When my husband and I started dating, I had high expectations for Valentine’s Day. But I was trying to play it cool, so I told him I thought the holiday was silly and that I hated flowers. Thankfully, he read between the lines and brought me flowers and a box of chocolates. We ate dinner at Denny’s (my idea) and played dodgeball with my intramural team (also my brilliant idea). There’s nothing quite as satisfying as whipping balls at balls with nerve endings.
As time has passed, our Valentine’s Day traditions have waxed and waned. Some years, flowers arrive at the front door. Other years, I use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to drop way more money than I should on lingerie that will be worn once, for 30 seconds, before we realize it’s impossible to do the deed in these death traps.
But now that I’ve been married almost ten years (gulp), all I really want on February 14th is a mopped floor. One that I don’t have to mop myself. And if my husband really wants to turn up the heat, he could scrub the grout while he’s down there. No, that isn’t some sort of Internet slang for something sexual. And I’m not alone, either. I reached out to some friends and asked what they wanted, and they had some great suggestions, too.
An actual, doesn’t lead to anything, massage
This was the first response I received immediately after sending off a mass text (and I heard it from more than one person): a massage that doesn’t start at the shoulders for 90 seconds (if you’re lucky), before quickly going south. The real kicker is that those 90 seconds at shoulder level are long enough for you to wonder if they’ve forgotten their primary motive. They haven’t. I, of course, have never experienced these kinds of massages. But I’ve heard stories.
A complaint-free dinner
I don’t need to eat in candlelight, and I’m happy to cook, but could we please, for the love of all things holy, have a dinner where no one complains about the food, having to shut off the TV, or the god-awful penance of having to spend seven minutes at the table with family?
10 minutes in the bathroom… wait for it… alone.
I forgot this was even an option. One time my entire family (immediate family, thank goodness), congregated in the bathroom while I was peeing, to get my opinion on what we should do that day. My daughters have learned so much about anatomy, thanks to their eye-level view. Are they in the bathroom because of an emergency? Is someone dying? Oh no, they just want to know if I can get them a cup of water. Ice water.
What would ten minutes in the bathroom alone even be like? Can I even pee anymore without being interrogated with a never-ending stream of “but why?” questions? Maybe this Valentine’s Day, I’ll find out.
No one can talk to me for 120 minutes after I wake up, ON MY OWN.
I don’t want to be poked in the morning by anyone, or anything. I want to wake up when my body naturally decides it has had enough sleep. AND THEN, I don’t want a list of five billion questions to answer and demands to fulfill. I just want 120 minutes of silence, 120 minutes of not being needed.
“All I want for Valentine’s Day is to not have to think about what I want for Valentine’s Day.”
This came from my friend who managed to convince an entire summer-camp’s worth of kids to refer to her as “President.” She knows what’s up. And I agree — it would be lovely to not have to dictate what I want for Valentine’s Day. The problem is, you never know what you’re going to get (see section on massage). Which is why I think my friend Jessica had the best answer:
Think of it! You could use the money to pay a house cleaner (me), get a professional massage that, as one friend so delicately put it, “isn’t tied to reciprocal favors,” or hire a babysitter so you can spend ten minutes in the bathroom alone. You could just hold your cash while singing “All I Do is Win” by DJ Khaled.
The possibilities are endless, and you deserve them all.
Laura Onstot writes to maintain her sanity after transitioning from a career as a research nurse to stay-at-home motherhood. In her spare time, she can be found sleeping on the couch while she lets her kids binge-watch TV. She blogs at Nomad’s Land, or you can follow her on Twitter @LauraOnstot.