Aww, I thought. So sweet. Of course, she’s been married about ten minutes … so her husband still does all of those thoughtful, romantic things.
I indulged myself in a moment of … not sadness, exactly … more like nostalgia. When my husband and I were first married, we defined the word smitten. Each day was filled with pet names and inside jokes and cuddling on the couch. We lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Burbank with a talkative tortoiseshell cat named Squeaky. I used to have to dodge him while I got dressed for work because he couldn’t see my bare skin without wanting to, um, admire it very thoroughly. We would go to work, and spend all day looking forward to getting home to each other. The Beloved.
Fast forward a number of years. Our marriage had survived major illnesses, relocation to a new state, the death of a parent, the birth of a child, and the loss of that dear little chatty cat. Each day was filled with diapers, daycare worries, and intensive time management. Cuddling on the couch? We were happy if we got to sleep four hours IN A ROW at night, before our toddler with the sleep issues reared his adorable head. My husband was able to brush past my half-dressed figure every morning in a sleep-deprived haze. We would go to work, and spend all day looking forward to getting home to bed. Not because we were eager to do the no-pants-dance … because we wanted to be unconscious.
I admired C’s roses on my way to lunch. She was beaming.
When I came back from lunch, a single red rose in a vase was waiting for me on my desk. A box of Godiva chocolates and a card sat next to it.
“Ohhh!” I opened the card. Not only had he picked out a card, bought a rose, and hand-delivered them … my beloved had written me a poem!
I blinked back tears.
We still had It.
Years of shared daily life had not dimmed our shiny love.
I opened the box of chocolates. Inside was a little red envelope reading, “You’ve just won a diamond necklace!”
I smiled and picked out a chocolate. Phhhft. A diamond necklace. Heh.
“Listen to this, D,” I said. “I MAY HAVE WON a diamond necklace!”
Laughing, I offered her the box. She picked out a chocolate and said, “What?”
I opened the envelope and read the card to her, still laughing.
D listened, and said, “It sounds like you really did win a diamond necklace.”
“No, I’m sure it’s just some marketing thing to get me on a mailing list.”
“Let me see that.”
I handed her the card, and picked out another chocolate.
“Lisa,” she said slowly. “I think you really did win a diamond necklace!”
“No way. That’s crazy.”
Reader, I won a diamond necklace.
I filled out the little form, had it notarized, and returned it via registered mail.
My best friends at Godiva Chocolates sent me a slender gold chain with a 1.5 carat diamond solitaire pendant attached to it.
I like to think that even without the sparkling surprise attached … that was still the best Valentine’s Day ever, because I wasn’t expecting anything, and my Beloved made me feel like a newlywed again.
But I must admit: that wholly unexpected bauble didn’t hurt!
P.S. And that guy who made the lucky purchase? There’s still no one I’d rather go through death and diapers with.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Beloved.