This month celebrated a holiday fraught with expectations and disappointments. Of course I am talking about Valentines Day. When I was young and single, I would dream of a perfect date hitting all the right notes… candle lit ambiance, a thoughtful gift, good food and of course very handsome company. Sometimes reality is better than day dreams. Just not in the way you expected it to be.
We do and don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. We don’t go out on the day, but I usually try to make a special meal, we give each other gifts ( I received my favorite perfume, Summer Hill by Crabtree and Evelyn this year after some judicious hints), and we always give each other mushy cards. Now some argue that cards and all the rest of it is just a ploy by savvy marketers to get us to drop five bucks on a piece of nicely decorated paper. I guess they’re right, but if you don’t have a special occasion, it is highly unlikely that mushy cards will be given (especially by the guy). So valuing the written word as I do, (even when composed by some stranger at Hallmark) I am glad to get the card in whatever manner I can.
This year we were particularly unsentimental, in that we celebrated two days late. Due to some minor crises’ in our family, colds and and serious sleep deprivation, we proclaimed February 16 as Valentines Day. Plus… candy is 50% off by then. Win win for the dutchies.
While the pictures look pretty (sort of), I can assure you that the meal went downhill after the scrumptious salad was eaten. I didn’t realize soon enough, that while I left the steak grilling outside on the BBQ a rather large fire ensued. So it was hard to determine how long to cook them after I put the fire out. OK… so they were dry. The kids wanted to sample the wine and that resulted in shouts of disgust and running to the kitchen sink to rinse out their mouths. The potatoes were good… Hassleback Potatoes. I will share the recipe some day. Anyway, Valentines dinner, in spite of the pretensions of tablecloth and using the “good” dishes was comfortingly familiar.
Once Annika figured out what was going on on this day, she had to share in the fun, busily making cards for every member of the family. As the time drew nigh, the pictures were more hastily colored. Big disappointments were averted by the other kids quickly making cards for her.
In the end though, seeing the kids laughing, hugging Annika as she was so pleased to hand out her cards, made it a special day for us. Romantic, no, but a night filled with love, yes!
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?