Thursday, February 18, 2010

The moral of the story is to have low expectations and a spectacular husband.

“Babe,” I said to Brian one evening last week, “I can’t make you a nice, fattening meal on Valentine’s Day this year. We don’t have any time to lose with this Bahamas diet.”

He shrugged. “Okay.”

“We can have shrimp, if you want,” I offered, “and a salad. And maybe some fruit for dessert.”

“That sucks,” he replied.

“I’m sorry.” I paused. “But maybe you can think of something you’d like for a present, instead.” I flashed him a winsome smile. “I know you’ve had your eye on some new arrow accessories… weight rings? New nocks?”

He smiled back at me. “Naw, honey. But thanks.”

“We’ll just do something else special, okay?”


“Maybe you can write me a love letter or something.”

“AUGH!” He threw his head back and gave a plaintive cry. “You know I hate writing letters more than anything else. Hon-EEY!”

I smiled. “Okay, stop freaking out. We’ll figure something out. Don’t panic.”

The next day, after Brian had gotten home from work, the two of us stood in front of the hearth, with Bo at our feet. We watched the flames and talked about the day. He put his arms around me and I leaned against his chest, feeling the warmth of the fire.

“Brian, you don’t have to write me a love letter,” I conceded. “If you can keep writing me sweet cards every year on my birthday, that’s perfectly fine.”

“That’s right,” he agreed emphatically.

“We’ll find something else to do on V-day,” I continued. “Maybe we’ll just do nothing! That would be okay, if that’s what you want.”

He looked down at me and smiled. “Do you want your Valentine’s Day present now?”

Perplexed, I smiled back. “Um, well,” I said, “is it… a hug?”

“Just answer! Do you want your Valentine’s Day present now? Yes or no?”

“Well, yes,” I answered. And to my surprise, he grabbed the car keys and left the house.

And I was a little bit confused, because Brian is not a “gift guy”. And by that I mean that Brian does not ever want to receive gifts, nor does he want to give gifts… and if gifts went and jumped off a cliff he’d be just fine with the world. In fact, the world would probably be a better place entirely. And for this reason, Christmases and birthdays have usually been “go buy yourself something and say it’s from me” sorts of exchanges. Of course, Brian shows his love in other ways, many wonderful ways – ways that are far more important to me than presents. It’s just that in the world of love languages, the Language of Gifts, to Brian, is like Mandarin. Almost impossible to pronounce correctly, and completely useless to even try to learn. To Brian, anyway.

So to avoid getting my hopes up with Brian’s mysterious disappearance, I busied myself by getting dinner ready in the kitchen. And when Brian opened the front door, I craned my head around the corner to see –

A Valentine’s Day gift! A real, new, bought gift!

A beautiful, heavy, big, brand-new cast iron skillet and a new splatter screen to go with it.

It was like he’d gone on a reconnaissance mission into my brain while I was sleeping! And had figured out what I wanted without even asking me!

It was perfect! Absolutely perfect. I’d wanted one for a long time.

So I learned something this Valentine’s Day. I found that just when I think I’ve got Brian figured out, he goes and learns a completely new language. And surprises me with a whole new side of thoughtfulness.

I love my husband.

And I also learned that in the grand scheme of things, one fattening meal won’t do that much damage in a diet. So Brian and I feasted on bread and pasta and dessert on Valentine’s Day.

(And I took photos to show you all the recipes.)

The Meal of Love is coming soon!


  1. that's so sweet. :) personally, if a guy got me a cast-iron skillet, I'd snatch him right up before he had a chance to escape.
    Don't forget to make cornbread in your skillet!!! And use lots of butter - but maybe wait til after your Bahamas diet.

  2. This is the best story!!!!! Happy Belated Valentines day guys! :)