Ghosts of Valentines Past
With the approach of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to talk about my Great Love.
We met at school in Tennessee and started dating in 2010. I was 19. Jon had been 20 for four days. Looking back now, we were clearly children but I thought I was grown. I thought I had been places and knew things. I didn’t. I just knew I was falling for those green eyes and freckles but trying hard to resist.
Our first Valentine’s Day as an official couple was two weeks before our one year date-a-versary. You would have thought that after a year of dates, coordinated schedules, and communications, our first Valentine’s Day would have gone better than it did. It was a disaster. One that still haunts us. We both planned something initially, but backed out at the last minute when we figured the other had most likely made the grand plans. I had to work. He had baseball practice. Long story short, we ate cereal together in the on-campus cafeteria before retreating to our separate residences at 7pm to do homework. Super romantic.
After that debacle, we struck a deal. We would take turns “doing Valentine’s Day.” Meaning one year, he would coordinate the activities and spoil me and the next, I spoil him. After all, why should all the responsibility of Valentine’s Day fall on the man? I am a feminist which means equality in all things. I can bring home flowers and chocolates just the same as he can. But for being such a romantic, that man of mine throws all his cynicism at Valentine’s Day. Even though it has history dating back to AD 496 and was referenced in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet circa 1600, Jon holds to the idea that Hallmark popularized the day of love to drive greeting-card sales. Probably true. Because of this, we have never been much into traditional Valentine’s activities.
2016 was my turn to do Valentine’s Day and it fell on a Sunday. The same Sunday that AMC aired the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. What else was a girl to do except plan a Walking Dead themed Valentine’s Day? I’ll be modest and say I’m slightly crafty (in reality, I’m crafty AF) but this didn’t take too much crafting to accomplish! Just some ingenuity and construction paper.
I packaged some of his favorite treats to look like MRE’s and whatever those healing things are that he picks up in Call of Duty. I pay attention!
I added in some survivalist things from his Amazon wish list (a GREAT way to drop hints to your significant other but make them feel like they are being sneaky when they snoop through it).
And, of course, what V Day would be complete without flowers? Flowers with a slightly morbid message.
I intended to have a picnic lunch in a local cemetery but I was convinced that might not be as appropriate as I thought. What can I say, I have no shame and no sensibilities. After all, the tradition of keeping graveyards so well maintained was not necessarily out of respect for the dead but rather so that families would feel they could come and spend time there, almost like a park! I did do some research into the idea. But nevertheless, we picnicked in our own back yard instead. Simple. Sweet. Appreciated.
The next year on Valentine’s Day, our son was 3 months old (if you do the math, it seems my Zombie-tine’s Day was most appreciated indeed) and had just started attending daycare. I had just returned to work full-time, and my husband was coaching high school baseball. (Perhaps we aren’t so different from those two college kids after all?) It was another, albeit different, zombified Valentine’s Day. We were emotional, sleep-deprived, new parent zombies and I have never been so thankful to have someone neglect to plan. That day, we did nothing special. I think we were vaguely aware that it was Valentine’s Day because I had dressed our son in his “My First Valentine’s Day” onesie. C went to bed easily and we went to bed early. I suppose I can consider that his gift to me – the gift of sleep.
2018, of course, is my year once again. However, the precedent has now been set! This Valentine’s Day, C will go to school. Jon and I will go to work then he will go to baseball practice. I might have dinner cooked when he comes home or I might order a pizza. Or maybe just open a can of soup… there is no telling.
I officially feel released from the pressure of obligatory romance!