9:00 am, I quietly roll over, basking in the lushness of the down comforter provided by the Hilton Hotel, lovingly beholding the man I married three years ago, fondly remembering the day before, February 14, a day of passion, wine, and fine dining. A day saturated in romance with massages, dark chocolate, and red roses. A night ending in all night passionate love making and “I Love You’s” whispered late into the evening, a day of pure bliss, A day of complete imagination and
A TOTAL CROCK.
“Aggggghhhhh…… honey….. “ I roll over, holding my sensitive stomach, and glance at the time which declares the truth that it is indeed 8:00 am and time to get our rear ends out of bed after surviving a long night wrought with darkness and vomit. The day after Valentine’s Day. A day in which statistically more people search for a divorce lawyer than any other day of the year.
February 14, 2014
The day before, St. Valentine’s Day, the day in question, began innocently enough. Ryan and I started in plush accommodations, Hilton accommodations, our last leg of accommodations sought out after an adventurous journey home from what was generally a restful and relaxing vacation for two. That morning I awoke with the feeling of being punched in the gut, the breath being taken out of me once again, for probably around the 500th time since coming down with an undiagnosed illness in the Dominican Republic, having one of the longest nights of my life in the tropical wonderland after eating something or coming in contact with someone that obviously did not set well with me. “
Uhhhhhhhhhh…. I muttered, glancing at the clock blinking 8:30 am, “Ooooooooooooo……. I murmured from the Netherlands as my stomach retched with pain once again indicating that today, as it was with the previous two days, going to be a day of agony. Although I had an appetite, I paid for it dearly every time I attempted to put something into my mouth which would in turn then unfortunately travel down to the digestive regions of my body.
My dear, loving husband, eyes closed, muttered, “Stomach still hurting honey?” As I slowly eased my body to the edge of the mattress, waiting for the pain to pass, contemplating the price I would pay by ingesting a cup of coffee to offset an oncoming headache. “Um hum” I responded and saw through the corner of my eye that my husband had quickly beat me to making it as the coffee machine began to gurgle with life.
We managed to make it in time for the complimentary breakfast offered with about 20 minutes to spare. Looking over the selections of waffles, eggs, hash browns and danishes, I decided on the practical choice of yogurt (to combat the unfortunate side effect of a UTI, caused two days after my unfortunate bout with the complete crashing of my immune system) with an accompaniment of a side of bacon, because heck, it was Valentine’s Day, and I should be allowed to celebrate with something red, or pink, or whatever, right?
We left for home immediately after breakfast, because one, I still had homework to complete on the two hour drive home and secondly, we had to pick up groceries to replenish what had been used while we were gone. We found a grocery store, a Publix to be exact, and ventured in, ready to get our fill of produce, milk, bread, and something “special” for dinner that evening for the two of us. We ventured up and down the aisles, getting a feel for the space, surveying the goodness and the redness and the balloons and the candy and the red roses all around, and then the dear man beside me suddenly turned white, sweating slightly as he began vaguely recalling what day it was, THE DAY, and frantically took it all in, as a deer in headlights, looking to and fro as the tragicness of the situation began to descend upon him. He did the only thing a man in his position could possibly do and declared very intentionally,
“Honey, do you want to pick out some flowers for yourself for Valentine’s Day?”
Me “Uh….. I’m good, but thanks.”
And then it went quiet. Dead quiet as the various loaves of French bread beside the vast array of flowers absolutely became the most interesting thing either one of us had ever seen in our entire lives.
We finished our shopping, a quiet despondency having fallen upon our conversations, an embarrassed attempt towards an explanation about how we lived out in the middle of nowhere and people don’t want to deliver that far, etc, etc… and we headed home, again, actually stopping at the doctor’s office first where I had to have blood drawn. The nurse, the sweetest lady, asked innocently whether or not we had big plans for the BIG DAY to which I sarcastically replied,
“I’m not sure, but I don’t think flowers are involved.”
The room goes quiet…
ha…. ha…. ha….
She replies, “Oh I hate flowers, they always just die!”
And as she gradually depleted me of life saving, bright, red blood, I turned, slowly, methodically, towards my beloved who stood very quietly in the corner, avoiding the conversation completely, and I mustered, with every ounce within me, the biggest eye roll possible.
He gets the point.
