I have been considering writing this story for some time, but for various reasons it hasn’t been written. With Valentine’s Day now merely a large set of headlights in our rear view mirror, I find the timing appropriate. Many people dread Valentine’s Day and the associated “pressure” they may feel… personally I am completely indifferent to it, and I am supremely glad that the special woman in my life agrees with me in this regard. Honestly, I can’t presume to take the credit for her indifference, but I have no doubt that I reinforce her feeling about it. I’ll explain…
Some months ago, the very special woman in my life was having a bad day at work, so I went to a florist and ordered some flowers to be delivered to her at work that same day. I selected something meaningful and suitable, and the lady behind the counter had gone in the back to coordinate with the other florist (was delivered to another town) for the delivery as I was ordering very near or perhaps momentarily beyond the “deadline” for same day delivery.
Another guy comes into the flower shop and tells another store clerk that he NEEDS to be buy flowers… he has $30 to spend. He picked something that I thought was rather “bleh,” but whatever.. and the lady leaves to construct the other customers selection so he can carry them away when he leaves. I was standing at the counter during his conversation with the store clerk, and I know that he was buying flowers because he had done something to piss her (the lady in his life) off.
As he and I stand near each other waiting for the completion of our respective transactions, the following conversation occurred:
Other Guy (OG): So, what did you do?
OG: So why are you buying flowers?
Me: Because she’s having a bad day…
OG: What do you do when you piss her off?
Me: I apologize.
OG: Oh, you’re one of THOSE guys.
OG: You’re one of those guys that guys gifts and does things for your woman for no reason, and make the rest of us look bad because we only buy things on holidays or when we’re in trouble.
Me: Sir, I don’t make you look bad… you do.
OG: Get her all warmed up for me, and I’ll have her next year and will let you know what’s up.
I actually laughed at him for a moment at this point, and then regained my composure
Me: Fat chance bud, you can’t even keep the lady you have now happy. I’ve ruined mine for people like you. She now has realistic expectations that you can’t live up to. She’s used to be treated like she’s precious, important and loved. She’s cherished, and she knows it.
Other Guy rolls his eyes a bit
Some people just don’t understand at all.
The very next time I was buying flowers, I was in a grocery store and just happened to be standing in line behind another guy buying flowers. Would you believe I had almost exactly the same conversation again? I absolutely did, sans the part where the other guy told me he would “have her next year.”
Check it out folks. If you only do something nice for someone because it’s a special occasion or because you’ve pissed your partner off, you’re totally missing the boat. Christmas isn’t special because it’s Christmas. It’s special because we’ve MADE IT SPECIAL. We enjoy family and friends a little more, we go out of our way to be nice to each other.. it’s a great time of year. There’s far less “asshole-ery” in the world around Christmas.
Anniversary’s aren’t special because it’s the day you were married, or your first kiss, or whatever “Stupid-versary” you celebrate. It’s special because you intentionally MAKE IT SPECIAL.
Well, why is a random Tuesday any different? Do something nice. Buy flowers just because. Leave a love note.
Quick word about love notes. I bought dozens of blank cards in a pack. They all have the same design, and all come in a purple envelope. I write encouraging/loving things in them and my special lady gets them from time to time, at random times of day and in random places. From the reaction I get, it seems that at this point what I have written inside is far less important than the fact that I’ve done it at all. When she finds one of her purple envelopes, she gets excited. This single act has taught me much about gift giving and doing nice things for people. It really isn’t the THING.. it’s that you’ve bothered to do it. Back to the flowers…
If you only buy flowers or do randomly nice things because a holiday is telling you to, or because you’re in trouble, you aren’t doing those things for your partner at all. You’re doing them for yourself. So you don’t feel neglectful during holidays, or so she won’t be mad at you.
Do something JUST for your partner sometime. You’ll be amazed at the results.