Sometimes I’ll refrigerate icing and eat it straight out of the tub.
So it couldn’t have been me who came home on Valentine’s Day and threw a full-blown hissy fit at the sight of a chocolate cake.
The cake was my gift from Zac this year.
For our first Valentine’s Day, I received roses, candy and a big red bear (all of which he bought at the last minute while I was in the store with him).
The year that I was pregnant, he prepared a steak dinner that we ate by candlelight. I was so impressed that he repeated it for our next two Valentine’s.
I have never tried to pressure Zac into buying me expensive things, espcecially for Valentine’s because I believe it is a stupid holiday.
I would much rather him be the sweet guy that he is 365 days of the year than a show-off for just one.
However, for reasons I cannot begin to explain, I got it in my head lately that we were missing out on something by not celebrating Valentine’s Day more than we do.
I was tired of predictable and low-key. I wanted something new and exciting.
I dropped a hint at the beginning of the week.
“You’re not going to buy steaks again this year, are you?” I asked Zac out of the blue one night.
“I thought about it,” he said. “But I also thought about doing chicken.”
That comment flipped a switch in my brain from “Danger! Calm yourself, woman!” to “The crazy train has left the station.”
Zac and I are only four years into what I hope will be 50 or more years of marriage and already we’re hanging our hopes for romance on a piece of chicken.
Several days later, Zac announced that he had come up with a surprise for me.
Even though I’m not a fan of flowers, I somehow came to believe that he would bring home one of the bouquets that he was selling in the Pig’s produce section.
He talked incessantly about the flowers for at least two weeks. I heard about why he ordered them, how he displayed them, whether they were selling.
Surely he had set aside one small bouquet just for me.
Facebook did nothing to improve my mood on Valentine’s Day.
Women whose husbands are total jerks were posting pictures left and right of flowers, candy and other girly gifts that I usually loathe but suddenly wanted.
By the time I got home, I will admit that nothing poor Zac could have done would have pleased me.
The big surprise I had been cautiously counting on all day was a chocolate cake with vanilla icing and a handful of Hershey’s Kisses on top.
In the heat of the moment, here’s how my warped mind interpreted it: “Zac, who does most of our cooking anyway, came home right before I did and whipped up a cake with a mix that I bought weeks ago and threw in some Hershey’s for good measure. Boy, he really put himself out.”
I was so dejected that I went into our bedroom to compose myself and found the leftover Hershey’s laying in a clump on my pillow.
No flowers. No love letter. Not even a chicken.
I could tell Zac was very hurt when I acknowledged that I had seen the cake but made no other comment about it.
“It’s pathetic, is that what you’re telling me?” he said.
I requested that we not talk for a while, which was dumb because stewing about it only made me more of a smart aleck when the silence ended. To Zac’s credit, he fought back rather than making excuses for my craziness.
Later, we were lying in bed next to each other, but it felt like we were miles apart.
“I hope you have a good night’s sleep,” he said quietly, which turned out to be the most romantic thing he said to me all day.
Over the next 48 hours, I apologized for my behavior, and we talked some things out. Four years of marriage have taught us that there is always more going on than the actual fight we’re having.
The situation was completely defused by Friday night when Zac announced, “I just really thought you’d love having your own Little Debbie cake.”
Cue crickets chirping in the silence. “Do what?” I asked.
“It was a Little Debbie cake,” he said. “Remember when I asked last week if you liked the chocolate chip ones? I made you one and spelled out ‘Jenn’ with the Hershey’s.”
Why he waited so long to reveal this vital piece of information, I do not know. However, once he did, I felt like the worst wife in the world.
Thankfully, I am married to someone whose forgiveness and understanding run as deep as his love.
He also makes a delicious cake. This one just happens to taste suspiciously like crow.