My Valentine Is Bigger Than Yours

It happens every year, on pretty much every occasion—I get outdone by Ken. It’s bad enough that I have a terrible memory and Ken writes EVERYTHING down:

Ken: Guess what day it is today??!!
Me: Oh, god, no. What day is it?
Ken: It’s the 33rd year anniversary of our third date! Here, I got you a little something…
Me: Sigh.

But it’s worse on the major occasions. We’ve been married for almost 32 years, and Valentine’s Day is no longer a big deal. Of course, when we were first dating, and then married, it was a week long celebration of our love, complete with red roses, special dinners, and flirtatious lingerie, and let me tell you, Ken looks wonderful in boxer shorts decorated in hearts. After a while though, as it does, the excitement died down a little. Twenty years in, it became less of a surprise and more of a competition, which Ken inevitably won:

Ken: Is it OK if I drop you off at the grocery store? I went to three different places yesterday, and I can’t find the thing I want to get you for Valentine’s Day.
Me: What? You don’t have to get me anything. It’s not a big deal.
Ken: No, I have this thing in mind. You’re really going to like it.
Me: All I got you was some chocolate…
Ken: That’s OK. I just want to get you something special. Do you want to know what it is?
Me: Um…OK?
Ken: It’s a digital picture frame!
Me: But that’s really expensive. All I got you was chocolates.
Ken: But you’re worth it. Don’t worry about it.

On that Valentine’s Day, he presented me a beautiful digital frame so I could have pictures of him, Kate, and all kinds of flowers, clouds, fences, and trees that I could look at while I was working. But I won in the end though:

Me: Here’s your chocolate. AND YOUR CARD.
Ken: Oh no! I forgot to get you a card. I’m so sorry.
Me (a little smugly): That’s OK. The present was enough. Don’t worry about it.

In recent years, it’s been a little hit and miss—sometimes we just have a great dinner; other times Ken gives me something special and I get outdone once again, and I can never predict what’s going to happen. So this year I decided to nip the whole thing in the bud and announced last week, “Here’s what we’re doing for Valentine’s Day. I’m going to buy you chocolate and you’re going to buy me wine. No cards. Cards are a waste of money, and we just throw them away now anyway.” Ken agreed.

Then, the day before Valentine’s Day, I had completely forgotten about it, and I was driving home from work when it hit me that I had nothing to give him in the morning. Luckily, the local liquidation store was open until 6, so I drove there quickly and grabbed him some delicious gifts—a giant peanut butter cup AND a more pricey tin of Bailey’s filled chocolates. I was feeling pretty good about everything, so the next morning while he was at work, I put them on the counter with a piece of scrap paper that I had lovingly drawn a heart on in crayon. When he came home, I dragged him over to show him his presents:

Ken: I have your present in the car, chilling. I’ll just go and get it.
Me: Ooh!

And he brought in not one, but THREE bottles of wine. I was flabbergasted. Outdone once AGAIN!.  And then he said, “Oh, hang on, I forgot your card!” He ran upstairs with me yelling behind him, “We said no cards!!”

“It’s okay,” he reassured me. “It’s just a piece of paper with a heart drawn on it. I mean it’s bigger than yours and more card-shaped….”

Outdone, indeed, but my heart was drawn more symmetrically. I may have snickered a little to myself at that point. But don’t tell Ken. He’ll always be MY Valentine.

35 thoughts on “My Valentine Is Bigger Than Yours

  1. I was hoping that when Ken said your gift was in the car he was going to run out and drive away for half an hour or so. But clearly that would be uncharacteristic of him—he’s probably had at least two of those bottles of wine since February 15th last year—and he would have come back with a case of wine.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is adorable!! I didn’t know you had a competitive steak in you…..NOT! Lol. The fact that you and Ken can still manage to celebrate this together in your very own way is just perfect. Hey, three bottles of wine, I’ll take it!

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  3. Awww–so cute! When we were first dating, Nate got me a rose or two for Valentine’s Day, which I thought was amazing. And then, the day after, he showed up at my work, with like a BUCKET of roses. And I was like, “what happened?” and he was like, “they were just going to throw them out! Can you believe it?” And I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. I’ve not gotten a bucket of roses since then, but he’s always remembered flowers on special occasions. Cheers!

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  4. We kind of spend the whole week celebrating but that’s because our anniversary is the 17th. We don’t really do any big gifts, just little things – I made him PJ pants and he bought cream filled doughnuts. I made new pillowcases for us, and he picked up our favorite pizza. I didn’t really think we competed but Friday when I woke up and went to the kitchen where he was, I was going to tell him Happy Anniversary, but he said it to me first. HA!

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  5. Ha! I love this competition idea. Of course, I would always lose when it comes to my husband, because I am an unimaginative gift buyer. I’ve resorted to asking him what he wants, and maybe providing a photo just to be sure. I wish I were joking.

    Liked by 2 people

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