Love and Marriage and Practicality

There’s some sort of commercial event coming up this Friday. I’m not sure what’s it’s all about; judging by the stores, there’s a lot of red and pink and hearts involved. There’s also chocolate, which I can always get behind.


Only try this if you want to crash.

From what I can gather, like with Christmas; if we spend enough money on presents, we love someone.

The facial expressions of the men shopping on V-Day tell me otherwise. Every year, I see an unusual number of men in end-of-day work shirts and khakis standing in line at the checkouts. All bear flowers, balloons, chocolates, or plush animals holding hearts. And all bear a resigned grimace.

Hopefully all that annoyance pays off for them later…

As for me and my husband, we’re practical. I have never demanded flowers, chocolates, and a romantic evening on February 14 (at least, not lately). I’ve not insisted Kevin spend a certain amount for an anniversary gift. I certainly do not expect a puppy on my birthday.

Most of that is because he wouldn’t do so without my asking, so I feel bad when he shows up with commercially-prompted merchandise. Such gestures make me feel like someone put him in a headlock and forced him to purchase roses.

Where’s the love in that?


I hope her shoes are more sensible than her dress for hiking in the woods.

I trace our practicality back to our engagement. We were …young. We hadn’t much money. We went shopping for everything together, from our apartment to our kitchen table to our bedding. I watched our meager incomes disappearing into rent, food, car payments, school costs, utilities…

Then, we went ring shopping. This band with a bit of shiny rock cost an apartment for a year, while that band with a smaller shiny rock could buy us food for a month while this band with a very tiny rock was our car payment, due that Thursday. Metal and stone hardly seemed worth the price.

We had a small, simple wedding. We honeymooned a couple of hours North. And life resumed.


Am I the only one who thinks she’s going to fall off -or be made into a vampire?

Our dates were World of Warcraft and Diablo II, at home. Our romantic getaways have been an overnight stay for anniversaries and two trips out-of-state in the last …never-you-mind-how-many years.

Perhaps if “exciting” weren’t synonymous with “expensive,” Kevin would get me a dozen roses and a cruise to The Bahamas. Perhaps if “impetuous” didn’t need to include the five children he values most in life, we’d dine on lobster and wine and make violent love on the evening of a cute holiday.

It’s true that our romantic life is a bit flat because I’m recovering from being a whale and being cut open to remove our adorable offspring and we’re already dealing with having four active fighting demanding mess-making boys…

but the romance won’t be because Wal-mart told us to.

It will be, quite practically, because we love each other.

What of you and yours? Do you observe the official holiday of Valentine? Does practicality trump spontaneity, or are you hopeless romantics?


This here’s what I wrote this week:

Wednesday, February 5: Talked about Approval Addiction in “Oh, No: It’s That Irritating Need to Please Everyone Again.”

Thursday, February 6: Throwback to my large feet in “Plus-Size Podiatry.”

Friday, February 7: Posted the winner of this week’s “Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.” Congratulations to Doug and Joanne.

Plus, shared Esther’s story competition and book launch.

Plus plus, shared Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny children’s story contest.

Saturday, February 8: Announced the 58th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is that awkward first poem to that awkward first crush. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, February 9: Wrote “Fred’s Best Friend” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, February 10: An inspirational quote from Rethinking Scripture.

Tuesday, February 11: People-watched and came up with “2 Short Stories.”

Later, haiku’d “Winter Haiku (Snow).”

Wednesday, February 12: This post.

And “Need Help? Go On and Ask for It” over at The Bipolar Blog.


Wrote some at my motherhood blog, like “Unintentional One-Armed Typing.”

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: Everton Vila
Scott Broome
Cristian Newman

55 thoughts on “Love and Marriage and Practicality

  1. I’m happily old enough to remember a time before VD as we know it here became a commercial nonsense. I know I’ve given into the expectation at times, I know she really doesn’t care for any of the faff. She prefers real surprises not half expected ones because they aren’t surprises then, more partial disappointments. So a bunch of flowers on say January 17th because it’s a boring Tuesday when not much happened means more. And yes, chocolates work whenever.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You never told me you were married to a pop star! This was my first post of the morning and I feel privileged that you shared this with me. I think this video is better than all the Valentines day presents rolled into one. Lucky girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Captions by Chelsea deserve credit as I find them more entertaining than the photos. My wife of forty years and I will celebrate our love practically. Restaurants are full, roses are overpriced and candy is meh. Will make a card because Hallmark and Walmart are in cahoots on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. we only ever go out for valentines day if it falls on weekend, so not often. We vacation once a year for a few days because my wife doesn’t get PTO for our wedding anniversary and at most do day trips throughout the summer. not big on gifts and usually make a very sentimental card for each other on Valentines day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You basically posted my marriage in a nutshell. We don’t do anything extravagant. We do US. A pack of wine gummies or sweet Chili Heat Doritos here. A special note when I feel like it. Goodness knows I have no use for a forced valentines teddy bear or cheesy bouquet. However we have been setting aside a weekend a year for just us and I love that. Time apart from the kids really brings life to our marriage!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Talking about us again then… Bah Humbug…. My hubby has always said I was his wife not his Valentine and for once.. I had to agree.. The original idea of anomininity I loved far more exciting… Loved this post… 😀 💕


