A Practical Valentine

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Not two words that usually go together, right?

Despite the bad reputation Valentine’s Day often gets, I’ve always been fond of it and enjoy doing mostly fun, silly things on the day. Since it’s so close to Christmas and Todd’s birthday is in March and mine in April, we usually concentrate on cards and smaller gifts. This year, though, I had the idea that we could kill two birds with one stone (though a lot more romantically than that phrase suggest).

For our last Valentine’s Day before the wedding, we gifted each other our wedding bands.

It turned out to be a very, very good idea, especially in hindsight.

I’d ordered Todd’s ring and it came in the night before, just in time to wrap it up along with his cards and chocolates. I gave him one set in the morning before work, and planned to give him the ring and the other set of card and chocolate that night.

Todd's gifts

Todd’s gifts

Now, Todd doesn’t often buy me flowers, it’s just not his thing. In the 5+ years we’ve known each other, he’s sent me flowers exactly twice. Once as a thank-you for helping out with a project we were both volunteering on (just before we officially started dating), and once for Valentine’s Day 2011 (or was it 2010? It was during my last cellphone contract, so one of those). So when he gave me a stripey sock monkey and 2 cards that Thursday morning but said I had to wait until I received a signal to open the second, I didn’t immediately think it meant he had sent me flowers.

Pink striped  socked monkey purse hanger

We love the Pier One commercial with the singing sock monkey, this little one that now rides around on my purse prompts lots of renditions of that little ditty.

Well, he tried to.

Around 1:30 I got a text apologizing for the flowers not arriving. You see, 1-800-FLOWERS had sent him a confirmation email on Wednesday saying that the order was being prepared for shipment, despite 2 florists telling them on Tuesday that the item he ordered was out of stock (it was a martini-glass vase filled with roses)–that last bit we found out when he went to track the order and found it had been canceled. Not subbed for a similar item, canceled.

This, of course, put Todd in a foul mood and, after trying to be zen about it, eventually made me feel rather guilty in a third-party sort of way. In the way of if I didn’t like to make a big deal out of holidays then he wouldn’t have felt compelled to try and send me flowers sort of way. Irrational, but sometimes my brain runs that way.

The long and the short of it is that we both tweeted about the snafu, but they reached out to me, not him, and when I explained that it was a little late to fix things and I was more concerned about Todd getting his refund processed (because, no, that didn’t happen immediately) they said they would follow-up with him and never did. But on Monday I did receive these:

Make-Up Flowers courtesy of 1-800-FLOWERS that I didn't ask for and didn't really enjoy.

Make-Up Flowers courtesy of 1-800-FLOWERS that I didn’t ask for and didn’t really enjoy.

Not what he’d ordered and way too full of lilies for my sinuses to handle, I was actually reluctant to sign for them. This was 1-800-FLOWER’s way of apologizing (the card even mentioned that the delivering florist was not responsible for the delay, hah!) but neither Todd nor I were very impressed.

The point is, as screwed up as his surprise turned out, it was good we were having a relatively low-key Valentines because knowing that the rings were the real gifts meant that all the rest was just icing and easily ignored. I’m still not quite able to think back on the flower debacle and laugh, but trying on my new bit of sparkle does make things easier.

His and hers unmatched wedding bands.

His and hers unmatched wedding bands.

Todd was still set on the tungsten carbide high-polished band, so I found a vendor with positive reviews via Amazon and crossed my fingers it wouldn’t somehow be subpar since it was only costing $39.95. I needn’t have worried, Todd was thrilled by it and it fit just right. Since my ring was going to be a local purchase, we headed to Marks and Morgan that Saturday evening (when we’d last gone shopping we had the best service there). I thought I knew which ring I wanted, but when we got there they showed me another and, oh, I had to make a decision after all.

In the end I went with a sterling silver openwork band with diamonds and lab-created sapphires (the link is from Kay, their sister-store, because M&M doesn’t really have an online store to link to). It’s reminiscent of my engagement ring but not too matchy-matchy and well-priced at $159.

I can’t say how often Todd tries his band on (though he joked about doing it when I gave it to him), but I fully admit I slip mine on every 2-3 days to admire the sparkle. After all, it fits differently than my current ring, so I have to get used to the wider band, right?

That’s totally my story and I’m sticking to it.

Wouldn't these make great covers for our wedding vows? Tempting...

Wouldn’t these make great covers for our wedding vows? Tempting…

Aren’t those little books absolutely adorable? I found them (Don’ts for Husbands/Wives) via Paper-Source when I was shopping for stocking stuffers. They’re full of all sorts of out-of-date yet charming suggestions for how to have a happy married life.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon


How do you decide what to give for Valentine’s Day?

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