Friday, February 1, 2008

True Romance Really Stinks

Long ago when MDH and I first met and fell in love, we agreed that we would treat each other with love and kindness every day of the year and that we would never, under any circumstances celebrate Valentine's Day.

As a veteran single gal I spent many a Valentine's Day alone and dateless watching other women gushing over roses sent to the office while they twittered excitedly about engagement rings and candlelit dinners.

Of course I wasn't single for that long without recieving my fair share of cheap teddy bears, heart shaped Whitman's samplers, awkward greeting cards addressed to "My Special Friend" and single red roses wrapped in plastic tubes purchased as an afterthought from a stooped over old lady selling them from a bucket in a bar (a single wed wose, how womantic). These empty gestures almost always seem to be followed by the inevitable break up.

Valentine's Day = bitter disappointment

MDH shared my feelings about this trumped up Hallmark holiday and I was enchanted.

I knew that MDH was the man for me after we had been dating about 8 weeks. Not because of all of the mushy stuff that people normally wax romantic about. In fact, it's probably kind of gross. We had been to the movies and were walking quietly, snuggled close, hand in hand in a misty rain through the parking lot back to the car, discussing our feelings about romance in general and ours in particular. When the rain started to come down harder I quickened my pace. He let loose of my hand to let me run ahead and when it seemed I was just out of earshot, he farted.

I was astounded.

MDH always looks as if he has just stepped out of the dress shirt section of the Eddie Bauer catalog. Starched button down shirts with pressed khaki pants and polished dress shoes is his standard uniform. He is very put together and corporate looking, always freshly shaved and not a hair out of place. He dressed this way for our dates, even when we went drinking at dive bars or out for pizza slices and it was a welcome change to the sorts of bewhiskered slacker clowns I had become accustomed to dating. He was a well groomed breath of fresh smelling Irish Spring air.

Honestly? He seemed a little too perfect. It was intimidating.

We were at the stage in our courtship where we had become intimate, confessed a true and deep emotional connection to one another and had spoken out loud that we each saw this relationship as "really going somewhere". But our love was still quite new and although we had been open minded in the boudoir, we were still getting to know each other and had not yet reached that place where either one of us had admitted to the other or to ourselves that we were human.

The man gave every indication that he believed I was a goddess and I planned to keep it that way for as long as possible, which meant a closed bathroom door and gaseousness in all forms supressed. That fart, and the fact that he waited to release it until he thought I wouldn't hear it, spoke volumes about his high opinion of me and I was honored.

But at the same time I realized I could finally relax and then I couldn't resist...

Me: Did you just fart and then pretend like you didn't?

Him: I had to clear an obstruction.

His authoritative and official sounding response still makes me laugh out loud to this very day, and it opened the floodgates, so to speak and set the tone and unspoken rules about openness and bathroom humor we follow to this very day.

Romance isn't flowers and candle light. Real romance is being kissed with morning breath and finding someone sexy while they run the sweeper or mow the lawn.

It's knowing that you are free to be yourself and share opinions.

It's looking at that person in a new way every single day, seeing them change and grow, but knowing they are exactly the same as they always were.

It's knowing that that person will be there every single goddamn day for the rest of your life, in your face, behind your back, in and out, back to front, upside down and not only not minding, but looking forward to it.

Finding sweat pants, messy hair and stinky feet adorable is true love.

I say Fuck Valentine's Day, but if you do choose to celebrate this bullshit holiday - DON'T BE LAME. At this point you've got 2 whole weeks to plan something meaningful so don't wait until the last minute - book a reservation at the romantic restaurant now so you don't end up at the fucking Sizzler.

Seriously, it's better to not give anything at all than to end up resorting to one of those goddamn bucket roses or a teddy bear purchased from a gas station.


Tara said...

That is true love in one, meaningful nutshell. Thank you so much for posting this!

When I was a kid, I loved Valentine's Day because it was a team holiday and everyone was assigned to buy little cards for their classmates. One of my friends actually bought me a little box of chocolates, and I've never forgotten that.

