I was scurrying about the kitchen, straightening up the mounds of paper that never seemed to leave, displaying the orange card that they had made for him. Red and purple paper hearts adorned the front, preschool-writing of big letters forming names across the inside. And I grabbed children one by one brushing hair and checking faces for Daddy’s arrival.
It was Valentine’s Day, and he would take our daughters for a special date, I, our son. We had decided long ago that Valentine’s Day was not a holiday worthy of our money, yet it served as the perfect excuse for some special one-on-one time with our children. Even still, I held my breath every year, wondering if he had thought of me, too.
I really didn’t want him to spend his money–Valentine’s Day was too commercial and silly–but since the days of flowers for no reason and little notes left on my windshield in the morning were long gone, I secretly hoped for a handmade card describing all the reasons he loved me. Maybe even a single flower to place in a vase atop our kitchen table.
But definitely NOT what he showed up with the year before.
We had been married almost eight years at the time–how long did he need before he truly knew me?
The kids responded like Pavlov’s dogs to the familiar sound of the garage door creaking to open and waited for their Daddy to come through the kitchen door. And as he came through the door, we all immediately noticed the red carnations he had for each of us. Within 15 seconds, each child had broken his or her own stem, and Matt quickly got to work trying to tape back together the broken flowers.
But my eyes didn’t leave the small package he had set on the counter.
Once flowers were mended and pictures were taken, I moved my way to read the package on the counter. My eyes immediately caught the word ‘Chocolate.’
To most, that one word would cause happy endorphins to spread throughout the body. But I’m not most.
There are many weird things about me, and I will accept that not liking chocolate is one of them. I cannot ever remember ordering a piece of chocolate cake nor a time when I didn’t choose the vanilla ice cream. The thought of eating a whole Hershey’s bar makes me feel sick, and if I wanted to find solace in food, I’d choose pizza.
There are a few notable exceptions, and if one really knew me, one might know them. I do like brownies; however, if you slap some fudge on top of them, they are now worthless to me. I like peanut M&Ms, but that’s because the peanut is the focus. I like chocolate syrup atop an ice cream sundae, and I don’t mind the chocolate ice cream, as long as vanilla is the predominant flavor.
I really don’t expect anyone to know those specific details…
…but I did expect that my husband of almost eight years would have enough sense to not show up with a box of chocolates. Even if it is Valentine’s Day. Even if every other woman in America would eat them.
As I looked at the box on the counter, I wondered if one year later my husband still didn’t know me. My eyes continued to scan the whole title, reading the words ‘Chocolate Covered Pretzels.’ While they were an improvement from the box of chocolates from last year, I still didn’t get it.
“I thought you’d like the sweet with the salty.”
I just stared at him for a minute.
“You know, it’s not a prerequisite for the holiday that a person has to eat chocolate,” I said shaking my head at him.
He laughed as we began to put coats on little kids excited for date night. And as we moved to our separate cars, I picked out the perfect gift for Matt next year–a big bowl of eggplant with some french fries stuck in the middle.
Writing in response to the prompt, “If you really knew me, you’d know that…” for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. What is something that we’d know about you if we really knew you?
And I’d love for you to come back tomorrow and link up your own post for ‘Journeys.” You can use any topic, as long as it pertains to a spiritual journey that you are currently taking.