Monday, February 15, 2010

Hearts and Flowers...Maybe

Some years ago, my husband bolted into the kitchen with a furrowed brow of concern on his face.

“Was today Valentine’s Day?” he asked, the constricted throat muscles rendering a hint of panic in his voice.

“No,” I said. “That’s tomorrow. Tomorrow’s the 14th.”

“But isn’t it always on a Sunday?”

As the only woman in a house full of men, there was never anyone who’d give me an honest opinion on a new pair of shoes or a new hair style. Sometimes I’d wait all day to see if one of my men would notice that my hair was blonder or curlier or 3 inches shorter. And I spent years trying to figure out how to raise their awareness as to the importance of certain “special” days. Not that I wanted a big deal made of it or to be inundated with flowers or candy or jewelry. (Frankly, I think going to Jared’s is way over the top.) But the results for Valentine’s Day were definitely mixed.

From my husband, some years, I’d get a card; some years, flowers; some years, even a gift. And some years, I’d get nothing at all. And in those years when he’d forgotten, in the spirit of “the best defense is a good offense,” my mate would treat me to a lecture about the conspiracy among the card and flower and candy companies to make Valentine’s Day a bigger deal than it should be. I’d get a similar lecture on Mother’s Day, but his standard escape clause on Mother’s Day is that I’m not his mother. That excuse won’t work on Valentine’s Day: if I’m not his Valentine, we’re both in trouble.

This year, for my children, I made – what else? – Valentine cookies. Of course, I forgot to mail them until Friday, so the package will be a bit late. But they’ll forgive me. Once they got to college, I used to announce ahead of time that I’d be sending Valentine cookies, in an effort to see if this subtlety would benefit me or any other hopeful female, but I figured it was my best shot. I needn’t have bothered.

On the other hand, now that we’re retired, there must be less stuff cluttering my hubby’s mind. By the time I got up, he’d fed the cat, emptied the dishwasher, and left a funny card right where I’d see it. Happy Valentine’s Day!


  1. My most treasured object is the Valentine's Day gift my boyfriend/now husband gave me on our first Valentine= a heart charm with my initials on the front and the date on the back 2/17...

  2. That's how you knew. Mine is the gold heart he gave me for the first Christmas when we dated. Ah, when they give you their heart...