Thursday, February 22, 2007


My sweetie is sneaky. Very sneaky.

We got engaged last week, Friday.

Sure, we'd talked about it. I knew it was coming. But not then. Not Friday. Friday was supposed to be a belated birthday dinner. A romantic, just-the-two-of-us dinner, yes, but a birthday dinner. Because, on my actual birthday, I like to go out to dinner with friends, so he takes me out for the romantic dinner after my birthday. He did it last year, and we didn't get engaged. He said, the whole week leading up to the dinner that it was a birthday dinner, and I shouldn't expect anything, you know, out of the ordinary. He has said this before, before other events (Christmas, New Year's, my actual birthday, Valentine's Day), and we have not gotten engaged, so I figured he meant it.

Little did I know that months of telling me not to expect anything were simply laying the groundwork for me to...not expect anything.

It turns out he bought the ring weeks ago (as it happens, the day before my real birthday). He told his sister. He told my friend Brian, who was going to be visiting me this weekend. Brian said later that he avoided talkng to me for weeks because he couldnt't trust himself not to say anything.

My sweetie, though, was cool as a cucumber. I had no idea. And here I thought I could read him like a book.

Maybe I should rethink what this means for the years ahead :-).

Here is what I consider our official engagement pic, taken by Brian in Chinatown on Chinese New Year (hence the confetti):

See me waving my (btw, utterly gorgeous) ring? :-)
By way of warning: I expect there will be very little knitting content on this blog for some months to come!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

My sweetheart sent me some gorgeous flowers yesterday.

Why yesterday? Because, you see, he hates Valentine's Day. It's a commercial Hallmark holiday, and it bugs him.

So he sent me flowers yesterday, as an un-Valentine's Day present. His way of being contrary without being contrary, I guess.

I was completely surprised. I didn't expect anything, since I know how he feels about the day. He caught me off guard completely.

I love them. I love him.

It got me thinking about Valentine's Day, though. My sweetie is not the first man I've dated who hates Valentine's Day. I attract (and am attracted to) rebels, maybe. I'd never really had an opinion about Valentine's Day--if anything, I used to think it was kind of silly. People (stereotypically women) do seem to get a little crazy about it, demanding wild proofs of love and expensive presents, and I do think that's stupid. I'd rather have a man who supports and loves me every day, rather than someone who gives me fancy presents once a year.

That said, the first time I dated someone who couldn't stop complaining about Valentine's Day, I started to get annoyed. I don't ask for a lot: a bunch of flowers, a kiss, and a tender moment. What's the big deal? I've read a lot of rants today in blogland about how stupid Valentine's Day is, how it's designed to value the superficial over the substantial. But I resent the idea that if I like to receive or give a present on the day, my relationship is founded on sand. It's not an either/or proposition.

To me, Valentine's Day is like Mother's Day. Mother's Day is another made up Hallmark holiday, complete with flowers that cost five times as much as any other day, and jacked-up Mother's Day menus in restaurants. But you can bet I don't call my mom for weeks prior to the day, telling her to expect nothing from me, because it's a stupid holiday, and I show her that I love her on all other days so she doesn't need anything special from me. A card, a phone call on the day: it's so little effort to put a smile on the face of someone you love. What's the problem with this?

All the ranting about Valentine's Day is as childish as the romantic adolescent paroxysms those rants are protesting, a kind of "I won't, and you can't make me." Get a grip: Valentine's Day is what you make it.

My sweetheart made it February 13th. Meanwhile, I bought him something for no reason, just because I thought he'd want it--and called it a Valentine's present to annoy him :-).