That's the way love goes

A Valentine's week rethinking of romance, from a member of Table Talk, Salon's reader community.

Published February 15, 2008 6:21PM (EST)

Family Life

Baby, you're the greatest: the significant other appreciation thread

Tinsel - 05:37 pm Pacific Time - Feb 13, 2008 - #575 of 588

Dearest Husband o' Mine:

Did we not just return from the frozen north and the insanity of six days in a hospital room with my various sisters, BILs, and mother, most of whom have not spoken for decades? Did you not provide my father with surreptitious nursing care for those six days and come to think of it, five earlier days at the rehab hospital? Did you not put up with 10 full days of close contact with the greater and lesser crazy members of my family, which included my sister bursting into tears and melting down in public over the decision to have ham instead of pot roast for dinner? Did you not watch us debate and analyze and peck to death even the smallest details, like what car to take to the hospital or who would drive or when we would arrive or depart? Did you not have to hug your mother-in-law in public upon multiple occasions very recently, when you do not like her in any respect? Did you not endure seven hours of visitation at the funeral home, where you did not know a soul and yet you were the very model of the Husband Who is a Catch? Did you not converse with and thank nicely the church ladies who made Jell-o salads with carrot shavings and Miracle Whip you barely choked down? Did you not stay glued to my side to prevent outright hostility from estranged family members? And did you not do all of this with only minimal opportunities for cable news, Internet access, or good coffee, three things you hold very dear? Did you not hold and console me as I cried brokenhearted over the loss of my father and the further rejection by remaining family members?

And yet you come to me this evening to say that you completely forgot tomorrow is Valentine's and when you slipped out of the house you found that See's had a line two blocks long and Hallmark was worse and the flower stall was already empty and therefore you are abjectly sorry not to have flowers, candy, and a card all ready when I awaken tomorrow?

Do you not yet know that we are together because we love and admire and respect each other, and not because the card, flower, and candy industry require our participation at stated intervals? Do you really not know this, because it is all true. And I can never ever thank you enough, dearest husband. Thanks for staying married to me after you got a load of my family and most of all, after you got a load of me with my family. It wasn't pretty, I know. So thanks. And you can skip the flowers. Really.

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