Head Over Heels
By Peri Kinder
I’m a terrible romantic. I mean that literally. I’m terrible at being romantic. When God handed out sentimentality, I was hiding in a bathroom stall eating a box of chocolate donuts. If I’d married an unfeeling psychopath that wouldn’t be a problem, but my husband could be the spokesperson for the Hallmark channel.
He’ll plan Valentine’s Day like he’s competing for a spot on “The Nicholas Sparks Romance-A-Thon Reality Evening.” There’s roses and poetry and candlelight and chocolates and puppies and rainbows and glitter. And then there’s me, sitting dumbfounded saying something like, “Did Valentine’s Day come early this year?”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m lucky to have a husband who remembers not only my birthday, but the time of my birth, what the #1 song was and the Oscar-winning movie from the year I was born.
But by comparison, it makes me look pretty pathetic.
I often return kind thoughts with chilling sarcasm—but he still hugs me and makes me feel like I’m not quite the monster I think I am. (But he should probably stop calling me FrankenPeri.)
So because of all the sweetness he shows me, and because I’m still learning this whole romance thing, this is my Valentine’s letter to my hubbie:
Thank you for having my back and being willing to fly into battle to defend me from the smallest slights.
Thank you for telling me I’m beautiful even without make-up (you always look beautiful without make-up) and when my hair looks like I barely survived a rabid ferret attack.
Thank you for not noticing when I have a zit the size of Mt. Rushmore hanging off my chin. Well, I’m sure you notice, but thank you for not calling me the Zit Witch.
The same goes for when I have a scorch mark on my forehead from the flat iron, a gash on my shin from my razor and cuticles that look like I get manicures with a cheese grater.
Thank you for telling me when the bloody parts are over during Quentin Tarantino’s films. Thank you for not taking me to any more Quentin Tarantino movies.
Thank you for not noticeably rolling your eyes when I serve a meal consisting of quinoa, sweet potatoes and kale. Thank you for ordering pizza when the meal tastes like $%&*.
Thank you for understanding that I hate watching romantic comedies (see paragraph #1) and appreciating when I sometimes suffer through a sob-fest of a manipulative romance. In return, thank you for occasionally watching animated films, even though you hate it as much as I despise romance.
Thank you for putting up with my irritations, like having an unstable bi-polar thermostat that ranges from Arctic cold to erupting volcano. Thank you for not freaking out when I blow our budget on Amazon (“Where did that come from?”).
Thank you for binge watching TV shows, not dragging me to parties, reading next to me in bed, laughing at my jokes, going to my yoga class and snuggling every morning before we head out to face the world.
And here’s the funny thing. Despite my resistance and outer shell of cynicism, I often feel like the Grinch when his heart grows three sizes. I’ll find myself crying at movies without embarrassment (but I’ll still get offended when you offer me a tissue). You’ve taught me to appreciate sunsets, beautiful clouds and a gentle hug at the end of the day.
Maybe one day I’ll change from being a terrible romantic to being terribly romantic. Probably not. But it could happen.