An Unconventional Valentine

The other night myboyfriend asks me:

“Whatshould we do for Valentine’s day?”

I hadn’t given it much of any thought

so I shrugged and replied “up to you”


 His face sorta changed

 in this disheartened way

 and he asked me

 “what happened to that hopeless romantic I used to know?


the one who

 made plans for valentine’s day in june

 and sweetest day sugar cookies

 and celebrated national Nutella day too

because you claimed there was no sweeter

pairing in the world than hazelnut and chocolate spread

and their union between bread just inspired you?

(it’s a real day February 5)


what happened to that?

did my jeering at hokey holidays kill it?

did I unintentionally ruin romance for you?”


I didn’t have the wordsjust then

but I knew it wasn’t dead

no, our relationship isn’t new

but the spark isn’t gone


lit with a different sort of flame

that feels much more like the fireplace of home


romance isn’t a bouquet of flowers for us

it’s Sunday evening scratch-offs

to make grocery shopping less mundane

it’s divide and conquer household chores

then rewarding ourselves with Netflix and a glass of $4 champagne


It’s not shiny jewelry in alittle blue Tiffany’s box

it’s taking the driver’s seat during our morning commute

so I can have that golden, extra 22 minutes to finish my makeup routine

it’s at least pretending to still love my cat

even though he mistook your bag for his litter box…again…


we’re not Shakespearean love sonnets
we’re a little more..Dr. Suess, and

i would not trade that for a million bucks
I would not trade that for a new pair of chucks

we’re a little less notebook or twilight cheesiness
and a little more, oddities season one
a strange pairing of pickled conjoined fetal pigs
that might be of distaste to some
but endearing to us

our relationship isn’t the expensive steak dinner type
we realize the gourmet in a crave case
or T.G.I.F Friday’s if the coupon is right
and Gordon Ramsay would even commend
your top-of-the-line sloppy joes 
and the lemonade you squeeze by hand

maybe our romance isn’t a sarah mclauglan tune
but it’s changing song lyrics in the car
in a more crass knock-off of weird Al 
and continuing to say “oh we should write this down!”
as if it would be a hit to anyone besides me and you


it’s not about delving into a box of godiva chocolates
after enjoying a couple’s massage
it’s delving into conversation of our deepest disappointments and dreams
and feeling safe enough to share my most personal poetry with you


it’s the way I barelyeven had to ask
about my best friend moving in on our couch
“I know right now her situation’s rough
but if she means the world to you, she means the world to us”


it’s the patience you have with my father 
and the constant help you provide in his failing health
I never knew one relationship could 
so strengthen another
and even though he still awkwardly introduces you as “my friend, Rob”
rather than his daughter’s truest love
I speak for the both of us when I assure you 
he sees you as his son

so rather than be dismayed 
that I want to spend this Friday just like the rest
find solace in the certainty
that no hallmark card could capture
no February 14th could celebrate
no cupid’s arrow could create
this romance that I consider best.


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