Roses, chocolates and exotic trips all have their place I suppose.

But I kill every plant that meets my gaze and that just makes me feel shitty about myself. And my daughter usually rips up the bouquets like a floral version of a ticker-tape parade, and that’s just more housecleaning. Nothing romantic about vacuuming up rose petals while picking thorns out of your child’s fingers.

Chocolates just make me fatter and we all know I’m kidding myself when I insist that they don’t give me migraines. I have enough things in my life that make my head ache, and even spandex has its limits. Leave the candy at the store, please.

As for exotic trips, we are the Griswolds…but with more bad luck and fewer naked shower scenes. We should not travel. Ever. It is a rare event (like a unicorn sighting) that I can travel anywhere without praying for death at some point due to an illness or food vs intestines battle that has been lost.  And other countries seem to hate me, always thinking I have a hidden agenda or a balloon full of diamonds stuffed up my hoo-ha.  Maybe the hold-the-diarrhea-in clenching triggers further investigation.  I can’t even cross the border to go shopping without a full cross-examination, so I shudder to think how an encounter with international customs would go down. Besides, I have a pap test later this month – let’s just save the body cavity searches to the professionals, shall we?

No, I don’t need any of the usual trappings of Valentine’s Day. My husband shows me all year long that he loves me in ways that count.

Dead Rodent Disposal

Nerdguy sets the traps and disposes of all dead vermin. If it is only half-dead, he kills it. You don’t see that on a Hallmark card, but that’s the kind of man that I want to live with for the rest of my life.

Mother Interference

He visits my mother every week to dispense her medication, talk her down off the ledge about her latest crisis, and shield me from the stress. He takes a lot of abuse and he never makes me feel guilty about sending him.

Cooking Compliments

I’m a terrible cook. The worst. But I can serve him charred chicken nuggets or frozen waffles and he will eat the meal with a smile and even thank me for dinner. When I go all out and make something that actually qualifies as a meal and doesn’t seem poised to kill us all, he’ll eat three plates full and threaten to bite anyone who takes his food.

Control of the Remote

I’m a control freak, and the TV is no exception. He lets me hold the remote, control the volume and doesn’t make me wait for him to catch up when we are watching a series together. He’s the perfect TV companion.

Costco Combat

I used to do all of the grocery shopping, but one day he started going to Costco every week. This alone would be reason enough to renew our vows. More than rodent control even. I loathe buying groceries and it was only a matter of time before I committed some kind of sample-swarmer homicide. Nothing says romance like keeping your wife out of prison.

Tooth Pulling

I don’t pull teeth. I will drive you to the dentist and sit across the room, rocking slightly and avoiding eye contact. But I don’t pull teeth. He’s the tooth-pulling hero of the house.

Toilet Plunging and Other Grossness

I do laundry, cleaning, wound care and barf clean-up. All other gross things are his jobs. This could be because he loves me but more likely it is because he’s trying to keep me from throwing up. He’d rather I had an affair and burned down the house than throw up.

Reading this back I am starting to think he got one shitty deal here. Flowers and chocolates would be so much easier. But shhh… no one tell him until he checks the traps in the garage.


Tara is gainfully employed by the toughest 3 female bosses she has ever had (well except for that one accounting manager who hated her). The pay sucks, but the cuddles are awesome. She drinks a lot of coffee, uses humour as a defense mechanism, and lives in fear of what lurks in her backyard. Keep Tara company on her unfortunately-named blog Don’t Lick the Deck, where she talks about her husband Nerdguy; her 10 year old and twin 8 year old girls; parenting autism and ADHD; and her inability to shop without creating disaster. She is regular contributor to who have not yet filed a restraining order.


  1. I love your husband’s gifts. Who needs flowers when there are vermin to kill? Agreed. Fabulous post!

  2. Love this! So often I forget to appreciate the things my husband does for me, and he does a lot of heroic things too (plunge toilets, looks after sick kids, etc). Have a great Valentine’s Day!

  3. I hear you about the body searches. I was 6 months pregnant and got a full on body inspection at the airport. So gross!

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