Even though I've been known to get a little cranky for Valentine's Day, there's something inside of me that still likes to decorate with pink and red hearts and watch an occasional romantic comedy. Or a horror. ;)

WendyB said...

Somehow I still think Valentine's day means someone giving me a big fat check in exchange for a piece of jewelry for their loved one. But farting works too.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Tara - I liked it when I was a kid too, but then as I got older, year after year it was just a bummer.

I do like it very much when all the chocolates go on sale the day after.

WendyB - I would certainly not turn my nose up at a piece of your lovely jewelry and have hinted about how much I like a certain pendant necklace - but we would have to name another occasion.

Family Adventure said...

An obstruction! *snicker* I LIKE your man...

I'll take a good dinner at a good restaurant any day, *except* Valentine's. I really don't need to sit in a cramped restaurant, full of lovey-dovey couples, paying twice as much as any other day. I mean, where are these couples on the 13th? Or the 15? To me it's so forced and fake, not to mention commercialized. Gah!


Gwen said...

I'm standing up and clapping.

Bravo! Well said!

My friends and I used to skip it. We'd go out to bars, take our own green food coloring, and pretend it was St. Patrick's Day.

Suze said...

Great now my husband's gonna read your post and think it's perfectly acceptable to just fart at me on Valentine's Day. Thanks. I'm thinking now you had better send me flowers to make up for this.

i am playing outside said...

ive never done/had the opportunity to do Valentine's Day before. i wonder what i'll do this year now that i do have someone. an anti-gift rule is already in effect. maybe a nice dinner. id like that lol

Del-V said...

The Sizzler closed. I better not drag my feet or else!

evil-e said...

I have never really done too much about Valentine's Day and from what I can gather my Renee is not really enthralled with it either. She hates the whole canned sentiment thing.

We will find "our" way to celebrate this day and I am sure we will both be happy with it.

CDP said...

He had to "clear an obstruction"? That's the funniest thing I've ever read (other than the fact that he actually ran ahead of you thinking that he could do his business and you'd be none the wiser).

Very sweet post! Happy Valentine's Day!

Michelle said...

I never really minded Valentine's Day, single or not. I always HATED going OUT on Valentine's Day, that stopped after maybe our second VD together, and besides that we were poor so we never bought gifts. We still don't buy gifts for each other on VD. We just say "Happy Valentine's Day" to each other and that's fine with me. Then the hubby says something goofy like "EVERY day is Valentine's Day for me" and we have a good laugh.

Linka72 said...

Yeah, there are no more illusions between me and the hubby..after 9 years together, we actually have fart competitions..maybe that was a little TMI..but anyhooo
Last Valentines Day, I got him a rotisserie chicken..I swear, I thought I saw a tear in his eye..oh, Love.

pistols at dawn said...

I am disgusted. Not by the fart, but by the love. Gross.

Also, Sizzler is a great idea - thanks!

SkylersDad said...

Great story! A couple of my buddies and I came up with our own true term of endearment for women. It was "raft trip good", and meant that she still was attractive after a 3-day raft trip with us.

We didn't hand it out too often...


Ah oui, l'amour. Charmant, charmant, la dame qui ne dejeune pas.

Renaissance Woman said...

I loved this post and totally agree with your definition of true love! Sounds like you two are perfect for each other. Thanks for sharing!

Leonesse said...

We, too, hate the canned sentiment. He does surprise me from time to time, but never remembers Mother's Day, my Birthday, or other things. I make it up by forgetting our anniversary and how long we've been married. Thank god for that cross-stitched wedding sampler that is sitting in our closet or I would never remember.

shay said...

Awesome! Just awesome!
I'm gonna use that! Clearing an obstruction - priceless lol.

Oh and I hate Valentines day too! It just sets you up to fail!

Thanks for the great read. I'll be back!

WendyB said...

BTW, I had a boyfriend who disdained Valentine's Day in favor of "spontaneous" gestures. There never were any spontaneous gestures though.

Dick Small said...

hahahaa to wendyb's comment.

Churlita said...

So, what you're saying is that I should dutch oven my boyfriend this year for VAlentine's Day?