Keeping the Sparks Alive After Valentine’s Day

Honeymoon in San Francisco 1996 | First tiff as a married couple: I didn't "look cheesy enough" in this photo. I beg to differ.

My husband and I aren’t big Valentine’s Day people. We do little stuff for our kids, but as for each other, we really don’t bother. Why? Because around here, every day is a celebration of our love and commitment to each other!

I’ll let you in on a few of our secrets…

Roses? I prefer being greeted with a dozen of half-empty water bottles by his side of the bed. And if I am really lucky, Lance Romance also leaves rolled up socks, coins, little folded up pieces of paper and occasionally his wedding band. (Apparently, he dreams of being single because he can’t sleep with his ring on. Or take a dump, but I am not exactly sure what the hidden meaning is of that. Either way, the ring is always lost and now he has a spare from Walmart. If he also loses that one, at least he will have a green circle around his finger.)

Sex Panther cologne? No way. Nothing gets me in the mood more than the scent of three-day-old gym clothes covered in man sweat fermenting in a plastic bag.

Love notes or sappy cards? No thank you. On a regular basis, my fella leaves sweet messages for me in a dirty bowl, caked with spaghetti sauce left in the sink overnight after I loaded the dishwasher.

Cereal City | Battle Creek, Michigan 1997

Okay, I know that I am extremely spoiled, but I do put 110% into our marriage as well.

For instance, I have developed super-cute, nonverbal cues to express my true feelings. My secret language is so sacred, that he is the only person on earth who is the daily recipient of my messages.  It includes endearing eye rolls, sighs, stomping and an occasional grabbing of the chest while I take a deep breath.  (Think of a ladylike version of Fred Sanford’s, “I’m coming to join you, Elizabeth!”)

Have no idea where or when this was taken, but judging from Tom's perky boobs, I am guessing late 90s

I also thoughtfully hide all the sweets and treats in the house to help him stay on his diet. Unfortunately, this strategy backfired when his midnight snack was a giant Kit Kat bar reserved for a teacher’s Valentine.

To really get the motor running, I slip into my slinkiest XL, pitted-out t-shirt that says “I Hate Math,” giant cotton pajama pants (cropped, which is figure-flattering) and fuzzy green socks. I make a big production to kick off the socks in the middle of the night while I am sweating. I mean glowing. Rumor has it that I now snore since I’ve become a little fluffier.

San Diego Zoo, 2005

But truth be told, we do still find each other mildly amusing and over the past 15 years of marriage, we have lived our wedding vows to the fullest. Especially the “for richer or poorer” and “in sickness and in health” parts.

Recently, I asked him a favor. If he were to ever become interested in anyone else, can he just come clean and skip part with all the lies and sneaking around.

“You know I could never do that,” he immediately answered.  “Because…

My ears perked up, waiting to hear:  you are the love of my life. You are my soul mate. You are the best thing that ever happened to me.

You are the straw that stirs the drink.

The amazing mother of my children. My better half. The real deal. The total package. I couldn’t live without you.

You Complete Me.

Drum roll, please: “I’m too friggin’ tired all the time.”

Oh well, I’ll take what I can get!

John Hancock, Chicago 1997

Permanent link to this article: http://www.mom-mom-mom.com/2011/02/14/valentines_day_for_married_with_chiildre/


Skip to comment form

  1. Cara DiCanio

    Great piece, Karen! Happy Valentine’s Day Girlfriend, I Love You! Hugs and Kisses!

  2. Donna (DW)

    Love the post Karen, and I can totally relate. Especially to the wedding band issue. My darling hubby always takes it off when he gets home from work and leaves it just about anywhere (at least he wears it to work, right?) In fact, I can’t believe it has not been lost after almost 20 years. For the past week, I’ve noticed a mysterious layer of sawdust on one of our windowsills. I could not for the life of me, figure out how it got there. In fact, I left it for a week and every day I would look at it and try to figure it out, but I could not come up with any plausible explanation. Finally this past weekend, he happened to be nearby when I was puzzling over this sawdust. I looked at him and saw that goofy smirk on his face that tells me he did something stupid. He said, “Oh that? Oh yeah, well I dropped my wedding ring on the floor, it rolled down the heating duct and while I was trying to fish it out, the furnace turned on and blew sawdust all over.” Oh. That’s exactly how I thought it got there?!?!?!? At least he bothered to retrieve it. Happy V Day, Kings!

  3. Donna Simpson-Mitchel

    Wow, I never knew Tom was such a romantic! I would have snatched him up myself at Elmhurst College!! Too funny Karen! I’ve been married 20 years already and I’d worry if I was getting mushy valentines, jewelry and flowers. (Although, that might be nice?) Ain’t love grand! Happy Valentines Day!

  4. Patty

    Karen, this was HYSTERICAL!!!! I love the photos and the ‘secrets’ to your happy love union. I can relate to the wedding ring thing, too, but I’m the one who finally took Dave’s away after seeing it sitting on the radiator of the bathroom one too many times after he was taking a dump (I never understood the connection to those two things either) and put it away with my engagement ring that I never wear. This was already his second one, as he lost his first one on the first 24 hours of our honeymoon in the ocean (but can’t swim, so made no effort to try and find it.) A few years ago I asked him where his wedding ring was and he looked very nervous, then I told him I had it.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  5. Pharme545

    Very nice site! cheap viagra

  6. Linea


  7. Karen

    Cheap viagra!!! Well, that’s a Valentine’s gift that just keep giving!

  8. A Field of Dreams

    Great post, you always crack me up! I can relate to the wedding ring and Dearest is always bitching about being tired, so I don’t think he’ll ever have an affair. (Unless he already is and is tired from all the rooting)

  9. Big Dawg

    In the San Fran pic, I don’t know whether I look like Johnny Weir, or Brian Boitiano…..

  10. Karen

    Aw, thanks Cara!

  11. Karen

    We need to start a support group! Last year, Tom’s ring was retrieved by a bank teller when we brought in our jar of coins. Good grief.

  12. Karen

    Maybe they think that our vows are so sacred that they don’t want to tarnish them in the bathroom? We need to do a study.

  13. Karen

    Yes, he is the total package!

  14. Karen

    Can I tell you how much I love your use of “rooting?” You should do a “word of the day” from Australia!

  15. Karen

    Put on an ice skating onsie and I’ll be happy to judge~

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: