It is Valentine’s Day. 8:35am. Hubby and I wake up with a 50-pound schnauzer in bed with us. Our 12-year old is singing Adele songs in a nearby bedroom. She is partially drowned out by the grating sound of an enthusiastic city worker who is plowing our already snow-cleared street (imagine fingernails on a blackboard times 100). It is a very sexy scene.
I am wearing flannel PJ bottoms and a very old t-shirt that one of the kids dragged home from a basketball tournament. Hubby is also in flannel. His t-shirt depicts a bear in front of some mountains, a souvenir from a trip we took to Banff, Alberta in 2010.
Welcome to Long-Time Married Valentine’s Day.
Our version of that couple in The Notebook didn’t make it into the movie. The film skipped straight from Ryan Gosling passionately tossing Rachel McAdams onto a bed to James Garner and Gena Rowlands curling up and dying together, which was super romantic and also very impressive from a timing perspective… I still can’t get hubby to the table for dinner at the right time… just sayin’.
But all those years in the middle didn’t make the final cut, so no one knows how Ryan and Rachel kept it all hot and heavy through the 30+ years in between. Did they go to bed naked every night? Because we turn the heat down to save a little money… and it gets really cold… and I often have to pee in the wee hours, which would mean fumbling around in the dark for my robe.
Did they keep staring longingly at each other all the time? Because I think that would freak the kids out. And it would really slow down the pace in the morning, when I need hubby to be on his game and focused on making coffee and signing school permission forms and getting mayo out of the fridge so I can slap together sandwiches for lunch bags.
And did she keep jumping into his arms? Because I have put on a few pounds and hubby has some lower back issues and our insurance plan has a $500 annual maximum for physiotherapy.
Long-Time Married Valentine’s Day is Confusing.
We are too old, too busy, and too sensible to cavort like Ryan and Rachel, but not quite ready to curl up and die like James and Gena. We are not opposed to a little romance, but it will have to fit into a day that also includes walking the dog in frigid temperatures, grocery shopping, making a family dinner, and doing a couple loads of laundry. So what are we to do?
We are going to work with what we’ve got. Because that’s what makes long-time married love the best.
Today, we will stop at an over-priced coffee shop on our way to the park and treat ourselves to giant mocha-crappa-frappa concoctions to keep us warm while we walk the dog.
We will buy a $6.99 bouquet of tulips at the grocery store (which are just as pretty as roses and last way longer). And while I am in the checkout line, hubby will sneak to the drug store next door and buy me a Valentine’s Day card (probably a funny one).
We will have fondue for dessert tonight, and laugh at the first person to lose a banana slice into the gooey mass of chocolate.
We will watch a movie together on the sofa (while we fold the laundry). And maybe we will manage some grown-up fun time after everyone has gone to bed. Or maybe we will fall asleep on the sofa while our teenager is still doing homework, and wake up tomorrow in our flannels with a 50-pound schnauzer on the bed.
The Notebook skipped over these years. It seems like all romantic movies do, and that’s a shame because it’s great to wake up in bed with the same person every day… in comfy PJs. It’s wonderful to walk your dog with that person, while you talk about kids and jobs and home repairs. Grocery-store tulips are beautiful and chocolate fondue is a super-fun group dessert.
Long-time married Valentine’s Day rocks!