My wife and I are gradually turning into each other. For as long as I’ve known her, my wife’s had to sleep with her feet sticking out from under the blanket. No matter how cold or how hot the room is, no matter where we are, she requires uncovered feet in order to attain restful sleep. It’s one of those silly things I love about her. Of course, I rarely let an opportunity to tease her about it go by. For her birthday one year, I bought her a blanket, cut a hole in it near the bottom for her feet, and gave it to her as a gag gift, fully expecting it to land me in the doghouse. Turns out women actually like this sort of thing. Go figure. Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when, a few years into our marriage, I discovered the reason I hadn’t been sleeping well was because my feet were now being suffocated by the blanket. It’s an unnerving feeling, the first time you realize you’re turning into someone else. But however intense my anxiety had been, it was nothing compared to the panic attack my wife experienced the first time she caught herself heckling the eleven o’clock news.
I used to get cynical about Valentine's Day, any holiday really, that involved running out and buying greeting cards that would just get thrown away in couple of days anyway. But my wife has taught me that it’s not about the actual cards, or the pounds and pounds of heart-shaped chocolate contributing to an obese society, or the wholesale massacre of fragrant plant life. It’s about taking the time to show the person you love how much you care. The methods we use are a function of creativity (or lack thereof) and convenience, and in the end, it’s not the method that really matters. At least I think that’s what she meant. Sometimes I can be a little dense.
So tonight I’ll give her the card, and the chocolate (if there’s any left), and the roses. And after the kids are in bed we’ll have our romantic evening, or as romantic an evening as possible on a babysitter-less school night. And afterward we'll curl up together in bed with our feet uncovered, flip on the local news, and laugh at the plastic people who don't understand what they're reading. And snuggled up beside her, I’ll think again how lucky I am to have her, and how lucky I am that, even in the slightest of ways, I’m turning into her, because there’s no one else in the world I’d rather turn into.
Sucks for her she’s turning into me though.