Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Very Different Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day. For some people, the mere mention of this holiday makes them break out in hives. Others look forward to it all year long. Of course these are most likely the florists, chocolatiers, and card companies who can literally make it or break it based on this annual winter event.

I know for me, growing up, I tended to be a lot more enthusiastic about Valentine's Day when there was that special someone. Although I'll admit, having a special someone around that time didn't always guarantee a happy occasion. In fact, I can remember one especially memorable Valentine's Day that was during our church youth group's winter weekend camp. Everything started out great. I had a boyfriend who was also going on the trip, there was lots of snow promised, and it was looking like it was going to be a fabulous weekend! Then said boyfriend decided, on Valentine's Day, to break up with me! Nice, huh? Oh well, his loss.

Then in college, my best friend Kippy and I decided we were going to boycott Valentine's Day, as it was a silly holiday---too much pressure for those who had someone, and too painful for those who didn't. So we started a new tradition of wearing all black, instead of the normal red, pink, etc., in protest. Scary thing was, it kinda caught on, once we explained what we were doing, and why.

I also remember working downtown in a big office building, after graduating from college, and seeing the wave after wave of balloon bouquets, flowers and boxes of chocolates being delivered all over, and just wishing that for once, there would be one for me. It also didn't seem to matter if Valentine's Day fell on a weekend. It just meant that Friday would be delivery day instead, but the amount of loot was just the same.

This year, like the last several years, I'm a stay-at-home mom, with a young daughter who is not yet in school. So Valentine's Day looks very different than in years past. We made homemade valentines with construction paper, markers & stickers, baked heart-shaped sugar cookies from scratch with Daddy, and David & I went out to dinner last night to avoid the "day-of" restaurant rush. Funny thing was, we chose what we thought was mostly a non-kid-friendly restaurant, Benihana's, as we hadn't gone there in a long time, and had a babysitter :-) We knew it wasn't going to be a quiet, intimate experience since we were a party of two, and you're always going to be seated with 6 total strangers, surrounding a large grill, and its loud exhaust hood. But we were surprised at how many young kids were there, even babies!

Now it's Valentine's Day proper, and we've just finished dinner at home, all three of us--poached salmon, steamed rice and applesauce. And in a little while, we'll have a little ice cream & a couple of our cookies for dessert. Sounds like a great way to celebrate to me :-) AND, I'm wearing red!

Happy Valentine's Day friends!