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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: Everton Vila
Scott Broome
Cristian Newman