I asked in my classes today if anyone really truly liked Valentine's Day. I was thinking that maybe women would say yes, men would say no. (I personally do not know many women who hate this day and many men who absolutely love it.) The show of hands surprised me. (It was mixed.)
And so I pushed it a little: why do you like it, I ask. I admit that I, too, like it, even though I don't really understand why. I'm not usually one for Hallmark holidays.
Because it's a reminder to do something with your loved one...
Because it's February. The south has Mardi Gras. What do we have?
Why? Why not?
So maybe this is why I wake up and the first words I say are Happy Valentine's Day Ed, even though he is really, really not into Hallmark holidays.
I pout and I groan when I see that I am not going to engage him in this. This is our eighth Valentine's Day together - you'd think I'd know better. Conventional expressions are not ever the most important expressions of love or caring.
At the same time that Ed comes to back down on such trivials as chocolates and flowers. Get your self some after work, he tells me. We so often do meet each other at a good halfway point in life.
We eat breakfast. A beautiful, calm meal. Happy red heart day!
Many many hours later, the work day comes to a close. I go to the cupcake store on State Street and I am thrilled, really thrilled to see that they now have begun to make these:
Yes, definitely a few of those to take home.
Where would be be without bakeries! On this day, they are the best at giving you ideas on how to convey adoration to your beloved.
Lovely ways, with pink and red frosting on top.
A long long time ago, when we were first together, Ed would occasionally bring over prepackaged bouquets of little roses. He'd pick them up at the grocery store along with the needed quart of milk or dozen eggs. When I saw a version of such a bouquet at Whole Foods this evening, I knew that fate had spoken: these should come home with me. Along with a small box of chocolates. Silly things, to be sure. Or, maybe not silly at all.
...even if I really don't need such conventions to tell me that my days with Ed are rich indeed.
Dinnertime. Ed scoots down to our newly discovered Thai place. We opt to have take out for dinner because it's so lovely to stay home after a long day away from home.
I'll say Happy Valentine's Day one more time in a few minutes and maybe now they will finally be genuine words of affect, without a question mark, without that reminder that something should follow. Words of gratitude, certainly that. An expression of caring, tied not to Hallmark, nor to a midwinter day, tied to nothing at all but this silly feeling of love and bubbly mirth and all those fine things that we sometimes take for granted and today remember not to take for granted.
So Happy Valentine's Day. Yeah. I really do like this mushy, blushing little day stuck in the middle of a winter month. A day celebrating love. What an utterly brilliant idea!