some time next week

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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Last night Matt and I had a conversation that went something like this:

me: “so… are we going to do anything for valentine’s day?”

matt: “wait when’s valentine’s day?”

me: “next week – I think Tuesday…. yep… Tuesday.”

matt: “wait so is that the 11th or the 14th?”

me: “it’s the 14th obviously! are you joking?”

matt: “no I get it confused I thought it was the 11th maybe…”

Valentines Day is not high on Matt’s priority list. It never has been. When we first started dating, I was excited to have a reason to do something fun and started to broach the subject when Matt let me know that Valentines was his least favorite holiday. My hopes sank a little more when he said he didn’t understand why people bought flowers since they die. I tried to explain why they were really nice to get as I tried to recover from the shock that I might never receive flowers from him.

That first Valentines day he gave me a large manila envelope with cut out light pink hearts glued all over it. Inside was a handmade, dare I say, don’t-spill-the-glitter-can-you-pass-the-gluestick-brought-me-back-to-elementary-school-days type card made from doilies and red paper. I loved it.

The first time he brought me flowers (I think it was a few months after my defense of them) I was embarrassed. He dropped them off at my office (no, back when I had a “real job” and didn’t work from home) after lunch. While anyone who saw us would probably think he was a really nice boyfriend, I acted like he gave me a pet lizard and awkwardly hide them on my desk. I guess I couldn’t get over the fact that he didn’t see any reason to give them… and I became strangely self conscious. I know, I don’t make any sense. Thankfully he tried again and I received flowers the next time much more gracefully. Once we were married he even took to picking up a bouquet at the store and arranging them in a vase on the table, because he knew I liked fresh flowers.

Matt might not be a romantic – especially when it is forced upon him – so I like to approach Valentines day from a different angle. I totally understand then unnecessary pressure for guys to do something. While Matt may or may not surprise me with something sweet, I plan a few things for us to do or enjoy together so that I can celebrate no matter what. I really don’t mind baking sweets and writing cards which – if I’m organized – I like to send to friends as well. The handmade aspect of Valentines Day is part of the reason the day can be so much fun. When you boil it down, I am the one who would spend hours bending a wire into the shape of a heart and placing it like the filament in a lightbulb, so I don’t mind if Matt wants to sit out for those projects. Of course, when you boil it down you also find out that I would never turn down flowers, especially a gorgeous arrangement from Sassafras like the one you see above. Most of all, remember that Valentine’s Day is sometime next week.

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