(Photo taken looking out of shower, 2011)
Aaaah, tomorrow is Valentine's Day. When I was in school it was my favorite holiday. OK, just in 1st and 2nd grade it was my favorite holiday because I was Valentine Queen and Princess, respectively. Those were the last times I legitimately held a crown, I might add. Legitimately. I've taken part in many a coup. If for any reason the new guy can't handle Egypt, I'm in. Since 2nd grade, I've pretty much HATED Valentine's Day. I mean in elementary school, there was the pressure as to who was going to give you the one Valentine in the box that was "romantic". Kudos to you, Bryan Bates for "Let's Be Love Birds, ok?" It made my 2nd grade year. And then the worry of whether your box was the prettiest? Did anyone leave you out? My kids just get 'em out and sign 'em and I'm like, "Dude, ANALYZE these? Do you know what this one right here means to the right person???" And usually, they just stare at me puzzled. I get that ALOT so I'm used to it.
Later on, when we were in jr. high school, if you remember, you had to be sure you were "going with" someone so that you'd have a date at the boy/girl party someone was BOUND to throw. And you'd get in on a spirited game of "spin the bottle". In high school, there was the dreaded, "What did you get for Valentine's Day? Not a Spiedel id bracelet?? Is it not ENGRAVED? Did he at least give you his class ring last night? No??? Dump him!" The PRESSURE! Ugh! My only memory of a Valentine's Day during college involves me getting a dozen roses and thanking the wrong guy. (Yes, it was Chuck who actually sent them, attempting to win my heart back. Took a hell of a lot more than roses.)
The last Valentine's Day I even remember was my favorite one ever. Chuck had moved to Kansas City in '92 & I was getting ready to move in with him that May, at HIS invitation, so I went up for the weekend. SHHHHH, now! In some countries and some churches in Bernie, it's still ILLEGAL (ok, frowned upon) to shack up. Or at least I'm assuming that's why my MIL stood up in front of her church & asked for us to be lifted up in prayer for living in sin. Preferably after we got dressed. Don't lift us up naked, please. But I digress....
Anyway, I went to Kansas to see Chuck and when I got there he had flowers and gifts and had painstakingly cooked me spaghetti bolognese, salad, bread.....the whole 9 yards.....He even had candles, hot lingerie (ok, I threw that one in for effect - don't actually remember) & we stayed in for the entire night. And I slept on the couch, people. Don't go thinking I was all SLUTTY at 22. PLEASE....My grandma totally believed I slept on the couch the year we lived together, why can't YOU? What I'm trying to say is that I'm 42 years old and that's the last Valentine's Day I remember specifically. But I certainly remember lots of other nights and occasions where he romanced me, cooked for me and bought me hot lingerie (you CAN be slutty at FORTY-two as long as you're with your man, young 'uns). Anyway, I have a point, believe it or not. Hang tight.
And it's this.....we've never really been into Valentine's Day because who wants to go out with every other couple in town and wait for a table? Sometimes we get each other cards, he usually lets the kids pick out a gift for me and occasionally it might still involve hot lingerie. (Not from the kids.) Or flannel pj pants. Or my old Huey Lewis t-shirt and some sweats. I guess we kind of outgrew it. Because we have plenty of moments throughout the year when we dine out, I tuck a card in his suitcase, he picks me up some flowers, etc. And to me that's as good as planning to do it on February 14th, if not better, because it's not expected. So you won't find me in a huff if I don't have a card tomorrow. Or chocolate. Or flowers. This year we went to see Kid Rock & Jamey Johnson & said, "We'll let that be our Valentine's date." Cause nothin' says "I love you" like watching your middle-aged wife fawn over a sweaty rocker. Couldn't have been better. Well, actually it could have. He made me leave before the ENCORE.
Next holiday to rip - Mother's Day. Just you wait....