Excuse me for a minute while I go all hipster on this blog: We had cupcakes for dessert. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
I love Valentine’s Day, however, this is a recent change in my life. While the candy was enjoyable in elementary school parties, it was miserable in high school. All the other girls would get flowers sent to them by lovers or friends, by my locker would remain bare. Who ever thought selling carnations was a good fund raising idea should go to jail. It’s a school approved popularity contest. A pox be on its house.
Luckily, sophomore year I got a reprieve and was off at Model UN that and subsequent years.
By college, I had started dating a fella who hated, excuse me, HATED Valentine’s Day and the corporate Hallmark invented holiday it was. Despite my protests that it wasn’t just invented by greedy card companies, that its roots were a Saint’s day, he did not relent, refusing to even wish me “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Alas, surprisingly, we stayed together throughout college and only in my senior year did I receive a Valentine’s card from him, and a bag of Hershey’s kisses. While Valentine’s day was not the reason for our relationship’s ultimate demise, it didn’t help. Although it is not necessary to only set aside one day to say “I love you” because everyone else is, it doesn’t help to refuse to celebrate one’s love on that day either.
When I started dating my now-Husband, Valentine’s Day terrified me. I didn’t want the fights and bloodbaths of my prior Valentine’s day (as historically apropos that may be), but I didn’t want to ignore it either. We made grand plans to go to Olive Garden. Apparently, reservations are suggested on Valentine’s Day, and so we were left to decide between a 2 hour wait and leaving. We chose to go to Pita Pit. After that, we saw a movie that neither of us can remember the name of, and ended up at a Starbucks. Since we were in JVC at the time, we went home to a houseful of people. Awkward thing to do mid-date. John gave me a bunch of beautiful red tulips. My favorite flowers I’ve ever received.
Last year, I was gone on JVC retreat. I don’t think we even exchanged cards.
This year I wanted things to be different. I wanted to celebrate. I wanted to be happy and to recognize love.
My favorite Valentine’s Day (maybe even better than my Pita Pit one, but don’t tell the husband) was my Sophomore year of college. It was a beautiful day, sunny and bright and two warm for the beautiful white coat I decided to wear because it was long and romantic. I went to my favorite class – Intro to Archaeology, the class that would ultimately influence me to go into Anthropology. (The field of study, not the store.) I was reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. It’s a terrible book; I don’t recommend it at all. The central point is that girls want their fathers to tell them that they are beautiful, and when we recognize that need we can be loved by God. I put it down about halfway through. But I hadn’t gotten to that point yet, just to the point about how we desire love, and true love only comes from God. After that, I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day as just a celebration of God’s love, all love, romantic love, brotherly love, love as love is. I smiled at the men walking across campus with a bouquet of roses to deliver. It felt a lot better than glaring at them and feeling sorry for myself.
So what did we do for Valentine’s Day?
I wore a pink sweater. We got our homework done early. We did the dishes and folded laundry while we watched Jeopardy, Watson edition. We exchanged gifts. He gave me a jade plant I had wanted for a while.
We elected to stay in over going out for dinner. Eating out can be stressful for me with my restrictive diet, so its not something I always look forward to doing. On holidays I try to eat more conservatively so I can feel good rather than miserable. Unfortunately, most holiday food tends to taste good and therefore be bad for me, so it’s a tough line to balance.
We cooked ourselves a fancy-shmancy dinner with multiple side dishes. Butternut squash soup (Alton Brown’s recipe – to die for), salad with goat cheese, pears, and almonds, roasted potatoes, and broiled steak. I lit candles and put on my special made playlist. John brought home a bottle of honey mead. Which yes, is alcoholic and therefore on my not so good list, but I do okay with the honey mead. Especially with an ice cube in it. And when I drink one glass over 4 hours. See, I told you I am not a teetotaler.
We played a game of who could name all 50 states first. I won. Though it took me a while to remember Delaware, Minnesota, and Louisiana. He finished close behind. Vermont was his downfall.
Then we ate cupcakes. Cutesy, trendy, icing shaped like a rose cupcake.
(insert mouthwatering, adorable, DSLR picture here.)
We exchanged cards, read a little, watched an episode of Mad Men and went to bed.
We knew we were loved. By God, by each other. It was our best Valentine’s Day ever.
Song du Jour, which is appropriate since we didn’t drink real wine on V-Day. Disclaimer, I have NO IDEA who this couple is. Its just the only video of this song I could find: