I'm watching people talk about their best and worst Valentine's Day celebrations (and gifts) on the Jay Leno show. With an ice storm looming, a rocky and unpredictable February schedule, and a winter that's kept all of the tri-state area homebound half of last month, it's got me thinking. Will I even get to see my boyfriend on Valentine's Day? It's also reminding me about my best, worst, and uneventful past Valentine's.
Is Valentine's Day even worth it?
Most of my Valentine's Days were uneventful. Growing up, my parents always gave me a heart shaped box of chocolate, whose contents I'd uncover by cracking through the bottom of them, eating my favorites first. While I appreciated their kindness, I'd kind of wanted to get a gift from someone I was romantically involved with. You know, r-o-m-a-n-c-e. My first real Valentine's Day gift was given to me when I was 22; it was a box of Godiva Chocolate from a guy I was dating named Ernesto. Unfortunately, it was literally at a time when the relationship was dissolving, so it sort of felt short.
I never celebrated Valentine's Day with my ex-husband because his mother's birthday happens to be on Valentine's Day (and her mom's name is Valentina, ironically). So from our first year together, when I was 24, until we split up eleven years later, Valentine's Day was a birthday celebration for his mother, not a romantic holiday for the two of us.
Two years later, I celebrated with a short-lived boyfriend who made me a mix CD, wrote me a love letter, and then proceeded to cry on my couch because he thought he wasn't "enough" for me. (He wasn't.) The next year, my new boyfriend and I celebrated the weekend after Valentine's Day (the holiday fell on a Wednesday that year) by going to dinner. And then the year after that, we couldn't celebrate due to a medical procedure that required bed rest, but we did go to dinner the following weekend. Which brings us to two years ago, which I cannot for the life of me remember, and then there was last year. Everyone was in the throes of the vomit virus, so my boyfriend's daughter's birthday party (which was to be celebrated the week before) was celebrated on Valentine's Day. Needless to say, I cannot remember a time when I celebrated a romantic Valentine's Day on Valentine's Day, with any degree of success.
Alas, it would seem that, for me, Valentine's Day isn't so much about romance. I mean, I'd like for it to be, but then again I've always liked for it to be, and it's yet to happen. I'm choosing to focus on baking cookies, sending Valentine's to my friends and loved ones, and using that date as a marker point that indicates five more weeks until spring.