I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day. Part of it stems from all the years when I didn't HAVE a Valentine. I remember one time waking up to the sound of Katydid and her then-boyfriend laughing hysterically because they had bought each other the same card. I grumped out of my room and snarled something about hating Valentine's Day. That afternoon, one of them had bought me a precious stuffed unicorn (was it REALLY necessary for me to tell you it was a stuffed one?) and Mack had bought me a gift card to a department store. I used it to buy myself some expensive lacy pajamas, and I still have them to this day. Every time I've cleaned out my clothes and thrown out worn/outgrown/outdated things, I could never bring myself to get rid of those pajamas. They're now faded and slightly less lacy, and I doubt if I can wear them, but I still hang on to them. I guess I keep them as a reminder that even when you think life really sucks, it won't ALWAYS suck. Probably. Maybe.
Then I was married to a man who didn't know how to do anything on his own, so surprise flowers on Valentine's Day weren't going to happen. One year I hinted and suggested and probably even threatened, and he still didn't get it. When he called me at work, I railed at him for not sending me flowers. We couldn't even AFFORD flowers, but I was too young/insecure/stupid/immature to face that fact. Poor thing, he called back and said it was too late to have flowers delivered, but we would pick them up on the way home. I hung up on him. Then I saw him parking illegally in the teaching hospital parking lot, bringing me flowers himself. I hid from him. I HID! Oh, how it embarrasses me to admit that. I threw the flowers in the trash, but I later fished them out.
After that I was married to a man who just didn't do anything that didn't benefit him personally. I griped every year about how depressing it was to see 14-year-olds get flowers at school on Valentine's Day and not get any myself, when I was pretty sure I was more deserving of them (especially being married to him, but I only added that part in my head). It didn't matter; he didn't believe in planning ANYTHING in advance, so flowers on Valentine's Day never happened. The only time he gave me "flowers" was before we got married. I got home from school one day to find a 5-gallon bucket on the kitchen table with a GINORMOUS weed in it. There was a note (written in orange crayon) sticking in the weed that said: "I would have bought you roses but they cost too much. I took the vodka." The most embarrassing part of THAT story is that I still married him. One year after we were married he disappeared somewhere late afternoon on Valentine's Day, and then he came home bragging that you can get cards for half price if you wait that late. For a freakin' card.
Then Hubby came into my life, and suddenly Valentine's Day wasn't that important anymore. Well I shouldn't say that, because we actually moved in together on February 14th (before we got married in May.....shhhhhhh.....). Not because of the significance of the date, but because my rent would have come due on the 15th, and Valentine's Day fell on a Friday. It poured rain. Poured and poured and poured. I think it has rained EVERY time I have ever moved. I could have put an end to our state's severe drought long before the governor's prayers did, if only we had thought about moving somewhere.
For a few years we continued giving each other cards, then we stopped doing even that. It's not that we don't love each other - it's that we DO. I used to tell people it was because every day is Valentine's Day at our house. But I stopped saying that so people would stop sticking their fingers down their throats and gagging at me. It's true, however, even thirteen years later.
Yesterday Hubby and I went to the grocery store, and naturally it was packed with people buying Valentine's Day gifts. (I would call that last-minute shopping, but perhaps that label should be reserved for the people I know were shopping this morning.) As we went through the florist section of the grocery store, I asked him, "If you were going to buy me flowers, which ones would you buy?" He pointed at some very pretty pink ones, although he should know that yellow roses are my absolute favorite flower. Being a good sport, however, I said, "Those are very pretty. Thank you, honey." And I stopped to pick out some sweet potatoes.
We saved the money he would have spent on flowers, and I still know he loves me.
Happy Valentine's Day!