Fajitas and Mickey Rourke.

I make a lot of noise about how Valentine’s Day was invented by the card companies. And I really do believe that, to a certain extent. But I want to clarify: I am not against celebrating love. I just hate the pressure of Valentine’s Day, the way that we have come to think that it’s about extravagant gestures and creating perfect memories, as if that is what love somehow means.

Over the years, we have celebrated various levels of Valentine’s Day before settling on the current “no cards, no presents, no dining out” policy that I think we are both comfortable with. I remember the nice dinner he cooked for me that one year on Valentine’s, and I remember the year that I had a sinus infection and we ate pasta in bed and watched Friends on February 14th. But some of my most special memories aren’t really romantic: that time he brought me life-saving medicine when I had mono, those times we stayed up late reading Harry Potter together, the way we fall asleep watching our favorite movies.

While I like celebrating as much as anyone, we live most of our lives in ordinary time, and, in the end, it’s ordinary things that mean the most to me. I would rather have pasta in bed than for Mike to buy me some jewelry because he thinks he is supposed to. I would rather have dinner at our special restaurant on a normal night than to try to rush through dinner there on Valentine’s Day with everyone else. And I would rather celebrate our extraordinarily ordinary love on an average Wednesday than to try to squeeze some perfect memories out of February 14th.

On Saturday, Mike and I saw a matinee of The Wrestler and made fajitas. If Mike had come up with a plan, it could not have been more perfect.

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