I remember thinking as a teenager how romantic and wonderful Valentines Day was, it was a time when I could buy $50 flowers and impress my girlfriend's socks off. However, as I got older and marriage took me into many years of monotonous card buying and dinner dates on the big "LOVE" day, I quickly became bored and knew that my wife felt the same way. I think the majority of our society gets pushed into the rut of Valentine's Day and it begins feeling like a moment where you forgot to pay a bill on time and remember at the last minute.
One year I got fed up with this feeling so I decided to put a little elbow grease into my Valentine's Day. I grabbed our cleaning caddy out from under the cabinet, got the vacuum out of the closet and went to our garage and grabbed the mop and bucket. This year was going to be different. This was going to be a year that wasn't remembered for flowers or chocolates. I was determined to give my wife something that was much more important than the normal tradition...I was going to give her time. Making up for all of the crap I had done in the past and the money I'd spent on things that were quickly forgotten, wasn't going to be easy. I wasn't concerned about impressing her as much as I was about making sure I did the job even half as good as she does. She is the cleaner and I am going into this to help her. I wondered, "What if she doesn't think it is good enough?".
I began working while my wife was out and I had about an hour and a half window of opportunity. This (being well before I owned my cleaning company) would be a challenge as I had never cleaned the whole house...maybe not even a whole floor. After an hour had passed I was shocked that I had only completed the master bathroom and master bedroom. This was not the plan! I was Superman in my mind and would have the whole house completely cleaned in like 20 minutes. I was scared to death to have a half completed cleaning job present itself to my wife upon her arrival. I was even more petrified that this was the ONLY thing I did for Valentine's Day other than a small note that I hand wrote.
Just as I thought it couldn't be going worse my wife arrived home early. I quickly tidied up the last bit, threw the cleaning supplies in a closet, sprayed a few pumps of Mrs. Meyers Spray and shut the bedroom door to run downstairs and welcome her home. I helped her carry groceries in and the other bags that she had in the car from her shopping trip. Then I asked her to sit down for just a minute. With my heart beating (I was anticipating a let down since I didn't purchase the normal Valentines Day flowers) I asked her what she would think if I decided to do something a bit different this year. She said "What are you planning?", with a playful tone to her voice. I just knew in my mind that she was thinking that I had bought something great or some beautiful flowers. I then started to explain how I felt about the usual tradition and that I wanted to surprise her with something new. She began to smile and asked again what it was. I told her it was in the bedroom...and chuckled. She made her way to the bedroom and when she opened the door (remember she had always done all of the cleaning) the smell of Mrs. Meyers rosemary spray hit her nose and she saw the image of fresh linens on a made up bed and a room that was spotless. Care had been taken in every area, nothing was out of place, and every surface was polished. She began to cry. "Oh no, she is upset", I thought to myself. She turned to me and gave me a huge hug that caught me a bit off guard.
You see I had built up the idea that spending a lot of money buying flowers and chocolates were the important things that got her excited on Valentine's Day. I knew she would be a little upset if I didn't get these things. So many times I had planned perfect evenings but it really did not matter. She not only loved this gift, she remembered it and I had to start purchasing a professional company to come in and clean because I saw how much relief it gave my wife by freeing up her time.
I hope that other men will realize that a quick spend of $50 or $100 is nothing compared to the time you can give your wife by cleaning or hiring someone to do it. It is literally life changing in a way and there is nothing quite like it for a busy woman.