Happy Valentine’s Day

To the love of my life-

Remember all those times I insisted that I didn’t need any special celebration for Valentine’s Day and then got really pissed off at you after you didn’t plan any special celebration?

Yeah. I remember. I don’t think you’ve forgotten.

And then it was just your luck that we up and got married four days after Valentine’s. The holiday of love and our wedding anniversary within less than a week of each other. Ouch.

I think there is only one person on the planet who truly understands and appreciates what you have gone through in shackling yourself to me for life. You know who I’m referring to. And it isn’t me.

To quote Ingrid Michelson: “She says you’re a masochist for falling for me. So roll up your sleeves.”

I know that from the outside looking in, I can put on a pretty good show. I can easily give the appearance of having all my ducks together and my shit in a row and what not. Something like that. Heck, it’s not even really a show. I just happen to be pretty natural at caring for strangers, acquaintances, friends, siblings, children, and basically everyone besides my husband, the love of my life.

Always drawing the short straw, eh? Should’ve friend-zoned me from the start. Then you’d really get the full benefit of knowing me.

I don’t know what it is I’m trying to tell you, boo. I know that if I were actually any good at expressing myself I’d just say it to you in person instead of writing a stupid blog. Somehow it seems to me like every time I speak to you out loud, I find some way to squash my loving impulses, become selfish and blame you for something or other.

I guess what I want to say is this: I know that you’re planning something for Valentine’s Day tomorrow. I know that you’ve learned to in the four years that we’ve been together. This time I’m telling you that I don’t care what it is and this time, I’m going to really mean it. Because whatever it is, it is another evening that I get to spend with you, my honey. And if the plan really is to sell everything we own and buy Magic the Gathering cards, then so be it. We’ll rock playing cards instead of fig leaves.

Two years ago when we got married, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’m going to take a stab here and say that you didn’t either. We didn’t know what marriage entails, we didn’t know how our lives would unfold, and we didn’t know how we’d grow as people, if we even grew at all. All I knew was that at the end of the day, I wanted to be with you. I didn’t “have” to. I don’t know if we were “meant” to. But I wanted you.

Today, I think I get it. And today, I definitely, really want you.

I realize that I am not the best of wives yet, but every day I am understanding you a little better, appreciating you a little more and growing in my ability to love you, bit-by-bit. You have to bear the brunt of every round of mistakes I make before learning each life lesson and I bet that really sucks.

…but I am learning.

In my new understanding of you, I’ve been blown away by how much you care about me and our family, by how much you have been willing to stretch yourself as a human being in order to adapt to life as a father and husband. I don’t think our interests could possibly have less overlap, and yet you sit and patiently listen while I read Bible verses to you and help me pick out what shoes go best with my Sunday outfits. Not exactly your idea of a fun time, I realize.

I’d basically be a very serious and very morose stick-in-the-mud without you, better half. One of the things about me that you’ve come to learn is that I readily pick out everything that is wrong with situations and with people– most notably, you. I have the overwhelming tendency to harp on minutiae and I simultaneously struggle to express my gratitude for you often enough and loudly enough.

Oliver, I’m so happy I’m with you.

If I forget to say it out loud, just call me out on it. Soon enough, I’ll learn. I’m learning to let go of all my extravagant expectations of what things and people “should” be and just loving what actually is. Let’s face it: you are way better than anything I could dream up. For one, you’re real.

I still don’t know what I’m actually trying to say. How about this: I love you. I’m trying. I’m getting there. Thanks for putting up with me. Thanks for being yourself, no matter how strange or occasionally repulsive your humor can get.

Yep. I dunno. Love you, sweetie.


Your Sugar Dumpling


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