Thursday, February 15, 2007

Can you smell the gouda?

There were no roses, no chocolates, no jewelry. How much thought purchasers of those items must put into it as evidenced by the packed card aisle and picked over florist department at the Bellevue QFC. I could only laugh as men young and old seemed to compete with each other. This man’s basket had a balloon, large card and box of chocolates, and that man’s had card, teddy bear, and plant. Ah how we women treasure the grocery store gifts.

Me, I had my treasure in the car waiting for me as I put the evening’s dinner in my cart. There was to be no candlelit dinner, or bottles of wine shared at a linen-covered table surrounded by the rest of the requisite couples who dutifully made their reservations early enough so as not to be stuck with the 5:30 in and out as my friend Wynn and her fiancĂ© had. No, Steve, Audrey and I were content to be in the company of each other.

We had turkey sandwiches to eat, a race car track to build and an episode of American Idol to watch. Our first evening at home in quite a few days, the ordinariness of our time spent together was a blessed relief from the hubbub of activities that surrounded Dan’s stay in Seattle.

And so it was. Steve is not the kind of guy to surprise. He’s the kind of guy that pitches in at the time of need. He’s home right now with poor, sick little Audrey, who blames the “one who went to Hawaii” (Dan) for her illness. But you know, when it comes down to it, I would much rather have the man that treats another man’s child as his own, that treasures the very sight of me and tells me so more often than I can remember, than the one who stops last minute at QFC to pay Hallmark $3.25 to say it for him.

According to my calendar, we have Audrey for the next four Valentine’s Days, and I’m glad. It will always be the day we spend together as a family – I’ll never get a sitter. Maybe we’ll always have sandwiches and watch American Idol, I’m sure it will still be around in 2010. Why do so many couples have the same Valentine’s Day? I never will. I don’t want the flowers. I don’t want the chocolates. I don’t want the jewelry or the reservations. I’ve got what I want – love, a love that is evidenced in a hundred ways that no amount of credit card swipeage could never show.

Okay wait, did I just read that Amalah's husband gave her a day at the spa? Maybe a little credit card action couldn't hurt. Hint. Hint.