will always be more than that.”


I didn’t know what to do with myself and felt tears welling up and brimming over.
Minutes before I’d been complaining about his attitudes towards the 14th, and here he was, proving me wrong.

 


I don’t know what I did to deserve Zac.
He absolutely spoils me, he’s the most romantic, caring, genuine person and I’m so glad I stumbled into Chadstone that day in March.

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