Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The End of Valentines

This year I decided to quit trying to observe Valentine's Day. It's a huge relief.

I have had one really great Valentine's Day in my life. It was right after Clint and I got together. He picked me up for a weekend in Salt Lake. He drove his '80 yellow Datsun truck (that I had to push to start because I didn't know how to pop a clutch), wore his soft yellow shirt, and gave me a pot of daffodils. I just happened to wear a pale yellow sweater. We ate a bag of Dove Promise chocolates-I still have one in a small frame--"No truer friend than your Valentine". It was a bright, sunny start to what's been a wonderful eleven years.

Of course, since then most Februarys have found us pregnant, or with infants and small children, and distinctly short of disposable income. We tried to do things the first few years, but nothing could be a great as that first Valentine's, charged as it was with all the excitement of new found love.
So why should we waste a day that ostensibly celebrates love and affection by being disappointed that our observances failed to reach the artificial standards set by consumerist society?

On our last anniversary, we celebrated by consciously recognizing that that day was our anniversary with smiles and hugs and being happy and grateful the entire day that we'd been able to be married for ten years. It was great.

(On a side note, one year, #4 or 5, we completely forgot our anniversary. Both of us. The next day, when I saw a calender and realized that our anniversary had passed without remark, I was a little disappointed. It was not that we had forgotten, but that we could forget.)

So Valentine's this year will be like our anniversary. Maybe we'll even listen to Ben Harper's "Waiting on an Angel" and tell the kids how once, a long time ago, Dad actually danced with Mom.


Isa said...

Dance with him tonight! Thanks for the comments:) How are you?

denebug said...

Thanks, Isa.
Clint read this as a sad post and was worried that I was I felt like I was settling for something less than I wanted.
So let me put the record straight: I am happy about letting go of vague expectations of flowers and candy. As nice as those things might be, what matters more is that your sweetheart thought to get something for you. It is tangible evidence that you were in his thoughts even when you were apart. I can appreciate that, and whenever Clint has brought me flowers from a shop or garden, I've loved it.
But gifts are not the only way to show affection or regard.
Clint doesn't generally go off and purchase things for me because he's either at work or at home. And I would rather that he does the work that he needs to do and then come straight home to me.
Last night after dinner I had to go upstairs to soothe and nurse the baby. Clint cleared table, cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes. Then he came up and talked with me.
I'll take that over flowers any day.