I hate Valentine’s Day. First of all, the guy was beaten to death with clubs before having his head chopped off. Does that really call for the mass buying of chocolates? Plus there’s the whole forced Hallmark romance of it all.
Here’s the issue: most of the gay men that I know aren’t all that romantic. Kelly especially is not romantic. He doesn’t like cut flowers since they’re just going to die. He loves chocolate, but has no self-control so he’ll eat the entire box in one sitting, making himself sick. He doesn’t enjoy fancy restaurants. As for sexy underwear, save the receipt.
But what’s love got to do with all of that? Absolutely nothing. That’s because love comes without ribbons, it comes without tags; it comes without packages, boxes or bags.
Maybe it has to do with LGBT people having to fight so hard for the right to love whom we choose that has left a bad Valentine’s Day taste in my mouth. After all, we celebrate our love every day – hell, we even have a parade every June to show the world our love.
Run-of-the-mill life can be a drag on any relationship. Add nearly three decades and two kids to the mix and romance takes on a whole new look. The other night, when we were alone in the car, I asked Kelly a question. Even though I’m pretty sure he rolled his eyes, he was smart enough to recognize in my tone that it was a serious inquiry. I asked him if he thought we were in love or if after all these years together we were merely comfortable with each other.
His answer actually surprised me: Both.
Now I’ve been in corporate communications long enough to recognize that the question is equally as important as the answer. Actually, how the person answering the question interprets it influences his response. So when I said “comfortable,” I wanted to know if we were just too lazy and fearful of the unknown to leave each other for greener pastures.
But he interpreted it to mean “cozy” and “happy.” So yes, he argued we are not only in love, but we are happy. Come to think of it, we once knew a lesbian couple, who secretly nicknamed us Chris and Cozy.
It’s this comfort in each other and in us as a couple that means we can treat this random day in February laden with false romance as just another random day. It doesn’t have to be the greeting card industry’s official day for us to express our love for each other.
I see how much he loves me in the little every day actions he takes. How he irons my shirts. How he makes the boys breakfast and gets them ready for school while I’m at the gym. How he takes the dog out one last time each night so I can go to bed earlier.
So no bouquet of flowers or box of cherry cordials can make me think anything but that he loves me. Yes, there is comfort in that. It’s comfortable knowing he’s a good father to our kids. It’s comfortable understanding that he thinks I am as well. And there’s a different level of comfort in hearing him snore next to me every night (he claims I snore as well, but I have no proof), or how he never misses Ellen and how he’s a disciple of her philosophy of kindness.
Yeah, I’ll take the comfort of kindness over silk boxers any day.
What’s love got to do with being comfortable? Absolutely everything.