1988 was the first time I spent Valentine’s Day with the one I committed to spend Valentine for the rest of my life!
We were both working at Far East Bank in Intramuros and we had dinner in a quaint restaurant in Malate, complete with a dozen red roses. The good thing about my relationship with my husband is that we started off as barkada. We knew each other’s “best foot” and “not-so-best foot.” I knew (and admired) how frugal he was when we were all living on an analyst’s salary back in the ’80s. He and another officemate had creative ways of buying roses for their girlfriends to save on cost. So when he gave me a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day from a reputable flower shop and not from the market, I thought hmmm… he might be serious. I knew that he opted not to bring a car to work everyday in order to save on gas. So when he offered to bring my visiting aunt all the way to Tagaytay for a picnic, I was really convinced that he was serious!
Kidding aside, I love spending Valentine’s Day and any other day with Marvin because he is such a happy person to be with. Back in the 80s when I would worry about something, he would even sing to me, “Don’t worry, be happy…oohh oohh…” (remember the song of Bobby McFerrin which has a Reggae beat?) complete with the whistle background, and somehow he eased my worries, especially the unnecessary ones. (Click here to listen to the song.)
It has been over two decades now and he continues to give me flowers on Valentine’s Day and other special occasions. He continues to woo me and I love him more for that. No matter how impractical flowers can be on Valentine’s Day, there is a certain kilig (thrill) that it brings to the recipient, whether she’s 16 or 96 years old. If you find the prices of flowers too much on Valentine’s Day, be creative but give something that will give that thrill to your Valentine.
It is usual for married couples to get too occupied with the daily grind of life – work, kids, bills, etc. that the romance is set aside or sometimes even forgotten. But a married relationship needs romance as a garden needs constant tending. The romance does not just come in flowers, chocolates and special gifts. It also comes in unexpected notes or text messages reminding the other of your love or just telling your partner that you suddenly remembered him/her. It also comes in accompanying your partner to do things he/she enjoys doing.
We both enjoy watching movies but our tastes are not exactly the same. Marvin loves to watch action movies and I can’t understand how this relaxes him. When he’s not feeling well he goes to his man-cave and watches the fight scenes of his favorite movies. On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of action movies (except if the lead role is Hugh Jackman or John Travolta). In fact, give me a straight 5 minute non-stop gun fight and explosions and I will doze off to sleep. I’m not kidding, and my sons wonder how I manage to do this. But I do watch action movies with him.
I like to watch good love stories. And in the same way, he accompanies me to watch these even if he’s not so fond of them. He showed his love by watching No Other Woman with me! (But I think he also enjoyed the scenes of Anne Curtis). It’s a good thing that we both like true-to-life and triumph-of-the-spirit movies.
Another point I wish to make is we should always set aside couple time. No matter how busy or how much we love hanging out with our kids, we need to keep on dating. We need to carve out our couple time. We do ours on Fridays and that’s why we call it Fridate. Go out with your spouse, even if you will end up just talking about your kids. Some say that they would rather bring their kids along now because pretty soon they’ll be grown up and away from home. To me, that’s precisely the reason why we should keep our regular couple time. Our kids will someday be on their own, away from home and you and your spouse will be left alone again, just the way you started. And the danger of neglecting regular couple time is you might grow apart and forget how to be just a couple. That’s what happens to a lot of empty nesters. When the kids are gone, their common interest is suddenly gone as well.
So this Valentine’s Day find ways to bring back the romance and keep the fire burning. Don’t let the years slip away growing old and apart from your partner. Don’t’ you wish that when you’re old and gray, you and your partner will still look at each other the same way you did during your first Valentine date? I do!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all!