So last year I blogged about Valentine's Day, or rather the fact that I am anti-Valentine's Day. So this year I figured I would give equal time to the other side of the equation.
I am friends with "that guy". All of the married or even just dating couples out there know what I mean. At least the male half of the relationship does. "That guy" is the one that messes it up for the rest of you. He is the one that does the romance thing without being reminded or guilted. The one that plans ahead and seems to actually enjoy doing so. So if you are friends with a couple that has "that guy" in it, you are screwed. You bring home your dozen roses and your wife is THRILLED until she calls her buddy to talk about it and finds out "that guy" had a rose bush named after her in the Rose Gardens. You get reservations at the newest romantic restaurant in town and are pretty pleased with yourself until you find out "that guy" had a private chef come to the house and cook a gourmet meal while his wife spent the day in a spa getting pampered.
"That guy" doesn't even do it to make you feel bad, which makes it so much worse! He's just doing what comes naturally to him. He's not trying to out compete you. He is just trying to make sure that he is doing all that he can do to make his partner feel special. Now the particular "that guy" in my life is like this for all holidays. He and his wife have been married just a few years longer than Brent and I have so if I weren't so anti-celebration Brent would be in huge trouble. For their 20th Anniversary he booked a romantic week away in wine country where they did tours and tastings and a hot air balloon ride. (I actually have two "that guys" the other one did a tour of Italy for their 20th but he is only "that guy" when it comes to travel instead of a general all over "that guy")
Anyway...he also takes off her birthday from work so he can spend the day with her every year. When we first became friends I remember scheduling a meeting with him and him having to move the date because it was on his wife's birthday and he would be out of the office all day. He was shocked that not only do I not have Brent take my birthday off, I didn't even take it off myself. To be fair, I do celebrate my birthday for an entire month, so it's not that unusual to expect I would take the day off. But my idea of celebrating my birthday is people bringing me sweets and telling me how young I look. That's it. His idea of a celebration is a day doing what ever his wife wants, pedicures, massages, dinner out, maybe a weekend trip away to a bed and breakfast. See? He is "that guy".
So Valentine's Day for "that guy" is like the ultimate day. The "that guy" in my life, even proposed on Valentine's Day. This year because his wife's job requires that she get up early dinner out on Monday night would be inconvenient so he moved Valentine's Day to Saturday. But I guarantee you that he will not let the day pass without letting his lady love know she is still his favorite Valentine. In all the years that I worked with him I would marvel at his Valentine's Day efforts. He is the father of three daughters so not only would he do something special for his bride, but he would then do a lovely gift or dinner with his other girls. And then he spreads out from there.
I can remember being in a business meeting with him the week of Valentine's and he took the time out to tell people how he felt about them. Reduced the biggest bear of a man I've ever met into a blubbering baby. It was really something to see. And he does it all very unselfconsciously. You would expect one grown man telling another how much he respects and cares for him to be awkward, but it was a lovely moment. When it came time that same meeting for my turn in the spotlight, he first told me to shut up and sit still, he knew I wasn't comfortable with speeches or praise but wanted to let me know that he appreciated everything I did for him and his business and then he gave me a cookie. Which as you all know, baked goods are the gift of choice for me. See? He is "that guy".
As much as I am not into the celebration I enjoy hearing about what he is doing and how he is doing it. It's a view into a world that though I don't understand it or need it I can appreciate why he does it and how it makes him and his family feel. So for all of you out there whether you are like me and would just rather not celebrate, or if you are "that guy" or aspire to be "that guy" or fall somewhere in the middle I hope the day is filled with all of the things you like best. And if you are looking for gift ideas...remember baked goods!