- Forget it was Valentine's Day.
- Panic because I didn't get my wife anything.
- Offer to make it up to her by walking around the house shirtless for the evening.
- Offer to never walk around the house shirtless for the evening ever again.
- Clean the house as much as possible, doing little things she's been asking me to do for weeks1 like replace the light bulb in the basement or replace the light bulb in the basement or, seriously, replace the light bulb in the basement.
- Rub her feet and not complain while we watch "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood."
Now that we have kids, Valentine's Day is a little less predictable, but still plays out in roughly 6 steps:
- Pick out Valentine's Day cards for kids to sign and hand out to classmates, teachers, cousins, friends and Santa Claus (doesn't hurt to get in good with him early in the year).
- Argue over who gets to use the cards with Tinkerbell on them and who has to use the ones with the "other fairies" on them.
- Leave room to get a drink, come back and all cards are magically gone. Find out they have been "hidden" in a very secure and secretive place.
- Find all Valentines shoved in mailbox.
- Also find gas and electric bill in mailbox. Open it. Look at cost. Become depressed.
- Wish it were like the olden days when I forgot about Valentine's Day.
When comparing the two, I have learned that one this is for certain: Valentine's Day induces a lot of stress. Stress about gifts, about cards, about hoping for forgiveness because you thought the card you got your significant other counted as a gift. I'm convinced the stress of Valentine's Day is 95% responsible for my receding hairline (the other 5% is credited to the Reds bullpen).
But I'm lucky and here's why:
I may not good at buying gifts and it's pretty clear that I'm a terrible foot rubber, but I am good at one thing: Being completely in love and devoted to my wife and family. My wife knows there's nothing I wouldn't do for her (except replacing the light bulb in the basement, perhaps) and she knows that I try hard every day, not just on Valentine's Day, to show her how much I care. Bringing her water at bedtime. Getting the kids washed up for dinner. Letting her stretch out on the couch comfortably while I set up shop on the floor. Not shaving so she can have a little extra time in the bathroom. Picking my nose less frequently. These are the things that you do for your Valentine, the things that really make life just a little better.
It's what I'll continue to do for the love of my life, and what I'll do for my little Valentines too. It's just what good husbands (and good dads2) do.
And, because I don't want my wife to walk away without anything special today, I will offer up this ultimate Valentine's Day gift to her that I know she'll appreciate.
I admit it: I like Tori & Dean.
1 And by "weeks" I mean "much, much longer than weeks."
2 They also threaten any boy living, dead or undead who attempts to give a Valentine's Day card to their little angel that says anything other than "Your friend, Aiden" or "I'm scared of your Dad, sincerely Pete."
* Subscribe to The Life of Dad via email or RSS feed!
* Also, follow me on Twitter @BrianKlems. I promise to occasionally say funny things.