He informed me that he had a gift for me but it would be quite a bit late (which has become somewhat of a Valentines tradition for us since then). It wasn't long before I had surmised that it was an event, a show of some sort... and despite my efforts to refrain from snooping around for clues I began to suspect that he would be taking me to see Wicked; a play I had been dying to see for quite some time. From the moment that thought traipsed through my consciousness I put forth a considerable mental effort attempting to not get attached to the idea... just in case I turned out to be wrong. Something I still do quite often, knowing my own lack of control when it comes to facial expressions. Even once we were in the car all dressed up in our fancy gear, passing billboards and advertisements for the performance, parking the car in a garage right down the street from the theatre.... walking up to the theatre.... I kept pushing the urge to jump up and down yelling "I knew it!" back down to my belly from it's persistent rise to the tip of my tongue.
I finally begin to let it sink in that "YES! We ARE going to see Wicked!! OMG I'm so EXCITED!!!" as we are literally walking up to the entrance of the building when... he keeps going. I had already begun to slow my stride in anticipation of the turn to the beautiful doors and the distance between our shoulders grew quickly, considering that A) we were holding hands and B) I have very short arms. I tried to catch up, and at the same time cover the look that was already on my face. I am uncharacteristically BAD at multitasking for a woman, and as such, I did not succeed. I could tell he knew from my pout that I was disappointed, but little did I know he was pretty darn excited about it... because it was part of the plan. The brief letdown teaser to make the main event even more exciting.
I still don't quite know if the element of surprise or excitement is at all increased by this little game, but we always share a knowing laugh over how huffy I get. A little inside joke of sorts, that now, isn't really "inside" at all.
This year he didn't attempt a full on bait an switch but the dynamic was there... along with the whole celebrating late thing, even though it was only by a day. At this rate of improvement we'll be celebrating Valentines Day in November of the year beforehand not too many years from now. That being said the theater and restaurant were both pretty empty considering we were only one day behind. A bonus for sure. We laughed together as we watched Beauty and the Beast in 3D and picked up on all these little things that neither of us did as children. To my pleasant surprise the romance of the movie was not dulled any with age, in fact it was even more magical than it was back when I used to wake up to my sister playing it in the living room, every. single. morning. when we were kids. Dinner was also fantastic, but the best part of the evening was the conversation. It was so, so nice to have real, genuine conversation with my husband without have to schedule it, or dive into random subjects without letting them take their natural course to make sure we cover everything before we have to get to bed, or leave for some appointment, or take care of a cranky baby who (still) wakes up in the middle of the night. It was nice to date again.