Last night was my 14th day and also V-day… a day that my husband hates, but that he reluctantly participates in so as not to hurt my feelings. Truth be told, I could not care less about valentine’s day either, especially since it’s one week before our first wedding anniversary which feels like the real special day. But there’s still like this pressure to do something, you know???
Normally, my hubs and I would make reservations at some fine dining place, where I would get the pleasure of ordering a fancy bottle of wine to pair perfectly with our food. How I love to choose a special bottle of wine. It is a ritual that calls upon my artistic side, my knowledge of different varietals, how they complement various dishes, what brings out the flavors in what. I adore this process, the server pouring me a taste, to get my approval before pouring a delicate amount into both of our fancy glasses, the warmth in our eyes as we share a toast to whatever feels meaningful to us in that moment. But this year, that was not to be. So I set out to find us something different to do. All a fancy restaurant would do for me now would be to cause distress at this perceived loss.
Instead, I signed us up for a yoga workshop. An evening workshop for partner stretching and massage. When I proposed this idea to my husband, I was sure he was going to roll his eyes and say something to the effect of, “over my dead body.” Rather, as he so often does, he surprised me by simply saying, “sure, I’ll do that with you babes.” Swoon.
I was under no delusions that we would take it completely seriously, and was pretty sure that we’d have a few good laughs about the experience and I was right. Quite the cast of characters in that studio, as perhaps only those of you who live in a fairly (ahem) liberal area can imagine. But overall, what was really cool was that we were together, sharing a few giggles, learning some easy and fun stretches and massage techniques. We were connecting in a way that we normally never would be. My husband got to meet the teacher who is instructing me to become a yoga teacher. We had a genuinely good time.
The studio owners, afterward, offered a wine tasting for all of us. I felt mild regret about not participating, but I noticed that it wasn’t so much that I wanted the wine as it was that I felt a bit left out, or rude, for declining. We thanked the teacher and told him we were both on a “drinking hiatus,” he hugged us and gave me a rose, and we left. Stopped and had sushi for dinner on the way home, which was less tempting. (For some reason, eating Asian food of any kind, sushi, vietnamese, chinese, or whatever, does not trigger my wine-drinking impulse the way other fancy restaurants do… I associate it more with tea!) We got home and curled up with books in bed with our great Dane in between us. (So romantic!!) And it was just fine.
This morning when I woke up, I was greeted with the amazing feeling of having had genuine sleep and saw in the mirror my bright, white eyes. Any feeling of loss for not having had wine I might have been hanging onto melted completely away. In the end, I know we had a better valentines day than we would have if we had followed our normal routine of fancy dinner + cocktails, bottle of wine, nightcap. No arguments. No drama. No worrying about who drove. Just togetherness. And a toast with a big glass of cucumber water. I felt more loved than ever.