“Are you sure you don’t want to go out?” My husband is the most sensitive, kind and considerate man I have ever met. For reals. And that’s why he wanted to make extra sure I meant it when I said I wanted to stay home and cook for Valentine’s day. Just like we do on most days, including the other big celebration opportunities – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, book deals.
I think for many people, going out to celebrate life’s joys is a given. An expectation. And perhaps a way to demonstrate love, appreciation, respect for your partner. Or to show off on instagram. Maybe for some it is a fun thrill, like a hobby or sport to seek out new places, new foods, new drinks, new experiences. And for still others it may be a distraction from an unsatisfying life or a brief escape from an unhappy home.
I don’t mind staying home for a number of reasons: I like my home. I like my husband. I like to cook. I like my kids. In short, I like my life. For me, home is a haven and my happy place. It is far from a chore for me to create elaborate or easy meals for us in my sunny, pretty, well-laid out kitchen with all of my favorite tools at my fingertips. My husband sits at the bar, with or without a kid or two, chats to me and might make me a cocktail. I wear cute aprons. We play good music and catch up on our days and dreams. I’m a neat cook and keep things tidy as I go along, but he often does the final clean-up and always, always appreciates what I make whether it is fancy or simple. It is all very peaceful and contented. So no, I don’t feel a “need” to go out to celebrate because for me, going out to a restaurant does not make the experience any more special than it already is.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like to go out sometimes, it’s just not a requirement. I love it that my husband is so dialed in to what pleases me, he wants to do right by me and that, all by itself, makes me feel loved and appreciated. And I guess that is part of the message – make an effort to figure out what truly pleases you (or your partner), own it even if it is different from the norm and communicate it clearly to your partner, then do it and enjoy it. Doesn’t have to be complicated.