When I was growing up in Lynbrook, NY in the 70’s, Valentine’s Day was not a big deal. My parents didn’t celebrate the day with each other because they were divorced. I sort of remember decorating shoe boxes and making cards but the cards didn’t have candy or toys attached to them. In middle school and high school Valentine’s Day was a day to get roses from your friends or maybe some guy. The Student Council used to sell roses leading up to the big day. They were delivered in homeroom and you had used to wait with sweaty palms to see if you got one. The roses, in my case, were never from the ones you wanted them to be from. They were from they guys that creeped you out a bit. (Oops, sorry if any of the ‘creepy’ guys read my blog…I am sure you have fully grown out of your creepiness!) Of course I am joking (a little) but isn’t that the story of love especially in high school and middle school? The ones you love never love you back and you usually don’t love the ones that love you. It takes years to appreciate the ones that got away….. Enough about that, I’ll have to write a whole post about that subject…or maybe a whole book.
I don’t have many memories of Valentine’s Day in college. I am sure we had Valentine’s Day SYRs or formals but they are all a blur to me now. When Stacey and I were together a few weeks ago we decided that we should have worked on our GPAs at Notre Dame instead of the memories because the memories are too blurry as we enter our 40th year. After we got married we used to frequent Le Creperie in Chicago. It was one of my favorite spots. Wine, crepes, candles and friends…what more could you want?
I have never been a big romantic. I don’t think you should be forced by a date on the calendar to profess your love. That being said, Justin shouldn’t forget Valentine’s Day either. I just don’t need it to be lovey dovey.
As I look at my kitchen table, I can see Valentine’s Day has changed. The three little Farleys have spread out all of their loot and it looks like Halloween turned itself red. I cannot believe how much stuff they each got and what a big deal Valentine’s Day has become to kids. Although, I do love to see them so excited…so excited about love. And hanging out with my twelve little three year olds in school was awesome. Love and chocolate was flowing around the room like Mt. St. Helen’s had just erupted. (Remember Mt. St. Helen’s? Another shout out to my childhood. Mr. Joyce at West End had a Mt. St. Helen’s poster in his science room.)
Valentine’s Day 2012 isn’t a date night with friends at the Creperie. It’s not a delivery of roses from a creepy boy. It’s not dreaming about roses from your secret crush. Instead it’s filled with a tiny sigh of relief because all of the kids’ cards for their friends are done, the cupcakes are delivered, teacher valentines are purchased and our little tokens of love have been given to all four of the kids. Valentine’s 2012 was filled with dinner at Mekong who’s slogan is “Beer is always the answer.” Valentine’s 2012 was filled with chocolate, flowers and delicious desserts. Valentine’s 2012 was filled with more love than one girl ever dreamed of having.