Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Valentine's Day...

I think it's nice to have a sweethearts' day every so often, maybe even once a year. It's nice to have a reminder that we should treasure dear ones, and particulary the dear ones who choose to move forward through life together with us.

But I'm not really into the whole commercial holiday thing. I know I put that Zooey Deschanel song up which gently chides a guy for forgetting about Valentine's Day, but V's Day is not such a big deal, in my book. At the end of the song, she does say the more important thing is that he's her guy. It's neat if you are both into the holiday and if your lives and schedules afford it, you could have a grand night out on Feb 14 every year, and celebrate the sweetness of your love. That's sort of not my style, though. I want to feel special and treasured all the time, but the last thing I expect is for my fellow to feel bad about not doing the whole wine-and-dine thing every February 14. He's a responsible person, and Tuesday is his regular work night. I have plenty of studying to do, anyway.

When I started dating Himself, I was living in Dallas and he was several hours away. This meant we'd get to have a date on the weekend (he worked weekdays then). Now, having moved out to his neck of the woods, we see each other every day, but he works a pretty dramatically different schedule than I do, and I really have to be a grown-up about this. There are a lot of harsh realities when your guy or your gal works in a dangerous field like law enforcement or Fire/Rescue or even in less dangerous but equally schedule-trying fields like hospital work. Come to that, this applies to anyone who does shift work. You have to make your own holidays, and they may not necessarily fall on the scheduled, traditional date. In the past year and a half, I think he's worked 2 Thanksgivings and one Christmas, and them's the breaks.

The fact is that he's a wonderful guy who bears his responsibilities manfully. He rarely calls in sick to work, even with pneumonia(I called him a rude name for that one, because I felt he was endangering his own health), because bad guys never take a holiday, and he's that rough man standing ready daily between a lot of decent folks and some truly evil people. I know it's not fun to go in to work on Thanksgiving right about the time most people are sitting down to a big family feed, but I know he also thinks about the family he has at work, the young men and women who are learning to be responsible role models for other young people in turn one day. Someone has to do it. You can't just stick a baby monitor on crime scenes or in jails and hope the critters will sort of behave while all LEOs run off for face time with their families.

He doesn't whine or act like he should be exempt from holiday work while his charges at the Sheriff's Office have to give up time with their own families. He leads by example, and I think that is a rarity. I've been to several gatherings where the young officers he trains have been in attendance, and I see how they truly admire him-- not in the way of someone who is intimidated-- but in the genuine way of a person who has been given respect and straightforward, useful guidance from someone who is caring and accessible. Oh, believe me when I say I have no doubt that when pressed in a professional situation, he can be way more terrifying than any lunatic who comes up against him, but when it comes to his dear ones, he has truly a sweet heart.

That should be Valentine enough for any girl, any day.


Peter said...

Oh, yeah. He's a keeper - for me as a friend, and for you as a partner. We're both lucky.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Valentine's Day card! A bit more lenghthy than the average store-bought-vanilla-sap variety, but waaaaaaay better.

Jennifer said...

Indeed. I don't really care a thing about some arbitrary day. My sweetheart is my sweetheart every day.
And he bought me a fur coat, so there's that.