Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's, Friend...

(that's for you, my virtual friend, your Valentine treat bag...)

I don't know about you, but Valentine's Day for me is just like any other day. It doesn't mean that I appreciate my husband any less, but we find it too commercial, and if anything we're almost "anti"-Valentines. Maybe we're too practical, maybe we're too old ... the wine and roses can be enjoyed by those going through courtship, and that's just fine. If the truth be known, I've seen so many flowers recently and all they do is fade, lose their glory, and get tossed.

Oh boy, this is quite depressing.

But I'm not trying to be.

I sat at the kitchen table yesterday, putting together over 40 bags of Valentine's treats for the friends' celebrations at school today, I was thinking "this is so NOT me". I'm not crafty, I don't always relish the stay-at-home gig. As I was tying the ribbons and then curling them, Ian asked what I had done all day. And to be honest, I had to think about it...and then I realized that I'd gone to get gloves to replace the one that I'd lost, then stopped to get some juices and groceries, and finally to the party store to pick up bags for the treats. Then I picked up the girl from school, delivered her best pal home, took her home to lunch, brought her to a playdate, then came back in time for the boy's guitar lesson.

Mundane, I know. But exhausting nonetheless. Then hubs noticed what I was doing, and asked me whether it was worth all that effort. I almost screamed, "Of course it's worth it! The kids love it, it's important to celebrate friendship, blah blah blah....!" And he backed off. (He doesn't realize the intense pressure to keep up with the other moms for the best treat bag on the block. Seriously, at the holiday party, one of the moms, a lovely lady, took it to a whole new level with her gingerbread man shaped cheese sandwiches and cheddar stars ...).

While I don't like the commercialization of romance, I have no problem with the Valentine concept of celebrating friendship.

(So where is this all going? Oh yeah, back to Valentine's day. This is somehow coming back to the man...)

I think that the key to a good marriage is friendship. My husband is my best friend. He started out as a friend, before all the flirting and passion, there was the fun and the getting to know each other as people. As individuals.

I attended a high school reunion get-together last weekend. I had known about it for a while, but really didn't have any interest in attending. But because of recent events, I suppose it was natural for me to be feeling nostalgic, for me to look back at a time when I was younger, to a time when my parents -- my Dad, was very much a part of my life.

I wasn't sure whether people would remember me. Not only because I look so different now, but also because my last years of high school were spent as the female half of a couple that was conjoined at the hip. We were stuck together like glue... and I was one of those annoying girls who melded her personality and changed it to suit what her boyfriend wanted. Or what she perceived he wanted her to be. Such huge self-esteem issues at such a young age. Not unusual for a 16 or 17 year old. But sad, really.

It's hard for me to look back on that now. And I'm obviously no longer with my highschool sweetheart.

But my husband encouraged me to go to the function, meet up with old friends, and perhaps make new ones. He has always been like that with me. Encouraging me, supporting me, telling me to expand new horizons (and in this case old ones), and not to be nervous or fearful. Having confidence in me. A wonderful friend.

So I attended with my girlfriend; like old times we walked into the party alone, scanning the room for familiar (or almost familiar) faces. Most of the crowd I hung out with are no longer in town, but we found some old classmates, got busy catching up and before we knew it we had been there over three hours. It was fun and it felt good. Because even the people who remembered me however remotely, they talked to me ... about me.

And so this Valentine's Day, I salute all my friends, and give my deepest love to my most important friend of all, my husband, my lover, my partner.

Happy un-V-day hubs - I'll pass on the flowers but sharing the vino will be great...


Jocelyn said...

Well, now, this is my kind of Valentine's Day post. Taking a moment to honor friendship is great. I feel like every day, all the time, is a celebration of the romantic love in my life.

Glad you feel the same!

Kat said...

I love this post.

And seriously, what ever happened to just handing out Valentine's Day cards for class? I can't believe all the stuff my boys brought home from their parties. Sheesh!

Badness Jones said...

Valentine's Day is a children's festival, at least here. I love how Treehouse (the one tv station I'd die without) just calls it friendship and caring day. I'm happier watching her glee as she brings home all the cards from her friends, (and it must be geographic, because aside from the valentine's the Princess spent 2 weeks colouring and painstakingly addressing to her friends - her choice, she loves crafts - we had all store-bought cards, signed by the parents, a few with a candy taped on, but nothing as beautiful as your gift bags!) than any roses or box of candy from Hubs could give me.

bec said...

I totally agree 100% with your sentiments about the meaning of Valentines. I think of it as a friendship day as well.

Ds's school forbids parents sending in snacks for any occasion. If we were allowed to send in stuff, for sure I'd be stressin' over the treatbags, too. I was kind of relieved I didn't have to!

Mundane activities do seem soooo exhausting. It seems like you've done nothing but you've done so much.

I'm glad you went to your reunion and had a good time. Must be fun seeing how everyone looks and what they've been up to since you've seen them last.

Tara R. said...

Happy Valentine's Day to your and yours. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

April said...

Sylvia's too old for V-day bags, PHEW! And Riley wanted to make them herself this year :)

J at said...

Your part about flowers feels very real to me after last year, too. They do just fade and die. Sigh. My heart goes out to you.

We celebrate a bit, because it's fun, but we refuse to let it force us into pressure situations. Wine and a nice dinner at home is perfect. Though my husband did arrange for me to have a massage yesterday, which I very much needed, and was very much appreciated.

Knatolee said...

You know m'dear, I am starting to think we've been living parallel lives in a lot of ways... a lot of what you wrote in this eloquent post could have come from my mouth (not necessarily so eloquently, though!), including the bit about the high school boyfriend (that's a whole other horror story, what that became!) My hubby is my best friend too, and was my friend before any romance ever erupted. I think that's the best way, don't you?

I share your thoughts on V-Day too, although last night we actually WENT OUT to a local dinner theatre production of Love Letters, mainly because our friends asked us to come along, and because it was raising funds for a new arts group they've started out here in boonie-land. Can't remember the last time I went out for V-Day!

ANYWAY! I'm glad you have ended up with such a great guy (because you and I know people who have not done so well in that department, ahem!) and I hope you are enjoying a happy Valentine's weekend together with your lovely kids.

It is great getting to know you again after all these years! :)

Cherry said...

I often feel I'm too practical and miss out on the romantic moments. I'm also a bit of an anti-valentines day person too, but my husband isn't and I'm trying to make more of an effort to give him the same special feeling he gives me when he surprises me with some romantic gesture.
But alas, this year we were both sick and we did nothing out of the ordinary. Infact, I don't think I even got out of my PJ's all day while he went to work.
Plus... his birthday is only a few days before Valentine's day and I've already racked my brain trying to figure out what to do for him.

Yo Momma said...

omg. i hear ya on not being crafty and still trying to put together a decent 'goodie bag' so that you won't look like the slacker mom. I remember when it was just cute character cards and MAYBE a lolly or it's like freakin' Halloween with the Valentine candy!

good V post though! We don't do a big to-do either for Valentine's day. It feels forced when you have to do it on 'a day' you know?

兩津 said...



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