The last post is a couple of days old, but I thought it might help address some things that were brought up in prior comments as well as warm things up for some future discussion or activities. But we need to get caught up on events. And there have been some events to actually talk about for once.
The thing about Valentine’s Day is that there is really no possible way to escape this “holiday” without some degree of drama for good or ill. Of course, it’s not a real holiday because we don’t get off work for it, so it’s more of a fake holiday that involves the outlay of cash. But if you do nothing, you’re going to hear about it. If you do something, but it’s not enough or the right thing, you can get burnt. And if you happen to go over the top this year you are setting yourself up for next year’s disappointment. A fellow like FTN with his limitless imagination and creativity screws the rest of us over by raising the bar ever higher. The bright side of that is that he often shares his secrets with his male audience, thus we can independently replicate his efforts. He’s on his way to a Nobel Prize in romance, I’m sure.
This year, I knew that the bar was going to be very, very low in my house. Arwyn, being a preschool teacher has been working on Valentine’s stuff all week, so it isn’t like we could pretend the thing doesn’t exist. However, the outcome was still a bit surprising to me. Maybe it shouldn’t have been, given sentiments expressed earlier in the week by some of you.
Valentine’s Day arrived, and Arwyn greeted each of the boys by wishing them Happy Valentine’s Day. And so it was that her and the boys had a Valentines themed day. And of course, no workplace is safe from the arrival of flowers, balloons and assorted other stuffed toys. My plan was pretty simple and straight to the point. A card plus a gift card. The gift card hits Arwyn’s biggest sweet spot which isn’t candy, flowers or balloons, but money. Anything else would be simply thrown away or given to the boys. I actually found a card that had little cute coupons for a free night out to eat, control of the remote for the day, free bug-killing service, a day out with the girls and a day out without the kids and that sort of thing. The $25 gift card fit right in with that theme. I also sent a text “Happy Valentine’s Day” message to her.
It’s no secret that we haven’t been really doing well in the bonding and attachment department so it was kind of laughable looking at the cards (with other guys doing the last-minute thing) and seeing just how unsentimental I could get if I wanted.
So I went home after work with some other groceries and spent some time playing with one of the boys while Arwyn helped the other with homework. I put the card/gift card in the bathroom where she’d find it later. Then we just played and goofed off until it was time for them to go to bed.
I had the urge to post the post below, but instead chose to spend it reading some stuff I’d downloaded on the PDA while watching American Idol with her in the bedroom. I’m not sure if I get any points for that or not, but at least I wasn’t losing any ground. At some point, she did find the card and she opened it and thanked me for it. I think I probably fell asleep before the show was over or shortly afterwards. And that was it.
So Valentine’s Day ended without a lot of fanfare, but this shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been reading me for any time at all. Arwyn doesn’t do well under pressure, anyway. The last few years, she’s bought some rather lackluster cards that were supposed to be sort of humorous but weren’t all that funny. The real funny part was we bought nearly identical-type cards a year or two ago that looked like they were illustrated and written by the same person! They had the same cat characters, same tri-fold format and same goofy story motif! And they were both equally non-sentimental.
There is a post-script to this tale though.
This morning, I awoke at an early hour, which happens when I go to sleep at an earlier time. Arwyn was still asleep and it was 20 or so minutes before her alarm as going to be going off. So I was sort of hugging up on her legs (remember we are in the inverted position) while she’s under her own blanket. I gradually reached down to where I could start rubbing her back and she seemed to be okay with this rather than batting my hands away like she normally might. Before long I switched to where we were lying in the same orientation at the foot of the bed and just kissed and hugged her for a bit. This sort of went on and then she said she had to get up and get ready for the day, but she shifted to where she was hugging me more. So we held each other but it was in such a way as I wasn’t really able to kiss her at all. But I was able to get under her shirt and rub her back for a bit and even cupped her bare breast for awhile. She was okay with this although not specifically turned on. So that was a milestone of a sort right there. I had not had that sort of intimate contact with her in over a year and probably much longer since I wasn’t batted entirely away. Our embrace eventually broke and she got in the shower and I had a raging hard-on to deal with. And I did deal with it by myself. And then I showered and we sat down together to have breakfast as well as we could between getting boys ready for school and getting them on the bus.
So there you have it. The movement is not very profound or ambitious but at least we’re not careening and cascading into the abyss of total meltdown. Or maybe we are but it’s nice to have some respite, however brief, once in awhile.
I might expand on whatever themes that might be couched within here later, but I’ll let you all think about it and discuss it if you get the urge.