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.