M.I.C.: A Disastrous Valentine's Day

7:00 AM

Since Clark and I dated for such a short period of time, we never had a true Valentine’s Day together until the one during our first year of marriage. While Clark is one of those people that believes Valentine’s Day to just be a holiday invented by the card companies, I am not. My family always celebrated Valentine’s Day with sugar cookies, cards, and ultimately our love. It was not necessarily about the love between a man and a woman, but the love of our family.

Our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple was pretty bad.

By this point Clark was deciding if he wanted to be in school or not. He had taken a break and was working at Walgreens full time in the photo department. This is during his spree of thinking he wanted to be a professional photographer.

I had class, so attended class and then returned home and made cookies.

I had bought new cookie cutters so that I might make heart shaped cookies. I took some to our neighbor and saved the rest for Clark.

I filled out the mushy sentimental card I got him, simply because it was our first Valentine’s Day, and then set to doing my homework until he arrived home. I planned on starting dinner as soon as he arrived.
Clark came home late from work. While he did have the perfect card ready to give me, I was disappointed.
I had told him I didn’t want him to get me anything, and so he didn’t. I had at least made him cookies, but he had nothing. No chocolates, no flowers- just a card. He had really listened and didn’t get me anything. Since when do guys listen?

I cooked dinner and we ate in silence. I was marinating in my own self pity.

I had instructed him on renting a movie for the night on his way home, but of course he had forgotten. So, we went to Blockbuster as soon as we finished eating.

I told him he had to go in by himself. I had told him earlier two movies that were my choices. A week earlier “No Reservations” and some other chick flick had come out and I wanted one or the other.

Clark went in with several other people trying to rent movies. After about 30 minutes of me sitting in the car, he emerged looking rather excited. He held up “Elizabeth: The Golden Age.” His thinking process was that we had watched “Elizabeth” a week or so before, and he knew I really wanted to see the second one.
While any other girl would probably be ecstatic that her man was actually thinking about her and not himself, I was devastated once again. I had wanted our first Valentine’s Day to be perfect. Cards, flowers, chocolates, homemade sugar cookies, and a romantic movie. Instead, we had cards, sugar cookies, and a historical movie that wasn’t even entirely historically accurate.

We went home and watched the movie. I fell asleep, and Clark got upset with me. I explained that I was just a “little bit” disappointed with the day. He then went in to, “Well, Valentine’s Day isn’t a real holiday, anyway. I tried my best.”

I exploded. We’ll just say I said some harsh words along the lines of, “you didn’t try at all.”
We went to bed like a grumpy old married couple.

The next day I went through my usual routine. Class, home, homework, cleaning, etc. Clark came home and entered by saying, “Please go in the other room. I have a surprise!”

I picked up my books and went in to our bedroom and closed our door after a few questions which he did not answer. I waited.

Finally Clark came in and asked if he could lead me out. I closed my eyes and he led me to sit on the couch. He exclaimed, “Open!”

On our kitchen counter (we were in a rather small apartment) was a vase of roses, cut up gouda cheese, a bottle of sparkling cider, and a box of chocolates. He had not been able to rent a chick flick, but instead he produced “Moulin Rouge,” which was the first movie we had watched together at a friend’s house.
I was amazed, but I felt like I didn’t deserve it. After saying mean things and throwing a temper, Clark had done what I wanted.

However, that wasn’t the case at all. Clark explained that he had never liked Valentine’s Day because it always put unneeded pressure on people. He said he understood that my family had always celebrated it, and he would be more than happy to keep the tradition going.

He also said he thought the day after was a much better day. Why, you ask? Well, because it wasn’t an invented holiday, according to him. It was just a random day where he could show how much he loved me, without someone or some tradition telling him to do so.

Needless to say we didn’t go to bed like an old married couple that night.

Our first Valentine’s Day taught us both a thing or two. The following year Clark had flowers delivered to our door for me, and took me on a road trip to Asheville with dinner and a movie planned out. However, it taught me something as well.

Wrong movie and wrong time, but the Grinch comes to the realization that Christmas is Christmas no matter what.

Well, I realized that at age 18 about Valentine’s Day as well.

Holidays are holidays, no matter what. Whether you get presents or not, it’s about the love.
I think my parents tried to teach that to me and I completely lost the concept once I had a loved one, besides family, to share it with.

While my number one “love language” is gifts, I have learned to adjust to Clark’s kinds of gifts. They don’t always come in packages with bows, sometimes they are small gestures to show me how much he cares.
I took a lesson from the Grinch, and from Moulin Rouge, and just kept telling myself, “Come what may, I will love him, until my dying day.”

Oh, yes, it’s cheesey. But who cares? God brought Clark and I together for a reason, and we have time a head of us to work on our relationship.

We have time to work to grow closer together through our love of Jesus Christ and each other. What more could we ask for?

Remember, it’s all about the love!

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