Apparently two years ago, my Valentine's Day must have been similar to yesterday, because I began this blog post exactly two years ago - and here I am wanting to write about the exact same thing.
I have a wonderful husband. He is kind and considerate, loving and caring. He cleans up after himself and after the cats and dogs and me at times. He does dishes, scoops kitty litter boxes, does laundry, does grocery shopping. But the best thing about him is that he is a wonderful conversational partner. Talking to John is the greatest thing in my life. He's knowledgeable and interested in the world, and very funny. We share many interests and points of view from our career paths (we're both sociologists and college instructors) to our social and political views. He is from my point of view just about perfect in every way.
In fact the only flaw I see in him is that he absolutely refuses to accept that he is wonderful, and persists in believing that some how he is inadequate, and that I "deserve" someone "better."
When I was a child my ideas of love and romance were influenced by what I saw happening between my parents and all the schmaltzy romantic movies that my mother loved and shared with me.
My parents had a pretty typical 1950's style marriage. My dad went to work everyday, earned a paycheck, brought it home, kissed my mom, ate dinner, watched TV and did yard work and worked on stuff in the garage. My mom did everything else. My father always remembered her birthday, Valentine's Day and their anniversary with flowers, cards, candy, and sometimes sexy nightgowns. Each night they slept together in a cozy double bed. However, my father was also a petty tyrant who at times treated both my mother and us children as his subjects to be bullied and belittled.
I grew up thinking that a husband had to do all those things to show his affection. And I have to admit that it took me a while to let go of all that external symbolic stuff. But let it go I did, because I'd far rather have the true romance of shared life and companionable equality, than a "romantic" tyrant.