Daniel and I met a little less than a month before Valentine’s Day 2003. We both said we were happy not being in relationships. We were having fun. We were friends who had a lot of fun together as much as we possibly could. As February 14th approached, we made fun of all the hoopla and dramatics.
As Valentine’s Day approached I told myself to play it cool. Yes, I was falling in love and I was totally scared of the implications of that. No, I was not going to let on to how I was really feeling.
But that didn’t stop me from making him a Valentine. My first homemade Valentine, ever.
I remember stretching out on the floor and carefully choosing the words and images I wanted to paste to the background.
My quick, easy, not serious Valentine turned into a bit more of a project than I’d set out wanting it to be. By the time I was done, it was actually a series. Not one card, but 4 carefully thought out collages.
We had a show that night and I was picking Daniel up so that we could drive together. When I got out of my car I considered shoving my creations under the seat and telling him I didn’t “Do” the whole hearts thing, but somehow I gathered the courage to not do that. I walked up the stairs to his apartment and I nervously handed him what I’d made, not at all expecting anything in return. He handed me a book of Rumi that he’d written inside the front cover of especially for me.
We didn’t have the time to go to a restaurant that night and really, we said we were against all that - so we ate at his place. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches with Cheetos on the side and Coca-Cola. We ate on the floor of his living room and listened to music before heading off to do our show and it was perfect. The 1st/Best Valentine’s Day I’d ever (really) had.
So now eight years later, we have these little monkeys who are not the cynics that grown ups sometimes are about this day. Last night as they were sleeping, I decorated a bit: big red hearts on the walls, hanging from our ceiling fans and a couple heart wreaths here and there. When they woke up this morning they “Ooh-ed and Aah-ed”. They love the balloons and flowers and hearts. They like the excuse to celebrate and eat things like yummy homemade (by Kristina Saldana!) cupcakes. They enjoy the cards and the festivity. And as Zoe tells me “I love you MORE, mommy!” and Finn yells “I love MOM-MOM!” I can’t help but hope that they always enjoy February 14th as much as they do now. They are surrounded by love 365 days a year, 24 hours a day... but I would love it if they took all the opportunities they’re given to remind themselves and the ones close to them how wonderful love can be.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.