I’ve been home sick today. Though I do often find myself missing East Texas, I mean I stayed home because I felt ill — home sick, not homesick. To some, spending all day in bed with gorgeous red and black bedlinens, hot beverages, fresh flowers around, and the knowledge that you don’t have to be out in the freezing rain/sleet/snow/wind on February 14th might sound like the perfect Valentine’s Day. I assure you, my gastrointestinal system begs to differ. However, it has given me time to think about this holiday. I decided a few days ago that the Bitter Betty frame of mind didn’t suit me, and that I was going to be fine with whatever happened today. I got three lovely cards in the mail from my wonderful family, all with little gifts inside, and a dear friend of mine gave me a sweet card and some gorgeous red earrings, and the pretty carnations have brightened up the house (even if I did buy them for myself). No reason for me to be glum! I’ve got lots of single friends who refer to this as Singles’ Awareness Day, and last year I posted the lyrics to Jewel’s “I Hate Valentine’s Day”, but this year, I think I’d rather earmark this holiday with pleasant memories from years gone by.

One of my happiest Valentine’s Day memories is of the year my Dad somehow managed to have a carnation sent to me at school. I was a freshman in high school, and there on my desk (and only my desk) when I walked into Geometry class was a single carnation in a vase, with a ribbon and a note that said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Love, Daddy”. I love surprises, I love flowers, and I love my Daddy. It totally made my day.

Another happy VDay memory was the year a dear friend sent me the most gorgeous orange tulips I have ever seen. We weren’t dating; in fact, I was single and once again mourning spending another VDay unattached. Then out of the blue, a delivery. Tulips, my favourite flower, and potted, not cut — they last longer that way. And WOW were they orange! Gorgeous! They adorned my dorm room window and brought a smile to my face for weeks. Only one other boy has ever gotten me tulips — my boyfriend in seventh grade, who asked me what my favourite flower and favourite colour were and then sent purple tulips to my house for VDay. Roses are great, but tulips are truly gorgeous!

But the BEST Valentine’s Day memory by far was in 2004. All I knew was that we had reservations for dinner, and that we were supposed to dress nicely. He looked sharp, and I was trying my best in a little black dress and heels. We made our way downtown, and finally arrived at a beautiful restaurant. I was feeling special enough that he had booked a restaurant in the South Street Seaport, but then they escorted us to our table, which was strewn with rose petals, and he pointed out the window to a perfectly clear view of the site of our first kiss in New York. That’s right: not only had he selected a very, very nice restaurant, he had arranged that our table have a very special view. Can you get much more romantic than that? Our three-course meal was out-of-this world (we still talk about how good it was), and we laughed and made eyes at each other all night. It was a beautiful evening.

And with memories like that, friends, who needs to be bitter?

Here’s hoping love, in any of its many forms, finds you today.

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