So say that I don't have a fondness for Valentine's Day is a gross understatement. I loathe it. I don't have any problem with the celebration of love its just that I don't see the advantage of singling out on day for it. And how come adults just focus on their partners this day instead of all of the other people in their lives that they love? Did we forget the rules of elementary school that required us to bring a valentine for everyone?
In our household Valentines is now for our friends. We get every other day of the year.
This particular day of celebration has never worked out well for me. I should have started not focusing on "the one" a long time ago as it has been my downfall with Valentine's Day. Ever since the 3rd grade when some smart-ass classmate of mine saw that I had given my biggest valentine to one of the boys instead of one of the girls. He unrelenting in his public shaming of me. I had yet to develop the skill-set necessary to keep my secret out of view but I was becoming a quick study on its urgent necessities. I don't think I even knew at the time what my secret actually was but I knew that Valentine's Day that I had better figure it out pretty quick.
The day hasn't exactly been any kinder to me since.
The worst Valentine's Days aren't when you are single. Rather, they are when you are 'not quite coupled'. This is the state where you are forced to submit to the pressures of the day and go through the motions of Valentine's Day rituals even though you and your date aren't quite ready for prime time. If you go out on this day what should be a regular date becomes a date with epic expectations on Valentines Day.
My most colorful Valentine's experiences were on nights that should have just been regular dates, the kind where you really should just be 'getting to know you' and not 'aren't we fabulously in love? Buy me a rose!" type evenings.
Such was the case with the one my friends now call "The Valentine's Date Massacre". I had been seeing my "date" for only a few weeks. On our Valentine's date he arrived on time with a smile on his face carrying a bouquet of flowers and drove me to a fancy restaurant close to home. Somewhere between the salad and dinner course he began confiding in me his inability or unwillingness to comply with the restraining order his former lover had put on him.
The way a regular person might be proud of a particular work achievement my date started gloating over the artful way he was called his ex 50 times a day, stealing his mail, and the nails he put in his car tires while the ex was grocery shopping. Um, ok.
By the time desert arrived (why, WHY did I pre-order that souffle?) he was in tears while I make silent plans to walk home and say a prayer that he would not remember where just exactly I lived.
The picture up top of this post is actually from my favorite Valentine's Day. This is the guy I kept. I marvel every day that he decided to keep me too. For that Valenine's Day I spent several days planning a perfect 6 course meal. I wanted to pull out all the stops.
Those appetizers you see on that platter were heart-shaped crostini piped with pink salmon cream. There were several heart-shaped dishes that night. How lame! I even decorated the room with a flock of 50 red birds whirling about in an homage to a special inside joke that we share. (Only a few of them show in the photo but there were many more.) I was so excited to be cooking for someone I actually loved that I lost track of how many pink cocktails I had been drinking. I passed out just minutes after desert was served -- waking only to vomit a few hours later before crawling back in bed!
And this was my favorite Valentine's don't forget. Good times.
Yup, despite that awkward display of love (thankfully he did not take out a restraining order) we are still very together and now very proud daddies of a cat. I'm not going to tell you what we are doing this Valentine's but suffice it to say it is a much lower key affair without birds.