Hearts and Flowers

I consider myself a romantic. But there is one holiday I absolutely detest {I would say hate, but that’s a realllly strong word}. You got it. Valentine’s Day.

Since I was a wee lad, I endured the trials and tribulations of Valentine’s Day. In grade school, there was the obligatory cards to classmates. As we moved up grades it for the opposite gender in our class. Yeuwww. As I got older and discovered there were some anatomical differences between the genders, it became more of a dread. Now I had to decide which girl to give a “special” Valentine to without completely insulting the rest of the girls in my circle.

Fortunately I went to an all boys high school so I had a four year reprieve from the dreaded day. And after I started monogamously dating {okay, for maybe a week at a time} I could break up, let’s say in early February, and make up sometime closer to March.

But then I got serious. Valentine’s Day changed. I had someone I cared about — really cared about — to share the day with. But it didn’t diminish the dread. It shifted from who to what.

I don’t think I ever really nailed it … except for the year I proposed to Karen on Valentine’s Day. Before and after it was a constant struggle. Flowers? Candy? Perfume? A vacuum cleaner?

My first attempt at flowers was a disaster. I left them in the car while I was at work and they sort of wilted before I could present them to her.

Three year old candy in a heart shaped box was a staple choice … until I discovered she ate all the good ones and just left the hard nougat centered morsels. And after the kids started coming, she rarely managed a piece or two. {PS. As a confession, I was probably one of the kids.}

Perfume was always a good choice. Karen loved Eternity. The problem was I usually gave her a bottle of perfume for Christmas. Two months later was overkill. Besides, Eternity doesn’t age well into eternity.

No. I never bought her a vacuum cleaner … or a kitchen mixer … or any appliance. I may have been naive, but I was not stupid.

As we matured, I was apt to buy her something personal — like lingerie. One year I got that look. “Is this a present for me or for you?”

And so my mind sparred with my soul. The dread I discovered in my formative years plagued me … year after year.

You know what I discovered? The best present was me … my undivided attention … a little doting … watching those romantic chick flicks instead of Dirty Harry. And I discovered Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be celebrated on Feb. 14. It can be any day from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 when I can do just that. Be there.

I miss that these days. But I’m not as anxious about Valentine’s Day.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Love is not what you say. Love is what you do.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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8 Responses to Hearts and Flowers

  1. In the glossy Hallmark showers
    of romance running wild,
    wish they’d offer hearts and flowers
    of the ancient Aztec style.
    Wouldn’t it just be a kick,
    and give your honey quite a start
    if the V-Day card you pick
    is an Aztec-themed “Take heart!”
    With glossy images that would
    set Stephen King’s eyes agleam,
    and perhaps some dripping blood,
    it’s guaranteed to be a scream.
    It’s special, and beyond the norm,
    and should be made in pop-up form.

  2. Bruce says:

    Women describe me as a romantic. I enjoy giving a woman a card and flowers on Valentine’s Day. I have a close lady friend. Not a romantic relationship, but we met online many years ago, and we are close friends. We will exchange Valentine’s Day ecards tomorrow. It’s a way of saying: I appreciate your friendship, and I want you to know I care about you, and I love you as a good friend. I have a female cat too. Her name is Katherine, and I’ll fix her something special to eat tomorrow. Kat is very affectionate, and she loves head butts. I guess I just have a way with females….LOL.

  3. TamrahJo says:

    I am on the fence and act the same way, about the holiday – on the one side of the equation – it’s a chance to be very present, to offer extra words of appreciation and what I ‘love’ about the special people in my life, who enrich my life just by being them – and choosing to walk along with me during my journey, if you will – BUT, especially during my time working at the local library, I also really enjoyed the flip side of the equation – I worked hard to always do a display full of murder, mayhem and chaos with signage “When Love Goes Bad” to darkly, if you will, ‘cheer’ up those who for whatever reason, were feeling disenfranchised from our cultural hype during that day – it was always a hit and always got laughs, but it also gave the broken hearted due to teen angst, or loss of a spouse, an opening to say, “Oh thank goodness! I have someone to talk to about how I hate this holiday this year and why it hurt my heart when folks just shout it out to me, as if I’m celebrating it this year of (broken heart/grieving/etc.) –
    P.S. – I asked for the pricey, over the top grain grinder/mill for 4 years for valentine’s day – never showed up – sigh – – was cheaper and more useful than some of the stuff that $ got spent on, but, what can one do? LOL

    • I don’t HATE the holiday. It just doesn’t rank high on my list. Peace and thanks for the suppor.

      • TamrahJo says:

        I don’t ‘hate’ it either – and perhaps should have worded my comment better, given your up front statement regarding it — :). But, there are a lot of ‘nationally celebrated, consumer driven/marketed holidays’ I choose to celebrate in me own quiet way – sans meeting the expectations of many who feel ‘not done right unless’ one follows society standards – and, as I’m sure you know – there are many deeply loved/cherished holidays, that can, some years, be a real travesty/cause for heartache for many – or a time for grieving when so many around one are encouraging the ‘cheer up’ motto – sigh – never an easy thing – in our culture, eschewing marketing and social celebrations for a time when one would rather go internally to heal, and remember –

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