I told myself that I was decorating early for Valentine’s. I wanted to make a tissue paper rose wreath for the front door, hang hearts from every window, heart attack every room. And now it’s already February 2nd and one minute ago I just took down the Christmas cards.
I have always loved Valentine’s day, even when I didn’t have a special valentine. I like occasions that require giving something to someone else. This is where Gregor will pounce…require being the operative word… You can hear him saying that, can’t you? When I first met him I was appalled at his talk of “contrived holidays,” that are solely promoted to earn millions of dollars. I seriously wondered if I could love someone who didn’t love valentine’s day. Would he even get me something? This simply would not do.
He comes through though, every year. Because he plays like a champ. I turn a deaf ear to any contrived talk, choosing instead to live in my own perfect world where Disney is still pure, Vanilla is still ice, and Valentine’s day holds endless hopeful possibilities. (He won’t admit it, but he does too. I know it.)
And for heaven’s sake, what else do we have to look forward to in February?
My Valentine years have been tumultuous.
Fourth grade, elementary school. Monte gives me a golden locket and ring. I shine with pleasure all week. Until we break up, the bad news delivered by my best friend. I reluctantly give back the ring. But I keep the locket. Sorry, no prenup!
Sixth grade, elementary. I share a kiss with my valentine, then turn around and spit off the small covered bridge at Toll Park. “Ew,” I say. I’m sure it was super attractive.
Seventh grade, junior high. The big hair and newly acquired training bra is obviously a hit. My valentine and I can’t even look at each without blushing. I have to break it off through a note passed in the hallway through another friend. I don’t feel too bad as he had his friend ask me out over the phone. I still can’t remember if we ever said one single word to each other. He had this nickname I cannot say out loud or even write. My brothers however, still can’t let it go.
The in-between years are nothing spectacular. Might have been those braces, who knows.
Senior year, high school. I slam my thumb in the door of my car (my parent’s car. They don’t believe in pre-marital cars, part of the reason they approved of Gregor. He rode a bike). I try to just shake it off but the pressure builds up so quickly I am rolling around the floor in pain. Instead of delivering “kiss-o-grams” wearing red lipstick, for student council, (something I was greatly looking forward to) I am at the doctor getting a small hole drilled into my thumb. I never thought I would so enjoy that experience. When I went to school the next day, Valentine’s, is over. My friend grabs my thumb and says, “Now no one is going to marry you!” Interesting perspective, don’t you think?
Freshman year, college.
Bad breakup. Oh, I still want to climb under the covers to even think about how I cried in front of that boy. I’m still so embarrassed. No Valentines.
Sophomore year, college.
Writing to a missionary. Love cannot be sufficiently shared with scrupulous and chaste letters to a missionary. I dream of the day I will have a proper valentine…
Junior year, college.
I am dating a boy who tells me he loves me. I deliver a valentine early in the morning (a “big hunk” under his pillow) and wait all. day. long. for reciprocation. It is 10:30 at night before the doorbell rings and I am in bed, in a huff, and can only give a vapid smile in return. The relationship is all down hill from there.
Seniro year, college. Cue the music here...
I meet “the one!” I will finally have the valentine’s day of my dreams! I make plans and though he speaks of this, “contrived holiday,” he admits that he’s never had a great valentine’s day either and that he always wanted one. I finally understand why he doesn’t like this day. It is time to show the love.
This beautiful day turns into our first fight. Oh the remembered horror.
My friend from the “pre-Gregor” days needed a date for his work party the night before Valentine’s day. We were friends for years before I ever met Gregor. I do admit I felt slightly conflicted because it was kind of a date, but on the other hand, we were only ever friends.
In typical Amy fashion, I did not want to hurt my friend’s feelings by trying to explain why I couldn’t go to the dinner party, so I said yes. In further typical Amy fashion, I did not tell Gregor about this dinner date because I was afraid I would hurt his feelings.
Okay, by now I know that this was a mistake. And I’ve really tried to work on this well-intentioned, but doomed, part of my personality. Either I should not have gone on the dinner date and explained my lover’s jealous ego (kidding!) or run across the street to jealous lover’s apartment and explained the situation. Maybe added a kiss or candy heart to quell sting. Instead, I stewed over it, said nothing, and hoped I wouldn’t get caught.
My unrealistic hope was that I could go to this function without Gregor even knowing about it. Thus, I wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Everyone would be happy as pie!
This was clearly (now) a stupid and naive plan.
When I got home from the dinner party, my roommates told me Gregor had come over. They had even told him where I was. At first I was so mad they told him! But then I was just mad.
I went over, fretting, tip-toeing, hoping for the best.
It was not the best. The question was posed, rather incredulously, Why didn’t you just tell me? I could not articulate my stupidity. I ended up looking untrustworthy and feeling like a big fat liar. Yes my dear, honesty really is the best policy. So we adjourned for the night, with a Valentine’s Day hanging precariously in the balance, those bad feelings sitting heavy between us.
I made a cheesecake that night, the first one I ever made.
It was delivered in the morning as I watched my valentine leave for class. It was a rather frosty encounter. I dropped chocolate kisses all over his bedroom floor. He reciprocated with flowers and chocolate, but the frown was indicative that I was clearly not forgiven. That took a few more days. And to this day, it still comes up. Though by this time I try and laugh.
Love it just not always easy. This year, however, all will be well because I am not going on any dinner dates and I’m going to make that tissue paper wreath, gosh darn it! Paige and I are making elephant valentine’s. Brynne and I are are making ipod valentines, “you rock!” Cope giggles thinking about the big day, and Nelson pretends to throw up. My husband no longer says, “contrived,” out loud, just sometimes under his breath and I pretend not to hear him.
Looking for ideas? So many cute kid ideas at familyfun.com: