I hate Valentine’s Day,” she said to me early on.
I didn’t reply. Because what do you say to a girl who says that?
Besides — you know — the obvious: that you’re fucking perfect?
Because I hate it, too. Always have and always will. It’s a made-up holiday; a Hallmark contraption that sits in the middle of nowhere and forcefully puts you in one of two places: in love, or not in love.
And if you’re in love (or just with someone) it then demands a certain action — some type of perfect expression of love: flowers, dinner, a gift in a small box, candy (candy?), whatever it may be. But it has to be something, some definitive proof of your feelings.
It’s kind of all just bullshit. So I want to try and slow the beat down. I want to try and tell you how I feel, without relying on someone else’s words penned for some every woman wrapped in an expensive card. I want to do it my way.
So angel, I offer words that I myself wrote — however good or bad, for Valentine’s Day:
I will love you on Valentine’s Day.
And I will love you the day after, and the day after that, when the rose petals begin to shrink and die and fall off their stems.
Five years after our first kiss, I will still get butterflies when I see you across a crowded room, and my breath will still catch in my throat when I see you naked.
I will make you laugh, even when you don’t want to. I will take care of you when you are sick. I will hold your hair back as you throw up.
I will give you morning kisses and good night kisses every single day. If we’re apart, I will text them to you. I will never fail to do this. Not even once. You will love this.
I will fight for you.
I will teach you everything I know. I will believe in you. I will push you.
I will make you coffee. Milk. One Splenda.
I will wake up early one morning. I will slide close to you as you stir, your back toward me. I will tell you not to move as I slowly undress you. I will take you from behind, my hand playing with your nipple as I kiss your neck and thrust deep inside you. You will be unable to decide whether to giggle or moan, so you will do both.
I will fall in love with your perfectly imperfect smile.
I will put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink.
I will believe you when you say you hate surprises, but I will surprise you anyway.
I will get us bubble bath, and we will soak together for hours, watching old movies. We will listen to Pachelbel. And Johnny Cash.
You will fall asleep during a long car ride. You will look at me when you wake up and say: “God, I love you so much”. Then you will reach over and play with my hair as I drive. I will be unable to comprehend how lucky I am.
I will tease you when you close your eyes during the scary parts of The Walking Dead.
I will recommend Don Winslow; you will recommend George R.R. Martin.
I will listen.
I will walk the dog in the rain.
I will edit your writing. You will edit mine.
I will send to Israel for a bracelet for you that’s inscribed with the Song of Solomon, because you told me you loved it. For I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.
On a cold, blustery, winter afternoon we will lounge on the couch before a fireplace in matching white robes, your head resting on my lap, drinking wine and talking lazily as people do when they stare into a fire. You will undo my robe and tease me as you get me hard. I won’t know whether to laugh or moan as you take me into your mouth, so I will do both.
I will tell you that you look best in jeans and a shirt with no make-up. I’ll say it enough that you’ll finally believe me.
Our first dance will be under a warm Hawaiian night. Lightning will flash all around us. We are perfect together, you will whisper in my ear. You’re my angel, I will whisper back.
You will ask to borrow something to wear to bed. I will give you my old, tattered shirt from my days as a fireman. It will come down past your knees. It will become your favorite.
I will tell you of my failures, my frustrations and my dreams. You will know that I am not nearly as confident as I sometimes appear.
I will never cheat on you.
I will cry when the dog dies in movies. You will call me a dork. I will plead guilty and smile.
I will find peace in your arms.
I will trust you.
I will worship your body and giving you pleasure will become my greatest joy, but I will be utterly captivated by your mind and your sheer curiosity.
We will become best friends.
I will do planks with you at midnight, learn Pai Gow with you, and play along to Jeopardy with you while we eat dinner. You will be way better at it than me.
We will sit for hours, just talking about anything and everything. We will sit for hours drinking and solving the world’s problems and laughing how easy that was.
I will tell you that when I love, I love forever, and then I will tell you that I love you.
And that I always keep my promises. Always.
One day, you will write me a note on a yellow post-it. You will always have my heart and I will love you always, it will say.
I will keep that note forever, as I will love you forever.
I hate Valentine’s Day,” she said to me early on.