It's February, and that means one thing: we're getting dangerously close - AGAIN -- to yet another Valentines Day.
Historically, Valentines Day has not been a good experience for me. I can think back to grade school when we were made to exchange Valentines with class members, and we were forever counting the number received to see who fared best in class (= most popular and best loved, apparently). I also remember that the chunky kid (there's always one) seemed to get the Valentines with elephants or pigs on them. Looking back, that seems just awful. Probably scarred them for life. Ugh.
In high school, Valentines Day sucked because I was always the one who neither had a boyfriend nor a potential flame even in sight. I was either unloved or perhaps simply unapproached by the male gender, so the few flowers that did show up anonymously could almost always be traced back to a parental unit who couldn't stand to see me go without that day, while my girlfriends drowned in them. Thanks, Mom.
But Mom didn't stop there. I recall being a young professional at my first job and having a bouquet of pink carnations show up on my desk on the dreaded day. I knew they had to be from my mom, because there was nobody else who would send them....and while she is lovely and thoughtful, she is also pretty frugal and no-muss, and carnations would have been the economical choice. Hey, I got some flowers from somebody on Valentines Day; did I need to be picky about what they were?
I guess my best Valentines Day was when I first started dating my husband. We'd just met, and he was fairly new in town, and he was naive enough to think he could actually get dinner reservations somewhere for Valentines Day, calling only the day or two prior. So he asked me out for dinner for that evening, and I accepted but quietly mused at his naivety because I knew what went on Feb. 14, and no way, no how was he actually going to land a reservation somewhere. But I let him try. And lo and behold, he did. And he showed up at my door in a dinner jacket and tie, flowers in hand, ready to whisk me off for a lovely dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in Dallas. I'm still impressed that he managed to pull that off, and he continues to surprise me on things, even a dozen years later.
And now, in married life, Valentines Day is a fairly ho-hum event. From the outside in, for those of you not married, that seems really awful. Why aren't we rushing about, declaring endless love and buying each other fabulous gifts as a show of devotion? Well, we're not. And I must say, from the inside out....it's really okay. In fact, I prefer the ho-hummishness of it now. There's something to be said about being comfortable with each other, comfortable enough to not have to go all out in a major way. Don't need jewels, candy, flowers. I'm just happy to have my guy next to me who still wants to snuggle up even after a dozen years together. I'll take that over flowers from a stranger any day.