(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...