For the last five years, Shawn and I have had incredible Valentine's dates. He has planned most of these all by himself. They are typically overnights to exclusive hotels and dinner at a really nice restaurant. Places that a pastor and his wife can't afford more often than once a year. One night a year I feel like a princess and am totally swept off my feet. He tries hard every year to top the year before with something new and spectacular.
This year was no exception. Shawn planned a special weekend. He even let me know ahead of time that it would be something very different than we had ever done before. Well, let's just say that it was definitely better than that year he offered to take me to Taco Bell for our anniversary :) In his defense, he was trying hard to keep our marriage new and fresh. He was experimenting by trying a new activity. He wanted very much to wow me and please me with his efforts. And yes, I have his permission to blog about this. Just so that the rest of you wives out there will know that even the most romantic man on the planet strikes out now and again. Our husbands are human, and we love them when they wow us, and we love them when they don't.
We went home Sunday afternoon and dropped the kids off with Shawn's parents who had driven out for the weekend just to babysit for us. (Awesome in-laws, huh?) Then we got in the suburban and headed west. Now that was a little odd. Usually we go to Dallas. However, we did go to Fort Worth one year and have an amazing weekend, so that is my assumption. You can imagine my surprise when we turned north in Gainesville. I am then assuming that we are going to Oklahoma City. How cool! I've never been to Oklahoma City as a tourist. I hear their river walk is beautiful, that there are some awesome museums, and some excellent music venues. I am totally stoked.
We drove by an exit in Gainesville for the Super 8 motel. I laughingly say, "You should have pulled in there, just for a joke to see what would happen." So a couple of exits later, Shawn turns on the Winstar casino's exit and into the Microtel's parking lot, and I start cackling really,really hard. My smartass mouth kicked into high gear. "Ha, Ha....very funny. It would've been funnier if I hadn't just said something back at the super 8 motel. Ha, Ha.....like you expect me to really believe we're going to stay at that Microtel....and what, go to the casino? Like that would be romantic! Ha, ha......" I am still laughing when he quietly says, "Better watch out, you might hurt my feelings." I shut up, but still think he's joking. Even after he goes into the motel and comes back out again, I think he's joking about really planning to stay in a Microtel for a romantic weekend. I mean, that's just a step up from the Super 8. Then I saw the keys to the room. And that's when I tried not to cry and mostly succeeded.
Again, in his defense....he booked the governor's suite with the whirlpool tub. He expected a really nice suite. He was trying to book a romantic room close to the casino. He thought since it was the official motel of the casino and was called the governor's suite that it would be totally awesome! And it was, um .....clean...and the T.V. worked.... and the bed was comfortable..... and the continental breakfast was okay..... and next year he knows to book us in at least a 4 star hotel.
And again, in his defense....the only casino he had ever been in was a really nice one in Vegas that was attached to the hotel where we stayed one night on our way out to California. That casino was elegant, the clientel was nicely dressed, and the hotel was out-of-this world. So that's really what he expected. He just forgot to include the Oklahoma factor when he was planning. Like the woman in the lobby checking in, "If they's not smokin' rooms, I'm a drivin' back to Ft. Worth."
So we head over to Winstar for our first gambling experience. We have some cash that we can blow. He insisted that I go ahead and wear my special dress that I had purchased weeks earlier and saved for our evening out. So I am wearing my blue dress. The one that's way too sexy for a preacher's wife to own. And stiletto heels. And there was lots of walking at the casino. Very unpractical to have on stiletto heels. However, once I got over being self-conscious about being the only dressed-up woman in the place, I had a really great time. We enjoyed a pretty good steak dinner and played penny slots for several hours on about 20 bucks. We laughed and had fun. Romantic? No. Fun? Yes. In fact, I don't know that we've ever laughed that hard on a Valentine's date.
Today we shopped a little while, ate lunch at Red Lobster, and saw a movie. I absolutely loved being able to spend some time alone with my husband. I had fun, and we laughed a lot....mostly about my reaction to the motel. Maybe this weekend wasn't one of the top most romantic we've ever had....and maybe I didn't feel so much like a princess getting the royal treatment. But my husband loves me enough to be willing to take some risks to try to find new things that I enjoy. And he wants to make holidays memorable events for me so that I will fully comprehend just how much he loves me. Even if the romance meter didn't register very high on this particular instance for me....the fact that he tried, and that he wasn't afraid to take a risk....and the fact that he looked at me all evening at the casino like he had a victoria's secret model for a date instead of an aging woman who's had four kids and got the body to prove it.....and the way that he was genuinely concerned about my reaction.....all of these are things that increase my level of love for him. I know that I am very blessed to be loved by my husband in a way that most women only dream of. Very blessed indeed.