Valentine’s Day brings great expectations

Published 11:16 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and it was my first Valentine’s Day with my husband, Matt.

I’m not sure what my expectations were. I had ruled out Paris and diamonds (since I just got one), but I think deep down I may have been hoping for fireworks or something.

Sunday came after a horrific weekend. I was at the office until 1:45 a.m. on Friday, which left me exhausted, and on Saturday I left at the crack of dawn to watch him compete in a moot court (mock trial) tournament at William and Mary.

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For the first time in his life — and he’s been doing moot court since he was a freshman — he didn’t advance as one of the final 16 teams. Neither did his best friends, who competed with him during undergrad. So, I took all the boys back to the apartment and cooked chicken marsala — my back-up Valentine’s Day meal. By the time all was said and done and all the men were in better spirits, it was 1 a.m.

Come Sunday morning, I was exhausted, and so was Matt.

Now, I do my best not to be one of those girls who spoils her own surprises or tries to take control of a situation a man should be doing. So, I got him his gift and resolved early on not to make reservations or ask him about anything. He knew Valentine’s Day was coming up, and he’s always been very attentive and good about these kinds of things during our entire relationship.

After we managed to wipe the sleep from our eyes on Sunday, he reminded me we needed to go car shopping. I’d been driving for a week with fogged-up windows, not knowing why I couldn’t get the fog — which left an oily residue on my windows — to go away no matter how warm or cold I kept the cabin. The long and short of it was, after a week of breathing in what we found out was anti-freeze because of a leaky heater core — which would cost $1,000 to fix — he decided it was time to get a new car.

We got home at 4:30 p.m., and it hit me that there was nothing up his sleeve. No dinners, no wining or dining, no jewelry. He did buy me a pretty planted rose, which now adds a touch of life to my desk.

Despite my best efforts to be levelheaded, understanding and practical and establish absolutely no expectations for our first Valentine’s Day — I somehow had. I was inwardly disappointed, and it came out when I started crying for no good reason, despite trying to be logical.

Since then, I’ve come to understand something. While I may not have had a Hallmark holiday, I have a husband who is concerned with providing for me on a daily basis — manifested by spending our whole Valentine’s Day car shopping. That’s worth more to me than what he could do in any single day.

Besides — what girl would complain about getting a car on Valentine’s Day?