  6. You know me. I am not a fan of romance whatsoever. But I do love that you two play by your own rules and do not feel compelled to participate in a multibillion-dollar farce year after year.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I used to be anti valentines. But then I realized that there’s enough hate in this world, why am I hating a day about love. But…I refuse to buy into the commerciality of it. Hubby and I are going to a concert where the tickets are the same exact price they would be on any other day of the year. We’re getting fast casual burgers beforehand, and no presents will be exchanged. But, I’ll celebrate love any day

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Like everything else in life, I think couples should make up their own rules. We tend to go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, but I prefer to surprise my wife with unexpected gestures during the year. When something is predictable and expected, it becomes mundane. We do us and try not to live by some manufactured society expectation.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I disagree…. but then again I’m a retired elementary school teacher where I passed out cards and candy to every child, the children wrote poems to their parents or guardians, and then decorated them creating original valentines etc.

    I like celebrating. Nothing is worse than forgetting a loved one. The last Valentine’s Day when my ex husband and I were contemplating separating, I still got him a valentines card, wrote something nice (About the good old days) and put some fun candy on the envelope. When he came home from work he brought me nothing. I felt like I had been slapped in the face. I asked him why he didn’t bother getting or writing a card. It had been a family tradition and He said “Why bother?”
    So, I told him then it was time for him to leave. Because being nice was always appropriate and appreciated. What he did was cruel. If two people decide no Valentines is right for them, then fine. But, my entire family always made a point of remembering others on Valentine’s Day.

    Up until this year when I got sick with cancer, I still got my adult children valentines cards and some candy hearts. My grandchildren too. When my sons were in college I sent them chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day. Nobody ever should be without a valentine. It can be home made, it can be sung, it can be drawn when children are little. But it shows they are remembered. And someone cares about them. My grandmothers both were widowed early. So I always drew them valentines cards. As I got older I wrote poetry or created original artwork. I made my parents cards even when I was away at University. My family appreciated original art, stories or poetry more than Something store bought, but it was the thought that counted. Letting others know that they weren’t alone and that they were loved.

    So yeah, I’ll get calls, cards, possibly roses or chocolate fruit delivered from my son this Valentine’s Day. And I will be reminded that I am loved. It certainly makes chemo go a little easier. And it lets me know that I taught my children to show their love to others. I know my grandchildren will get their teachers something. It could be a drawing or a story, or baked goodies. AND I know they will have made or gotten Valentines for every child in the classroom including their teachers. That’s how my family rolls…
    I think this holiday means a lot. And is a great opportunity to show others you care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great points, as always! You’ve pointed out the best of the holiday; the reason we ought to celebrate!

      I totally agree that showing love and appreciation is necessary and am so glad you’ve helped instill that in association with Valentine’s Day. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So beautifully written, Chelsea. So much so I had to share it with my wife, who was cheering you on with each paragraph. It’s not just VD (thanks for that abbreviation, TanGental) that’s been marketed up the wazoo and devalued in the process, we’ve watched in despair as Halloween has invaded our country. And what more can be said about the birth and death of JC being appropriated for guilt-driven presents and chocolate eggs. How has this happened? Because enough of us keep participating. Sheep are fine for many things but it doesn’t mean I want to be one.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I never have liked getting a present because some commercial says you should. My husband does not get valentine gifts – but he often just brings flowers or a candy bar or a new blouse “just because.” Although my children call me on Mother’s Day – and I do appreciate it – the calls from them I love best are the ones they make “just because.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. No significant other, so I don’t have that issue. However, it has always seemed like a lot of extortion – if the gift isn’t ‘good enough’ (translation: expensive), then you don’t love me and V-Day will be a major blowout fight rather than a love fest.

    I’ve always preferred the idea of unexpected, no particular reason other than “I thought of you” gifts. A bunch of wildflowers on June 7th. A Mr Goodbar on Aug 23rd. That kind of thing.

    And him making a video singing about his love for me? Yeah, that could work.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We exchange small gifts (usually handmade from the kids) and make a fun family meal at home. There is usually a pretty intense and comical conversation about what red colored foods we will eat for dinner. And when it comes to presents, there is a bit of sneakiness that goes on, which makes it all the more fun.
    I don’t love the commercialism of the holiday, but although I tell them often, I love the chance to spend a day making sure that my family knows how much I love them (and I love giving gifts, so it’s a win-win).

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.