a very low-key valentine’s day.

You know how the retail world pushes Valentine’s Day, don’t you?  Jewelry, cards, flowers, jewelry, chocolate, stuffed animals, jewelry, special books, dinners out, jewelry … on and on and on until you’re sick of it and you never want to see a red heart-shaped box or a long-stemmed rose again.  And if you’re single, it’s between 10 and 1,000,000 times worse.  Make no mistake, I love my wife and I enjoy any chance I can get to celebrate the fact that I’m amrried to her, but sometimes I wonder why we pour so much into “a day” instead of just relaxing and enjoying it.

Well, today we did something different, the Supermodel and I.  We relaxed and enjoyed it.

This wasn’t quite the original plan.  Originally, I was going to get a babysitter for the kids for a few hours in the middle of the day, take her on a clothes-buying spree and out to lunch.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a sitter.  Then the Supermodel’s employer accidentally screwed up her paycheck (shorted it by about $1,000), and while they were supposed to get her that money Friday, the courier never showed up with it.  So we didn’t have the money for the shopping spree either.

So sometime last night, we just decided the heck with it — we’d keep it simple this time around.  So here’s what we did.

5:30 a.m. – I got up early to take care of my usual computer stuff in the morning before taking a shower, then made sure the kids (who were awake around 6:30) didn’t bother Mom.

6:45 a.m. – Made scrambled eggs to go along with the double-chocolate muffins I bought yesterday at Winco, settled the kids in front of the TV (the CBS 7-8 double bill of Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears) with their breakfasts, then joined my just-barely-awake wife in our room for breakfast in bed.

8:30 a.m. – Posted my 13th round pick in the Legends of Baseball draft while the Supermodel relaxed and read a book.  I like my team so far; 27 rounds to go, though.

11 a.m. – After letting the kids watch more TV than usual, I sent them out to the backyard to run off some energy, so the Supermodel could keep reading while I washed some dishes.  (They’d piled up a little.)

11:45 a.m. – Relaxed at the computer while the Supermodel fixed the kids lunch.

1 p.m. – The Supermodel (who likes to bake) wanted to try out some apple cinnamon chip monkey bread mix that her mom had sent her, so I rounded up the kids and walked them over to Stribley Park and their new jungle gym.  We got home around 3.

3:45 p.m. – Popped the frozen lasagna in the oven.  It came out just okay; then again, the monkey bread came out just okay too, a little singed on the bottom.  We have a gas oven that was probably installed when JFK was in office, so this is normal for us.

7:30 p.m. – Both kids ended up going to bed early — our son because he disobeyed Mommy one time too many, our daughter because she was feeling a little tired and cranky.  So I got to open a gift from the Supermodel — one of those Things Remembered LCD-clock-and-magnetized-pen desk sets (currently balanced upon my scanner until I figure out where to put it) — and we cracked open a bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling cider that we’d been saving for a special occasion.  (Martinelli’s is champagne substitute, for people like us who can’t drink alcohol.)  Then she went to sleep and I came in here to type this.

8:45 p.m. – Realized I’d forgotten something, went back to the bedroom, woke the Supermodel up and asked her if her pillow felt funny.  She hadn’t noticed (not surprising; she sleeps like a boulder), but she felt underneath the pillow and found the little heart-shaped box of chocolate I’d hidden there this morning.  A funny ending to a funny day.

Really, if you take away the muffins, lasagna, desk set, Martinelli’s and box of sweets, it was a pretty ordinary Saturday for us.  But after all that we put into Christmas, each other’s birthdays, our son’s birthday and our anniversary, that was just fine.  Too much celebrating can get to you after awhile (yes, Lindsay Lohan, I see that hand …) and it was high time for us to under-celebrate a holiday for once.  And I’m pretty sure we still love each other just as much as we did yesterday.  So nothing lost … and maybe a little perspective gained.

I just hope I remember that when the next big family event comes around …

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