I think enough time has elapsed that I can talk about this.
When Valentine's Day rolled around last year I was dating KC but we had only been seeing each other for a couple months. I spent some time fretting about what level of present to get him. Something nice? Romantic? Nothing at all? A card? Something I make? Just dinner? The best situation would be that we both got each other something nice/romanticish or that his gift to me would be slightly MORE romantical than my gift to him. Which is basically what happened. And there was peace and prosperity in the kingdom.
This year was a little different.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are dating me, here is a handy tip: I will always expect the highest level of affection/attention that you have given me.
The HIGHEST level. Of affection/attention. THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN ME.
What does that mean? It means that if you take me out for a lovely, romantic birthday dinner one year then the next year I will be somewhat crestfallen when you say "Uh. I dunno let's just get pizza" without looking away from the TV. It isn't that I don't LIKE pizza or that I wouldn't ENJOY spending the evening snuggled on the couch or WHATEVER. That's not the point. The point is that you set the bar HERE once ----- but now you're only reaching for HERE ____ (not to scale).
You'll notice that I emphasize that my expectation of an attention/affection level is what YOU have ever given me. So it's not like I'm comparing you, potential boyfriend, to EVERYONE I'VE EVER DATED. Just your own actions. (Although truth be told if I WERE to compare you to everyone I've ever dated then you probably wouldn't have to worry at all because most of them set the bar NICE AND LOW. Birthday text message breakup, anyone?)
Anyhow. Are you following this highly logical logic? If you act a certain way in the beginning of the relationship, I will go ahead and assume that you will continue to act that way, unless something largely changes. Obviously if we are in the middle of a big argument or breaking up or you're stressed about work or your grandmother dies then, yeah, you're off the hook.
Extenuating circumstances aside, if you do something nice for Christmas or my birthday or fillintheblankholiday one time then my expectations for the next time will be in that RANGE. It doesn't mean that ANYTHING ELSE IS UNACCEPTABLE. Showing me that you care doesn't always LOOK the same. I'm a reasonable person. I understand that taking me out to a fancy restaurant is awesome but that taking me out to my favorite cheapie place is ALSO awesome. Buying me a fancy cocktail is EQUALLY nice as buying me a Pepsi in a glass bottle becuase you know how I love Pepsis in glass bottles. Basically I want to make it clear that if you show me you care about me once I'm not expecting you to fall all over yourself trying to show me in bigger, grander ways for the rest of my life. I'll settle for a somewhat consistent level of showing that you care.
But, say for instance that on Valentine's day last year you got dressed up and took me out to dinner and gave me a lovey, nice present and generally made me feel all fluttery and sappy.
This year? I WILL NOT BE EXPECTING THIS.
Yes. This year for Valentine's day I got KC something that I thought he would like and use and would tie in nicely with his birthday present and he got me THIS.
I was. Um.
I was um, surprised.
I went home and did an internet search. I found that he bought them off of a web site. A web site that sold OTHER TYPES OF MICROBES.
HE SPECIFICALLY CHOSE THE STDS.
I don't know about you, but, to me? STD Microbes just don't say "I love you."
If anything at all STD Microbes say "I'm giving you STDs for Valentine's day."
Even the BOX! Tell me the flaming V part of the heart shaped box doesn't scream FIRECROTCH to you.
ARGUE WITH ME ON THIS, I DARE YOU.
I went around in circles trying to figure out WHAT he meant by this gift. It must be a joke, I thought. But HE KNOWS I don't LIKE joke gifts. So then maybe it is because I am a nurse? But I'm not, like, an infectious disease specialist or anything. Is it because he knows I like cute, little things? But they are STDs. The fact that they are STDs OVERRIDES their cute littleness. I DON'T UNDERSTAND.
"I don't understand," I told Jenny. "What do I do?"
"Well," she said "You could let it go."
Ohhhhhhhh. I could let it GO. I could do what my sister has taught her daughter to do-- say "Thank you! It's just what I wanted!" I could accept this gift because KC spent money on me and spent time looking for a present for me and gave me something that I guess he thought I would like (?) for some unknown reason. I could let it go.
Or I could stew about it for a couple hours and then give KC tearful speech about gift giving and how I didn't understand what this meant and how I felt like maybe he doesn't 'get' me and how he was supposed to show me he loves me and STD MICROBES DON'T SAY I LOVE YOU.
I'll leave it up to you to guess which one I did.
Just the other night, KC and I were watching TV and there was a girl on the show who was trying to hint around for her dude to talk about their relationship since he was about to be moving far away.
"She's being so obvious," I said.
KC snorted "Not as obvious as you would be!"
"I just mean that, you know, when you have something on your mind you have to SAY it."
"But I-," I stammered, indignantly. "Is that bad?"
"No it isn't bad. It's just you."
Yeah. Well. STD MICROBES DON'T SAY I LOVE YOU.
But maybe putting up with a gal who always always ALWAYS says what's on her mind and really listening to her when she feels like she has something important to say and validating her feelings and telling her you love her and apologizing when you hurt her feelers, maybe that does.
And bringing her this?