Ahhhh, Valentine's Day.
The day that we are told is filled with promises of exquisite jewelry, bouquets of extravagant flowers, wining and dining at the finest of restaurants.
That's what the commercials want us to believe, anyway.
In real life for us, it means lobster and steak cooked at home, eaten in a candlelit dining room after the kids have gone to bed as the dishwasher hums in the background.
There is no new jewelry, except perhaps the most recent bracelet crafted on the Rainbow Loom.
If there are flowers, they come directly from the grocery store, though in all likelihood, the flowers were skipped because we understand that the same flowers that were $10 yesterday and will be $10 tomorrow are $30 today. We've grown too practical to throw money away on frivolous things.
Besides, lobster was on sale, and we all know that is a better use of the money.
There might be a card, if we remember, though at some point we gave up on them too. Seeking out an overpriced piece of paper holding words that are only tangentially relevant to our love seems like a waste of time anymore. There isn't a card that fits us now. Perhaps there never really was, we just wanted to believe that we could fit into the tiny boxes society told us we were supposed to.
Love, real love, isn't about flowers or chocolate or jewelry or fancy dinners.
Real love is nights spent cuddled under blankets on the couch until you fall asleep.
Real love is a call on the way home to ask if you need anything at the store.
Real love is flowers on an ordinary Tuesday just because.
Real love is bringing you a roll of toilet paper when you are trapped in the bathroom.
Real love is asking if you are okay before laughing at how you got hurt.
Real love is shoveling the driveway.
Real love is letting her cry.
Real love is pacing in a waiting room.
Real love is being vulnerable again.
Real love is saying sorry.
Real love is second chances.
Real love is messy.
Real love is beautiful.
Real love is the everyday pieces of who we are, what we do for one another, the unspoken things woven in the tapestry of this connection between two people.
Real love isn't one day.
Real love isn't one moment.
Real love is the spaces in between.
Happy Valentine's Day, my friends.
Mr. Hive, I love you.
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