My Valentine

It’s Valentine’s Day and I feel the need to gush about the special man in my life. Anyone who reads our blogs on a regular basis knows about Martin. I didn’t realize until just now that I have him hiding behind sunglasses or a mask in every photo. Probably just as well. He’d prefer it this way.

Our relationship is one that makes the REO Speedwagon lyrics, “What started out as friendship as grown stronger” speak true. We met at a time neither was looking for anything serious. We wanted a friends-with-benefits arrangement. It didn’t take long before we both realized we really liked spending time together – doing whatever. It was six months after our first date that we realized there were genuine feelings.

Martin has seen me through my dad’s loss of vision and moving him into a nursing home, finding out my ex-husband is gay, my divorce, buying a new home, one job loss, two new jobs, my adult son moving in with me, becoming a freelancer, and menopause. Throughout it all, he’s reminded me of my strength, my resiliency, and told me how proud he is of what I’m able to accomplish.

His belief in my abilities sometimes surpasses my own. He encourages me to try new things, to take time for myself, and to have fun. He shows an interest in my work and how I do it. He’s curious about life and loves to learn. There are so many things I love about him.

We don’t make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, but we do recognize it with cards. He’s at work this week. I snuck a card into his backpack before he left. Last night, I was cold so pulled down his favourite sweatshirt from the closet (mine too, because it’s snuggly and smells like him) and a card fell out. He knew I’d be wearing it at some point while he’s gone. With everything going on with his dad’s health, I didn’t think he remembered this year. It made me smile.

I smiled again this morning when he sent me a text to look under the mattress. There was another card. I don’t know why, but he has always bought two cards for Valentine’s Day, birthdays and Christmas. It’s his thing.

For so many reasons, he’s the perfect-for-me life partner.

It’s the Little Things

Martin and I are in Kelowna visiting his dad. We are coming up on two years together and, as we sat in the hotel’s sauna watching sweat drip from our faces, I reflected on how far we’ve come.

We joke about “You know this isn’t a new relationship when…” or, “You know the bloom is off the rose when…” Off the top of my head:

  • You sit in a sauna and see who can get ten drips of sweat off their face the fastest.
  • Your boyfriend says, “You’ve got a chin hair” and reaches over to pluck it.
  • On a particularly tight turn past Rogers Pass, you tell your boyfriend, “Could we try to take it on four wheels this time?” (because you’re no longer convinced clenching your butt cheeks together will keep you on the road).
  • You pee with the bathroom door open so the conversation doesn’t have to stop.
  • Your boyfriend offers to give you a pedicure and, upon seeing the calluses on your feet tells you, “You don’t need a pedicurist, you need a farrier!”

It’s the shared moments. When we think of these things, we smile or laugh. I like that we’re past having to be on our best behaviour all the time.

I’m very fortunate. In addition to these funny moments, I’ve got a guy who:

  • tells me daily that he loves me (usually, several times a day)
  • loves to cook (and takes all my dietary restrictions into account)
  • gives hugs and kisses in public whenever the mood strikes him
  • helps around the house without having to be asked or expecting thanks
  • makes an effort to understand what I do for a living (to most, it looks like I sit at a computer all day….well, I do…)
  • actually listens when I talk and doesn’t try to “solve” things; instead, he asks questions and shares his perspective
  • helps me take my dad to medical appointments so I don’t have to go into the mens’ room when Dad needs to pee
  • buys plants for my home because he knows I like them
  • puts my feet on his lap when we’re on the couch watching TV
  • falls asleep with his arm around me

We’re sitting together on the couch and he asks, “What are you thinking about Bubaloo?”

“I’m trying to think of a way to end this blog.”

“Try: The End”.

Sometimes, he does have an answer to my problems.

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