Monday, February 14, 2005

Ten Things

Ah, Valentine's Day. Day of the Valentine. Day of Lurrrrve. I don't about you, but personally, I have spent the last 12 hours in a giddy haze. Wandering over paths strewn with rose petals, fresh delicate buds springing up beside me with every step. Bluebirds singing on the gently wafting boughs above my head. Small woodland animals, like bunnies and baby foxes, emerging from the forest to gaze up at me adoringly.

Because after all, that's what Valentine's Day is all about, right? It's not just the cheap tawdry commercialisation of overblown sentimentality commemorated by the purchase of half wilted flowers, tacky card and other heart shaped tat. Right? Right?

When I met E., he immediately cautioned me that as a rule, he is not a man who gives flowers. And with the exception of the Big Two (i.e. birthdays and Christmas), he doesn't do much random gift-buying. No spontaneous tokens of affection like Chanel lipsticks or jewelry, or anything else a girl might actually want deep down in her in most frivolous heart of hearts. He doesn't even do lingerie. Well, except for the sports bra he bought me a couple of years ago, but that was Christmas, and anyway, I am not sure that really counts.

No, E.'s idea of a good present is ten bags of groceries with enough food that I don't have to leave the house for a week at a time. And you know, who am I to argue with that?

Therefore imagine my supreme surprise to find, upon waking and stumbling into the kitchen for the first caffeine infusion of the day, a large bouquet of posies (in that nice vase we never use because nobody ever buys flowers around here). And small envelope with card next to baggy of red-foiled heart shaped chocolates. And a white kitten with a big red bow around her neck, on which was threaded a Tiffany's diamond ring on a platinum setting. No, wait, I made that last part up. Actually he'd bought me a bunch of books, none of which I want to read, but all of which can be exchanged for others I do want. Yay!

Oh joyous love-infused kitchen twirling. Truly, I am all-a flutter with delight, glazed with affection.

So with advance apologies for the sheer nauseating fluffiness of it all, and accompanied by a string-quartet, I now bring you: Ten Things I Love about E.

1. He has the best smell of any man I have ever met. Sometimes, when he is staying through the Other City during the week, I will unearth one of his t-shirts from under the bedcovers, and lie there with it pressed to my face.

2. Sometimes, when he is in a really good mood, he goes bounding around the house on the balls of his feet like a five year old, doing a little happy dance.

3. He has an appreciation for language. Sometimes, when we are speaking he will stop me and say "What did you just say? Rhapsodic? Tertiary? Parsimonious? Wow. Excellent use of word in context!" And then he will make sure he uses that word in his next business meeting.

4. He is very kind to people in need, even when there is absolutely no chance of having his generousity reciprocated.

5. In private, he rarely calls me by my name. Instead, it's always "sweetie pie, sweetie or my sweetie".

6. He has the best bottom of any man I have ever met. Honestly, it is so perfectly sculpted, an absolute work of art.

7. He phones me as he is walking home from work, opening the conversation with the same phrase "Hi sweetie. Anything fresh?" Then he gives me a running commentary about the stuff he sees on the way. Then he phones me before bedtime. 'So, still nothing fresh?"

8. He like to read, and talk about the book afterwards. He always has two or three books on the go at one time. He is fond of non-fiction tomes about history, wars and battles, aircraft and tall ships. He enjoys a constant infusion of true-life tales of seafarers, inventors, and polar explorers.

9. I mentioned the grocery-buying already. Big, big gold stars for that.

10. We have a similar sense of humour, and find the same things hugely funny. Like the way he refers to his work pass as his "morgue tag". Or when we were looking for a cottage to rent for a week in Scotland, and we found a place that boasted of a nearby cafe offering something mysteriously known as "Heat-away Pies."

"Heat-away pies," he gasped, clasping his hands together. "We must book immediately!!" Ever since then, every time we go anywhere, before we make a reservation, one of us will turn to the other, and mumur, "heat-away pies?"

Setting aside the goofy sentiment, I admit that of course there are many more than just ten things. Some of which are hard to put into words or a list, and are well beyond the bounds of a Hallmark card on Valentine's Day. But believe me when I say, there are other things. Things which in looking back over the last frustrating, infuriating, disappointing year have made me pause.

Pause and reflect, that if even nothing else comes out of all this, I have the privilege of experiencing an enduring love.


At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband is much the same when it comes to gift giving - which is why it is so great when he does do something a special. I've come to prefer the lack of cliched obligatory gifts, and prefer gifts like the j. crew down jacket that he gave me at Christmas - because he knew my old one was wearing out.

It is good to remember this stuff.


At 10:16 PM, Blogger Suz said...

Long distance relationships are so difficult; this wonderful list shows why your's does so well. You both are so lucky to have each other.

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Valentines Day, Mare.

At 11:31 PM, Blogger Jen P said...

He's a good man, Mare. The groceries, they cinch it for me, not that the kitten wouldn't have been nice, but damn. Grocies make the world go round.

Best wishes to you two.

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Anna H. said...

So glad you two found each other, Mare.

Happy V-day!


At 1:10 PM, Blogger Dee said...

It's clear to me that you two are made for each other. What a beautiful tribute...what a wonderful man.

So glad you had a fantastic V-Day.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger E. said...

Beautiful. Thanks for the smile, Mare. I'm so glad you two wonderful people found each other.

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awwwww, what a lovely list.

My husband gives good gifts. He pays attention to things I say in passing and then it will show up later for a birthday, after I've forgotten all about it. I love that about him.


At 7:47 PM, Blogger Wavery said...

Very very nice, though I think I may have the best smelling husband ever.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger DeadBug said...

He sounds just plain lovely. Good enough even for you, my dear!



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