Pint-Sized Love.

It used to be that when Valentine's Day neared, I'd start dropping hints about what we should do, or what I should receive. The household in which I grew up, my parents celebrated all those holidays with cards and gifts and big to-dos. It was only natural that when I finally found my own permanent Valentine that I'd want to replicate what I saw growing up. Insert Big Red and some very different ideas about what Valentine's Day should or should not be.

Big Red is of the ilk that Valentine's Day is one big dumb commercialized scheme to get consumers to buy overpriced flowers and chocolates, to spend too much on a dinner, to loose one's wad o' cash on some jewelry, and to set girls up with very high expectations. Um, well - kinda. Over a decade ago when Big Red and I first got together, I tried to make a big deal about Valentine's Day. I essentially forced the gift exchange on him, expecting the dude to produce something shiny or pretty. It was never an organic procedure, in fact traditional gift-giving is NOT natural for Big Red. He's always struggled in that department and on occasion it has led to some heated discussions and even a few tears. Fast-forward ten years and change, and we've now settled upon a happy medium of a joint decision about whether or not we'll go out to dinner, more so because we love food, and less so because it's Valentine's Day. There aren't any forced cards or stressed-out gift searches. I've let that one go, cause that's what you do sometimes in a marriage. You decide what's really important and work on those pieces, and let the little nagging issues fall by the wayside.

Thursday, I got home and decided we should go out for some cheap delicious Mexican cuisine. When Big Red got home, I proposed the idea and he was, not surprisingly, enthusiastically on board. I said, "I'm going to take you out to dinner!" This is a running joke in our household because our money is not separated. We've shared every dollar from day one. He then responded with, "Alright, because I've got dessert covered."

What's that you say? Dessert?

Turns out Big Red, on his very own, without obnoxiously dropped hints from yours truly, stopped at the grocery store on his way home from work and bought me one of the greatest loves of my life: ice cream. And not only did he buy me ice cream, but he bought me my FAVORITE ice cream; a pint each of strawberry and creme brulee, made by the incomparable Haagen Dazs and Ben & Jerry's, respectively.

Jewelry is lovely, flowers are pretty, but for this gal, little else tops the luxury and extravagance of ice cream. Big Red knows his lady. Now that's love.

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