Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 5, 6 and & 7: Love grows

Well, as we got closer to the weekend, I was no longer the only one being valentiney. Yay for a non-emotionally stunted spouse!
Thursday marked the 4th anniversary of our engagement (you celebrate all kinds of weird anniversaries when you get married), but Nick had work and I had an evening class, so we ended up spending most of the day away from each other. For various reasons, it ended up being one of those really long, really busy, really hard days for me, so by the time Nick came to pick me up from campus I was feeling tired, hungry and grumpy. Not so romantic! However, that all melted away when I discovered a cheerful bouquet of gerber daisies waiting for me in the front seat! I already knew Nick had remembered what day it was, but I didn't know that he'd had time to go and do something adorable, let alone something that turned out to be exactly what I needed. Fortunately for me, I'd already stopped by the bookstore to get him some of his favourite chocolate, so I got to be sweet and thoughtful in return.
Extra bonus: delightfully un-Valentinish flowers to brighten up my week. I lovelovelove flowers, but hate the idea of anyone spending three times the price on a generic little pre-made Valentine's bouquet. My flowers were bright orange with not even the slightest hint of baby's breath in sight :)

Friday night marked the official kick-off of Valentine's Weekend. I marked the occasion with a trip to the salon and an unceremonious chop of 9 inches of hair. I love it! Fortunately Nick does too, because it would be a little late to do anything about it now. Then, after picking Nick up from work and showing off my hair, we went home for unromantic pizza, and then out on a romantic date to see a play.Twelfth Night, if you were wondering. We both enjoy live theatre and concerts, so it was fun to be able to sneak in a little culture. We got all dressed up too, which might secretly be one of my favourite parts of going out.

Saturday was the long awaited Valentine's Day itself! We slept in, and then both got up and made ourselves breakfast in bed. Nick made chocolate chip pancakes (imagine my delight when they were heart-shaped!), and I made strawberry topping from real, actual strawberries. Then we broke out the stemware and cloth napkins and scurried upstairs to bed to enjoy our breakfast and open our presents.
Now. I'm not entirely sure how we came to have presents to open, seeing as we had both agreed to but something together this year, but presents we had. I gave Nick a new shirt (selfishly, because I really like how he looks in collared shirts) and he gave me a heart-shaped box of chocolates. I know what you're thinking: lame! But you're wrong. You see, I've never had anyone give me a heart-shaped box of chocolate before, and growing up in Norway it seemed like that was what people always got in movies. But not me. So this year I was completely delighted and excited to finally join the heart-shaped box club.
The rest of the morning and most of the afternoon were spent in lounging around, which was great. Nay, divine. Just what we both needed after a week of work and school. Then we headed out to buy our gift to each other, which was....... bookshelves!
Now, I know that if I was telling you this in person, this is where you'd probably be giving me the same look that people always give us when we tell them that we went to Tennessee on our honeymoon. As if to say "Tennessee? Bookshelves? That's not romantic! What kind of weirdoes are you?" To which I respond: Tennessee was awesome, and bookshelves are romantic because making our house a home together is very romantic. And so were the 3 hours we spent putting them together. OK, with the possible exception of having to return a broken part to the store.
But I digress: Dinner was enjoyed in take-out form from the Bombay House: Lamb Boti Kabob Masala, Chicken Makhani with garlic naan and strawberry and mango Lassis. Heaven on a plate. We laughed, we cried, we held hands and then went upstairs... to put together the bookshelves.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 4: Mix Tape Mayhem