Once in the car, the two of us, well, technically one of us, digresses at length on the philosophical, spiritual, and emotional reasons that any woman would say she hates flowers and how, in fact, it’s a total crock, an avoidance of sorts for women who have become so disappointed and frustrated throughout the years, women who in fact have just given up, women who have disillusioned themselves into believing that they actually hate flowers when in fact, no woman HATES flowers, and especially HIS woman doesn’t hate flowers, and any woman who says she hates flowers just says this to hide the fact that she does actually want something special, anything special, to show that she is remembered and treasured on this day, this stupid Hallmark day, which in reality is no more special than any other day but by golly, we do want you to buy into the commercialism of it all if only for our sake.
We finally arrive home exactly one hour before the kids are set to make their appearance. The groceries are unloaded, the dishwasher picked apart as Ryan tries to fix it, the dryer looked at (which also broke while we were gone) to no avail. The appliances are broken, straight up broken. The investigation around the house continues, most appears to be intact, and the children finally arrive, along with the babysitter who bursts into the door declaring loudly,
“JOSH IS PROJECTILE VOMITTING!”
Me, “Where is he? Is it all over the car????”
Her, “He’s in the car and I think he’s done throwing up.”
Me, under my breath, or maybe just in my head, “welcome home mama.”
Five strung out on Valentine’s Day, red dye, spiked sugar levels beings slightly resembling humans come bursting through the door,
“MOM AND DAD, YOU’RE HOME!!!!!!!!!!”
Immediately we are wrapped in sticky love, numerous candy bags, cards, school work, and gold fish thrust upon us.
“WHO GOT A GOLDFISH FOR VALENTINE’S DAY?!?!” WHAT IN THE WORLD????
I declare, probably not in the sweetest, I’ve been gone for a week and it’s so good to see my children voice, but I was in utter shock. Who gives their classmates a goldfish for Valentine’s Day? Is this one of those Pinterest fads that I missed? How did I miss this? But us? The Ronne family? We can hardly take care of the human beings in our home let alone a goldfish who is sent home without any food,
HE WILL STRAIGHT UP DIE, AND WE SHOULD SAVE HIM THE AGONY BY FLUSHING HIM NOW
“This can’t be real” I mutter under my breath, and then I do what I do in stressful situations and jokingly yell out,
“HONEY! Mya brought home some fishing bait for you!”
Ha, ha, ha…..
Tate, the child who 100% gets my humor, cracks up in the corner.
Ryan, rolls his eyes as he passes from one broken appliance to the other, showing me that although he is head to toe stressed out with having to fix the dishwasher and the dryer, he does stand with me in solidarity in agreeing that this is a really ridiculous idea for us to have a gold fish.
The kids, Josh excluded who is passed out on the couch, have a delightful Valentine’s Day meal of Campbell’s tomato soup and grilled cheese. The dinner time conversation revolves around Mya relying, like the good little second mother that she is, the offenses of each and every family member that occurred while we were gone. Jada is not eating…. Not a good sign which will prove prophetic in nature as the night wears on. Four of our children are in bed at 7:00, by choice, that’s how exhausted or sick or whatever they are. Ryan and I start to relax, pouring ourselves a glass of wine, cooking and devouring our romantic meal for two including steaks and asparagus, reading for a bit with the boys, finally allowing our bodies, soul, mind, and spirit to embrace a certain sort of perceived calm and relaxation when BAMMMMMMM –
SPITTER, SPATTER, CRACKLE, AND WHRILLLLL…..
LIGHTS OUT BABY!
Really, seriously, we are going to do this today? On Valentines Day? No dishwasher, no dryer, one child projectile vomiting, four exhausted children, pukey laundry everywhere, dirty vacation laundry still in the luggage, tired, grumpy, painful stomachs, and no flowers day - we are really going to do this today as well? NO POWER???
Indeed we were, the 14th of February, was going to be a no power, no rest, no flowers type of day.
Ryan is a supreme candle lighter in this type of situation and within 5 minutes we had close to 50 candles romantically lit around the house. The kids were checked on, everyone accounted for and fast asleep, as my dear husband poured two more glasses of extremely rare, extremely treasured Franzia boxed wine on ice, we sat, looking intently at one another, searching for something in each others eyes and finding exactly what we were looking for… love. It was always there, on this Hallmark created day full of exaggerated expectations and false hopes, flowers or no flowers, it was there in all the crap of the day that made us a family. It was there in the pot of coffee, in the quiet admonishment and agreement of the eye rolls, it was in the steak dinner lovingly prepared amidst the chaos, still there in cleaning up the puke, there in fixing the dishwasher and the dryer despite an incredibly long, stressful day. It was there, among those 50 beautifully, bright candles, in the laughter of, “SERIOUSLY??” Is this our Valentine’s Day? It was there in the attempted explanations about the flowers, it was there. It is there. It will always be there. It is our love story. It was our Valentine's Day.
I love you honey.