It’s Valentines Day eve. Are you feeling romantic and in love? Or cynical and indifferent? Maybe you’re resentful because you’re single and you’d rather just ignore all the pink hearts, sappy commercials and avoid the card aisle monopolized by romantic cards. Pfft! Forget about it. Why? Because if you’re anything like me, you might just look back and realize your fondest memories of Valentines Day were hardly romantic.
My earliest memories of Valentines Day go back to grade school…
Step 1: Search for the best assortment of cards, making sure the box has enough for everyone in our class (teacher’s rules).
Step 2: Decorate a shoebox with a slit in the lid to collect Valentines.
Step 3: Friends and classmates enthusiastically stuff each other’s boxes with Valentines.
Step 4: Wait until the bell rings at the end of school to read them.
It was fun. Exciting. Harmless.
I also remember the yearly cards from my Dad. He never let me down. Not once. Though boyfriends came and went (and even a husband came and went), year-after-year it was my Dad who showed up. He always had a cute card with a candy bar or a lottery ticket nestled inside. Every year I anticipated his card and he never disappointed me. He made me feel special.
And just last week I stumbled across 2 heart shaped pins made by my kids (now 25 and 23) when they were in grade school. Inscribed on the back they professed their love… “I Love You Mommy” and “You’re The Best Mom Ever”. It warms my heart right now, just thinking about it.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had my share of disappointments too…
- Like the brand new thirsty towels, and bubble bath for my ex-husband. We argued about something silly, the water turned cold and the romance went down the drain. And...
- The new dress and fancy “up-do” for the fancy dinner with the fancy boyfriend. He thought my dress was inappropriately too low on top and too short on the bottom. Huh? We ate in silence and went home before dessert. Or...
- The beautiful bouquet of 2-dozen red roses that delivered February 15, (due to an ice storm on Valentines Day) wilted and sad. Like me.
Which all brings me full circle to my original thought. I don’t regret trying to make Valentines Day memorable and romantic in the past, or even in years to come. I’ve learned a lot from the younger me and those experiences. And maybe I'm a pessimist…or simply a realist. But I stand by my experiences that my fondest and most precious Valentines memories were hardly romantic. They were genuine and full of love, but not pretentious. There was no pressure. No over-the-top commercialism. Just good old fashioned sweetness. I’ll take that ANY day over a fancy expensive dinner, a lukewarm bubble bath or droopy roses.