Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Big Red Day

My husband used to call Valentine’s Day ‘So What Day’…romantic, huh? He thought greeting cards were a waste of trees; that buying flowers because someone told you to defeated the purpose; and that going to dinner on the big day just to eat from a limited menu and have servers anxiously awaiting your departure from the table was ridiculous. I will admit that we fought about this on a few occasions…who wants to be the only girl in the office that didn’t get flowers? Eventually we settled into our own brand of celebrating our love, both on the big day, and on the other 364 days of the year.

I expected to breeze through the first Valentine’s Day without him, because he hated this holiday. But as the day approached, I found myself missing my heart day scrooge. There was no one around to balk at the increase in flower prices. There was no need to peruse the recycled card collection looking for just the right sentiment for my grumpy Valentine, and I cried when I realized there would be no one to take me to dinner at 4:30PM to avoid the crowds. Very quickly I found myself repeating in my head all the reasons to boycott the Hallmark holiday.

When the day arrived I found myself unable to ignore the National Day of Love. Instead of pushing the memories of our on-going struggle to find a happy middle ground for our own celebration out of my mind, I called them each front and center. And I laughed out loud. Recalling the times he showed up in the kitchen with a flower from our garden in hand, the dinners we ‘accidentally’ went to on the 14th of February, my efforts to get him to write me just one letter telling me how much he loved me (I was successful), and finally, the fact that he proposed to me on Valentine’s Day…I felt loved. And I guess that is the point of the day after all. Even though Phil never contributed to the romance testaments proudly placed on desks across America, I never doubted that he loved me. That night I drifted off to sleep murmuring…happy so what day honey.


  1. Yes, those love-type holidays are tough. Ray used to go out & purchase the most perfectly worded greeting card, I would think he wrote it himself, and tuck in some spending money, as I was too "practical" for flowers. Sometimes he'd override me and bring home a small bunch and give it to me w/the card. For now, I kinda pretend it's just another day ....

  2. My husband just died this Valentine's Day. We were together 11 amazing, and short, years. Everyone tries to tell me that I'll hate Valentine's Day, but I see it differently. My husband died exactly how I needed him to die..with me, holding his hand, telling him we'd be okay, loving him every step of the way. His last "I love you" was when I told him it was okay to go, and he left right then. That was his last kiss to me. I can't imagine a more precious, sweeter Valentine's gift.