Today was all about loving on Nick through the Ultimate Romantic Gesture: The Mix Tape.
A mix tape is not so much about letting others express your feeling for you through words hears a million times before, as it is about the time, and the thought and the overall message of the mix. You've got to pace it right so the tape has a good flow with no jarring transitions (unless that was the effect you were going for, of course), that none of the songs sneak in anything you didn't mean to say and that you don't get the same artist back to back.
Which reminds me that Nick Hornsby says this a heck of a lot better than I do in High Fidelity: "To me, making a tape is like writing a letter — there's a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You've got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with "Got to Get You Off My Mind", but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you've got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can't have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can't have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you've done the whole thing in pairs and...oh, there are loads of rules."
Heavens, yes, are there ever rules. One rule I invented for myself was that every song had to be from the 1980s, when the home-made mix tape really took off. Somewhat surprisingly (or in fact, extremely predictably), I did have a CDs worth of 80s music that conveyed my gushiest of gushy feelings for Nick, the only trick was finding and selecting them. In fact, it took me a good two hours just to choose and research the songs, i.e., did the lyrics fit, and was that song really from the 80s, etc.
Now, I was going to make Nick an real tape-tape with actual button pushing sounds and everything, but my 2009 self just couldn't quite wrap my brain around the inefficiency of it all, so I went with a Mix CD instead. This way he can listen to it in the car, or at work, or put it on his iPod and all of that good stuff instead. I promise it's a better choice for the 2000s.

And because I know you are all dying to hear this wonderful compilation for yourselves, I am going to stop this frighteningly long post, and present this version for your listening pleasure. Happy 80's!

PS: Here is a direct link to the mix for those of you with slow internet connections, or other undisclosed issues.

PPS: I also gave Nick a separate CD with Sarah Vowell's take on the mix tape from an old epsisode of this American Life. It's Act 3 of the show, or about 28 minutes in, if you want to listen.

Day 3: Mini-date

Last night after dinner, we were flopping around on the couch trying to decide what to do next. Being the romantic wife that I am, I called Nick on my finger phone and asked him out on a date. He said yes, and so I went and picked him up, i.e. went outside and rang the doorbell. It has to be said that I'm a pretty good date. I held the car door open for him, drove there and back even though it was dark and a little slippery, and told him not to bring his wallet, because I was going to pay for everything. I'm pretty nice like that.
So we went to Borders and got hot chocolate. I guess technically we got two Cocoa Trios, but who really wants to get technical on a date? Then we hung out in the comfy armchairs like normal people and talked, which was really nice. Not that we don't usually talk, because we do, but last night we talked about stuff outside of our domestic sphere, which I enjoyed. My husband is a smart one, and I've always loved talking to him. Conversation topics involved Holocaust denial and the Catholic church, NPR and the Amazon kindle. Then, because we are wedded folk, we looked at design books in search of inspiration for our very white bedroom.
Verdict: Yes, married friends, it is possible to go out with your spouse on a Tuesday night, spend $6.08 and about two hours and come home feeling like the people you were both first attracted to. More please!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 2: Something about a sweetheart.

On Monday I loved on Nick by hiding an extra special secret snacky treat in his lunch bag. Imagine his delight when he discovered a most delicious Reese's Peanut Butter heart to snack on! Imagine my delight when I didn't have to eat it! OK, not the issue, but really: you know you're in love when you give your loved something that you find icky, but that they adore. And imagine my delight when Nick sent me this cute picture from his office of him and said snack. He's a cute one.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 1: Love on your love week

In honour of Valentine's Day, I am officially declaring this Love On Your Love week.* It so happens that Valentine's Day is a holiday that I quite frankly adore and start looking forward to each year in about early January. It's not so much the flowers, or the chocolates, or going out to dinner that fills me heart with song (although I love those too!), but getting to spend an entire day in outright celebration of how much I love that man of mine is absolutely worth getting excited about in my book. Especially when he reciprocates ever so very nicely. Now, I know that some will say that it's dumb to celebrate one day out of 365, and that we should express our feelings all year round instead of just one day, and I agree wholeheartedly. However, seeing as there happens to be a holiday devoted to all things Loverly, I (meaning we) are going to celebrate it.
This year, I'm going to come up with something cute and sweet and fun and romantic every day leading up to V-day itself, so young Nicholas can feel the full force of my affections. Lucky him.

As we both have highly romantic colds right now, we started out the week on a pretty mellow note (ha!) by watching the music video to "our" song on Youtube. There were blankets, some handholding and some stuffy-nosed singing along. Aww!

Posted here for your viewing pleasure (especially if you happen to speak Swedish) is Lisa Ekdahl's "Vem Vet":

*Which does, in fact, spell LOYL, which is uncannily close to "loyal". Coincidence, I think not. Oh, except it actually was.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Something sweet

Heavens, children, life has been busy. But not too busy to tell you to keep your eyes open for a little something-something on my blog starting next week.