Valentine's Day is such a loaded day for me. As I'm sure it is for many people. It started out well. I used to love the elementary school Valentine's Day parties where we ate about five cupcakes and cookies, put our names on tiny valentines and delivered them in manila envelopes to friends. It was like a super fun sugar high!
As I got older, Valentine's Day became more of a challenge. Growing up, I was pretty shy. I always had friends, but I didn't have all the little boyfriends some friends had through elementary and junior high. Around that time is when someone decided to introduce the candy grams and flower grams. #worstideaever. You could pay money to have a sucker or flower sent to someone you loved or cared about at school. Of course, the tall, skinny blonde girl in our glass always got about five of them, and I got maybe one if I was lucky, usually from my best friend Angie. (We always supported, each other no matter what.) I always remember feeling so unloved as I watched others get the candy grams.
In high school, it was the stuffed bears and flowers. Girls would get them from their boyfriends in the morning and carry them around all day like a badge of honor. So depressing. At some point, around my sophomore year, I decided to instill a new tradition of wearing black on Valentine's Day. I wasn't a goth or anything like that. I just really did not like Valentine's Day. I talked some of my friends into doing it and the tradition stuck for several years.
College was more of the same. I had boyfriends off and on, so I did receive the occasional cardboard heart filled with candy, but my soon to be engaged friends always had me beat. At one point, my single friends and I created something called the "Purple Club" as a support group of sorts to air our Valentine's Day woes. In grad school I remember once hosting an Anti-Valetine's Day party at my tiny apartment with my famous homemade lasagna.
As you can see, Valentine's Day and I go way back. We have a love/hate relationship really. I've always liked the idea of the day. To recognize love and celebrate its many forms. Love for a partner, spouse or child. Love for God and his love for us. Love, as our chief aim in life, is something I believe is worthy to be celebrated. Sadly, pinning all of this expectation on just one day can lead to much disappointment.
I've been married now for the last ten years, and I can say that I enjoy the day a bit more now. I have a guaranteed date on Valentine's Day for the most part, unless he's working (which is often the case). I have someone to love and celebrate, along with my children. This year, though, it was not in the cards. We were signed up to go to our church's date night on Sunday. We were very excited, because it involved free childcare and was a free event. You can't beat that! Sadly, the day before rolled around and my kids ended up with fevers. We had to cancel. We were so bummed. Hubby did make it up to me by getting Japanese takeout and we had a little dinner after the kids went to bed on Sunday.
Yesterday, the actual V-day, I ended up lying on the couch shaking with fever chills. I had to resist the urge to immediately go to social media and post #worstvalentinesdayever. Because, although it was bad, I have definitely had worse. The highlight of the day was hubby making me chicken noodle soup and handing me my gift. It was wrapped in eight plastic bags, which I had to individually unwrap. Cute. Inside was two garden flags for our walkway. The part I liked the best was that he took the time to think about what I like. I have this little unspoken garden flag war going on with the neighbor across the street, so now I am up two flags, thanks to my handsome hubby.
Maybe not the best Valentine's Day ever, but I spent it with my three loves, and that is all one can ask for.