Romance · 8 February 2007

Valentine’s Day must be coming soon because we have these candy hearts in our house again. That means that hearts and flowers and candy and balloons will be flying off the shelves in all the stores to promote this so called “holiday.”

I am not much of a believer in one day of romance. Once, I even wrote a poem to my wife that started:

“Valentine’s Day is not a real holiday,”
Is something I always like to say.

Now I am sure that there are readers out there who are wincing at the pain they imagine me going through when I gave my wife this poem. I am sure that some of my students are shaking their heads and wondering how such a dimwit ever found a wife who would take a dunderhead such as me. And there are probably women out there who are pitying my wife for marrying an unromantic clod such as myself. Rest assured dear readers that my wife and I are happily married (10 years) even though we share very different views about Valentine’s Day.

I am not one to poo poo romance. It is a necessary part of life or at least of a relationship. Especially in marriage. Yes, even after a man and woman get married, they should still have romance as a part of their lives. I just do not think one day to show that romance is quite what the doctor ordered. Romance is not trying to get the one thing all boys want from the girls – a date. Romance is a way to sustain a relationship between two people who love each other more deeply than anybody not in such a relationship like that can imagine. For me, romance is not a feeling that passes with time but rather an effort that is sustained to show my wife, Lisa, how much I value her as a person and how much I value our relationship.

In my relationship with my wife, I value times where we walk hand in hand. I like sitting next to her whether we are just at home watching TV or at church listening to the preacher or in the car driving somewhere. I even value the arguments that we have. Being together is a big part of romance. As Lisa would say, time is romance. So we spend as much time together as we can.

Valentine’s Day seems to give a much different picture of romance. Sure, there are cards that try to express such values – that time with loved ones is the key. But by and large, it seems to me that all the trappings of Valentine’s Day suggest that as long as you remember your spouse or significant other on that particular day, things will be okay. You can keep that relationship going for one more year. Just keep remembering her on Valentine’s Day and her birthday and your anniversary and life will continue happily along. That seems like too much pressure.

I would rather show my wife how much I appreciate her each and every day than try to make up for a year of neglect with a nice card and a big present. Maybe I am wrong, but doing things with my wife every day seems to be a much better way to say, “I love you,” than giving her a bouquet of flowers once a year. Still, this year, I think that I will give my wife something special.

My wife likes to watch a TV show that I can not stand. We do not watch lots of TV but we do record Grey’s Anatomy so that she can watch it when I am not around. I think that I will give Lisa her most valued gift, my time, in a way that she will not expect. For every newsprint copy of this column that she gives me, I will watch an episode of one of the shows that I so despise (Grey’s Anatomy or other). And if she does not find any newsprint copies, I will still watch one episode. I know that it does not sound like much but it would not just be the time she would cherish, it would be the fact that she could rub it in my nose that I had to watch her show that would be precious to her.

I may not sound like much of a romantic with my putting down of Valentine’s Day but my wife must not be too dissatisfied with my notions. I am looking forward to many joyful years with her. Years of tears and pain and laughter and hugs and kisses. Mainly, I am just looking forward to the years together.

By the way, that poem I wrote may not have had such a great start but it finished well enough, I think:

For ‘though this rhyme is simple it comes from the heart
And I take back what I said when the poem did start
For this holiday poem I give you to say,
“I love you Lisa. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

I hope that all of you have a great Valentine’s Day. And may you have a life filled with romance rather than just one day a year.

© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published 08 February 2007 in The RiverCurrentNews


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