Given that up until last year I’ve spent every February 14 without a valentine, it’s safe to say that it’s nothing short of a miracle that the annual reminder of my loneliness didn’t make me the cynical person you would imagine.
I did once upon a time revel in the fact that someday I would be the lucky girl who got the box of chocolates, flowers, and maybe some cute little token of love. There would be jewelry, an evening of wining and dining, and maybe some dessert whipped up in bed sheets and topped off with a red and pink negligee. A girl can dream.
But now the dream is over; I’m wide awake and very much in love. Last year, as you may recall, was my first Valentine’s Day that I wasn’t single. Ironically, I ended up working all day and missing out on the romantic festivities. When friends asked us what we did, I felt no shame in saying, “Nothing special.”
I suppose that’s about the time I realized what a sham Valentine’s Day really is. I was actually grateful that I didn’t have to display a number of pink teddy bears or try my hand at finding out what mystery meat lies within the chocolates that come in a heart-shaped box. I even felt lucky that I wouldn’t have to stuff my closet with mindless clutter that would mean almost nothing to me in a week.
Instead, about a week later, I left for work in an uneasy state of mind. I was worried about hardships we were facing financially. While I was gone, he set up an elaborate treasure hunt for me to come home to. He had been holding on to a bracelet for months waiting for the perfect moment to give it to me, Valentine’s Day or not. It made me happy that I found someone who could lift me up when I needed it, not just when the card and candy aisles overflow with pink and red hearts. He even broke one of his toes while setting it up for me! Now that’s love.
Even though I told him I’d prefer not to get any chocolates, Valentine’s cards, stuffed animals, or anything plastered with hearts and cupids, we did agree that we would do something together this Valentine’s Day. I’m thinking we might have a comfy night in, cook some dinner together, and (sure, why not?) take turns guessing the mystery meat from a heart-shaped box.