Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Valentine

I think it's a fairly common phenomenon, but Jon and I have always had slightly different expectations for Valentine's Day. Jon wanted basically nothing to do with it, stating that he loves me every day and didn't want a commercial holiday to obligate him into some cheesy signs of affection. I wanted to do something sweet, savoring the extra incentive to spend time together and celebrate how awesome it is to be in love with each other. In the past we have met half-way and done something small and silly, but mostly just prioritized spending time together.

This year, neither of us felt up for much of anything. We were getting over a bad headcold in our house and Eli had not been sleeping well. If some friends of ours had not offered to watch Eli so we could go out, we probably would not have done a thing. Since Presidents Day gave us a Monday off, we went out to dinner on Monday night while the Jemisons babysat Eli. We got dressed up and off we went.

It felt SO good to be going out just the two of us. We even were matchy-matchy just for fun. We felt such a relief as we pulled down the driveway, free to just be us and not have to be watching the clock... or the carseat mirror. Jon put on our wedding song, The Nearness of You by Louis and Ella. Swoon. Ok so maybe he can be a little V-Day cheesy when he wants to.

We ended up at McEwens downtown and ate a delicious meal sprinkled with laughter and stories and hand-holding like we were young kids on a date again. We had forgotten just how important it was to be out just us two. It was like we remembered why we fell in love and made another human being together in the first place. Seriously, my husband is the funniest and most ridiculous human I know and it was so worth it to marry him. I mean, I got to witness the hilarity of Jon singing with great exaggeration a pop song on the restaurant radio while a nearby table full of old business men glanced over with confused and judging looks. I have missed Jon's many antics in the fray of our busy lives lately.

When we finished up dinner, we deemed it too cold to go on a walk and opted instead for a drive across the Mississippi on the bridge to Arkansas. Strangely, the streetlights lights were off so it was eerier than normal and not quite the thrill we had hoped. Jon then suggested that we try visiting one of the casinos across the state line. I started musing on what kind of characters we would find in a casino on a Monday night at 10pm in Arkansas. Yep.

Neither of us had ever been to a casino before and were a bit put off by the wall of cigarette smoke that greeted us at the door, but our moods perked up when we realized that we get $20 in free play since we were first-timers. We tried a variety of 1¢ slot machines that honestly didn't make a lot of sense to us and somehow came out $44 richer as a result. Woo! I never thought that would be an activity we would choose on a Valentine's Day date, but I loved how spontaneous and silly the whole thing was.

Clearly, Jon and I need to go on more date nights. I'm absolutely convinced that I married the perfect man for me and I never get tired of spending time with him. We have loved being parents together and watching Eli grow, but we also still get super giddy just being the two of us. Cheers, to many more dates with my love.

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