So, today has some personal historical significance - on this day in history, 1999 my parents found my first dog, Lola, on the side of the road.  When she was still alive, I would celebrate this day with her.  Once, I made a cake.

Now, it's just the day before Valentine's Day.  A holiday which, as a kid, was kind of a big deal.  In Elementary School, it always meant a party, and we would exchange cards.   A small box of candy from Mom and Dad.

In Middle School, there was the remote chance that some boy might send you a carnation - one of the clubs was always selling carnations for people to send one another.  The pretty, popular girls would often get one from some pining anonymous Casanova.  Friends would send them to friends, but those always got your hopes up for a fraction of a second til you read the tag and you realized it was just Stephanie or Katie or whatever.  A small box of candy from Mom and Dad.

High School was similar to Middle School, except that boys who had a serious girlfriend would bring her flowers to school.  I seem to remember my sister's boyfriend had a dozen roses DELIVERED to the school their senior year.  And those of us who were single would maybe celebrate with our friends, or wear black to protest, or some dumb thing.  Candy from Mom and Dad, which you didn't protest.

This box has not changed in 40 years.

In college, if your guy sent flowers, they'd sit on the front table in the sorority house, so everyone would walk by, see your name on the card and know you were special. Unless your roommate, in a passive-aggressive move, took them up to the room for you "to be nice".  Then spent 15 minutes on the phone that night making her boyfriend feel bad for not sending flowers.  For instance.  You might go to the drugstore the next day and buy discount candy and eat it in your car.

In your 20s, you'd spend it with your dog, unless you were dating someone, then you made some special plans.  Maybe, depending on how serious it was, he'd send flowers.  But typically, you'd cook a nice meal, maybe watch a DVD together.  If you were established as a couple, there might be lingerie or jewelry, but nothing major.  You would definitely buy a box of candy on the cheap the next day.

In your 30s, you were married, and you'd exchange cards, maybe buy a joint purchase like a new frying pan or new socks for both of you.  You'd cook a nice dinner - not as nice as the one in your 20s, even though in your 30s, money wasn't so tight.  You might make baked goods for one or both of your offices.  Discount candy the day after?  Of course.

In your 40s, you start to agree that you won't do anything for Valentine's Day, except make a meatloaf in the shape of a heart for dinner.  You don't care that he doesn't send flowers, because you had yours in your 20s. You also know how stupidly expensive they are, and all they do is die.  You don't want jewelry because you never wear necklaces, you have your engagement and wedding rings, and you buy your earrings in bulk at WalMart.  Lingerie?  Pass.  Cheap candy on the 15th? You'd love to, but your doctor wouldn't appreciate it.

Romance isn't dead - it's just hidden in the minutes and hours and days that make up the year.

Go enjoy your loved ones however you see fit.  I'll let you know how the meatloaf turns out!



Christopher said…
Now I want to know how the meatloaf turned out. I also remember the year in high school we could send a singing Valentine to someone special. Some friends and I concocted a plan to send a dozen to one of our teachers. The teacher wasn't anybody special. We just figured that would take up most of the class. The Valentine singers collapsed all our orders into one two minute song. I wanted my money back but didn't get it. If I had I would have spent it on cheap candy.