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The expectation is that not only will he have remembered that it’s Valentine’s day, he’ll have actually gotten you something. Something wonderful. Flowers. Not roses, though, but your favorite kind of flowers. Daisies are your favorite, and he has a whole bouquet, an armful of them. His other arm is wrapped around the complete “30 Rock” DVD box set, because oversized bears are for the unwitty. Chocolate, too. He has chocolate. Hershey’s kisses. No. Junior mints, which you always order at the theater. You realize he’s been paying attention; he actually remembers all of these little things about you. The person you spend every weekend with actually knows you. Favorite flowers, favorite candy, favorite female-written television program. Favorite outfit of his, the white button down and khaki pants. He still has on his hiking boots, but it’s kind of endearing that he has no attractive footwear and you don’t mind. Not a single grand gesture on his part, just some lovely gifts and that lovely guy you love. That is the expectation.

The reality is that he remembered that it’s Valentine’s day, but you’re pretty sure that’s only because you have mentioned it every day this week. He has a rose, a single off-white rose, and he smiles when he hands it to you and you smile because at least it’s not dead. He has something else, he pulls it out of his backpack. A heart-shaped box of chocolates. The generic brand, from the grocery store. They’re probably filled with fruit. Please don’t be filled with fruit. He’s smiling, though, he’s leaning in to kiss you and say his only scripted line. Happy Valentine’s Day. You say your response with the added line, I got you something, too. You made him brownies. You cut them into heart shapes. There is a “The Office” card on top and a single Hershey’s kiss, a kiss for the only guy you kiss. He looks taken aback and he says he feels guilty. Guilty, don’t feel guilty, I say. You got me flowers and chocolate.

After all, that’s all women really want, anyway.



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