I don’t hate Valentines Day. (Mum always told me that hate is a strong word.) But for someone who’s blissfully married, I sure don’t care much for the Hallmark Holiday either.

I started thinking about the word LOVE when I was on the bus today, bound for my husband’s office. I called him briefly to tell him I was on my way and concluded the call with a sloppy, “‘Kay, loveyoubye” that rolled off my tongue so rapidly it could have been a foreign language. “Wow.” I said aloud, “that was the worst I love you ever.” the lady beside me with the pink Uggs chuckled. But really…

And then I thought about what day it is, and what I had to say about saying ‘I love you’ and thought it called for a spontaneous and relevant blog post. “You cold bitch.” I hear you muttering, “you really don’t care if you’re blogging on Valentines when you should be spending quality time with your mister man!” and now you’re imagining The Bradford as a poor, misunderstood victim… “He wears his beard so bravely!” You”ll say at the water cooler as you shake your head.

(For the record, he just finished making us a delicious dinner of hotdogs and chips and now I’m ‘letting’ him watch the last period of the hockey game.)

I am fortunate to belong to a family that uses the L word frequently. In fact, when he learned what it meant as a chatty little three year old, my older brother over-used it to such an extent that my mum was nearly driven to knock the I Love You right out of him. Just kidding. Actually I’m not.

The first boy I ever said it to was a drummer in a band. A lanky eleventh grader from a different high school who’s best friend had a car and drove us everywhere. (Thanks, Curtis.) I used to time the length of our basement make-out sessions by how many half hour sitcoms had gone by. I was still a good little Christian girl back then and thankfully the Bible never said anything about dry-humping. Still, that poor boy must have had balls as blue as Katy Perry’s wig. He loved me though. He said it first and I said it back. We said it back and forth and back and forth. We didn’t even feel like dry-humping. We just wanted to say I Love You. Beautiful, right? I know.

There may have been a couple of love-worthy boys between Drummer Boy and the Bradford but there were also a few duds. By the time Christopher said it to me, I was so accustomed to men that didn’t express their emotions that being with someone who did seemed strange and uncomfortable. I’ll never live down the time on the bus when I asked him to stop saying it so much.

And now, we say it every day. Sometimes once, but often more. Do some disappear down the phone as an unthought ritual? Does one of us sometimes reply, “I love you, too, babes” when the other was actually speaking to the cats? Yup. That happens too.

But the important thing is that we mean it. And we remind each other every day. And because we’re comfortable saying it to each other, it’s easier to say to others. To our families, our friends and yes, to the cats.

So now, I’ll wind down. After all, it is Valentines. And I don’t hate it, remember? But I don’t love it either. Do you know what I love? My husband. And I’ll tell him that any bloody day I like.

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