Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Two Valentine Stories

After I wrote the previous post, I got to thinking about what it's like to not have a Valentine on this ridiculous day. It is ridiculous. If you aren't in a relationship and want to be, there's not much worse than a made-up holiday to emphasis your singleness. Even if you are perfectly content with the present state of your life you suddenly feel compelled to make excuses for your satisfaction and no matter what you say or do you it seems like you're just covering up, like the vice president after a hunting accident. (OK, I'm done). Trust me, I know. While I have been happily married for 14 years, I was nearly 34 when I got married. I had my share of Valentine's Days sans amour.

It's actually not that easy for people in a relationship, either, especially men. You're a decent guy who manages to say "I love you" to your sweetie nearly every day. You might even ocassionally bring flowers or leave a little note. You might be one of those guys who is fairly willing to snuggle up and watch something with Hugh Grant in it instead of something with explosions. But all of a sudden, today, if you forget to give a card, accompanied by the largest possible box of Belgian chocolates and 3 dozen red roses, you're a putz. It's ridiculous.

So let me tell you about two of my best Valentine's Days, ever.

The first was back when Shakespeare in Love opened. Valentine's Day was on a Sunday and The Spouse and I opted for an afternoon adventure. A friend took The Child home from church and we went downtown to see the movie. I don't know what got into us. Maybe it was seeing all the gooshy couples around us, but we decided to play a different game. He looked deep into my eyes, sighed and said, "I rue the day I met you". I leaned my head on his shoulder and cooed, "I rue the day your parents met". And it went on from there. Maybe you had to be there, but we were cracking ourselves up, trying to outdo each other in lovingly delivered insults. After the movie, which we loved, we went to Obachine for sushi and mango kamikazes and kept up the banter. We had a different waiter every time we ordered something and finally found out that they were taking turns coming to our table because we were making them all laugh so hard. One woman said, "Everyone else in here is being so sappy and there you are, just having a great time with each other".

We did have fun and more to the point, that is the enduring characteristic of our relationship. We have our moments and we've even had a couple of not great patches, but no matter what, The Spouse makes me laugh and I do the same for him. It's what has helped us weather our storms and brightened all the good times.

Second story. When The Child was in the first grade. The Spouse had a contract that kept him in Philadelphia for 6 months. (It was supposed to be 6 weeks, but that's another story). He came home every other weekend but Valentine's Day fell during the week so he had to say it with flowers. I decided that I wasn't going to fall into the pity trap so invited a bunch of girlfriends over for dinner. We drank Pink Squirrels and I made the chicken and artichoke pot pies that I'm recreating tonight. There was champagne and chocolate. I had asked everyone to bring her favorite romantic movies, cued up to her favorite scenes. We spent about 2 hours watching classic and sometimes surprising movie moments. It was thoroughly entertaining and I don't think any of us felt that there was something missing just because all the men were on celluloid.

I concede only this: it isn't Valentine's Day without a little poetry so my Valentine's gift to you are these, my favorite lines of Shakespeare:

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into 'Hey, nonny, nonny'.


Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Hey, nonny, nonny, I say!

As one of the girls invited to that Valentine fete a few years back, I'll be forever grateful for good girlfriends on Valentine's Day. Thank you, LT!


February 14, 2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger Caroline opined...

This is EXACTLY what i needed to hear today. i'm printing it out and placing by my computer. thanks.

February 15, 2006 6:26 AM  

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