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Remembering Love on Valentine's Day
You emerge slowly from your basement, a basket of clothing under your arm. You round the corner and trudge down the hallway toward your bedroom. You pass walls filled with paintings and photographs of friends and relatives. They are your treasures. You walk into the bedroom—it’s a comfortable room filled with more paintings and photos that represent decades of living. You place the clothing basket on the bed and proceed with your tasks. You fold socks, hang shirts, and make the bed. After you finish your chores, you relax in the corner chair and look at the calendar. Valentine’s Day has almost arrived—that day for love and lovers. That special day you adore so much and have always cherished. You sit back in your chair, shut your eyes and let your mind drift back in time. You smile, almost imperceptibly.
Valentine's Day ideas
Valentine's Day cards, cookies and an age of innocence
Eyelids droop heavily as images cascade before your eyes. You remember Valentine’s Days from long ago. As children, you had class parties in school to celebrate the day, replete with cookies and valentine boxes to fill with handmade cards you received from your classmates. There were no enemies—everyone was your Valentine. There was even a girl with long black hair that was perhaps a little more special. In those days, it wasn’t about political correctness or potentially inappropriate behavior. It was about respectfully recognizing feelings of friendship and allowing them to gracefully develop. The times were simpler and fun.
As you grew older, Valentine’s Day became a little more special, but there were some pressures, too. The girl with the long black hair moved away, but there was another girl. She was shy and soft-spoken, just like you. You didn’t admit it to anyone, but you considered her very pretty. You were both good in school and enjoyed the same things. You wondered if there was any chance she might have noticed you. Your heart pounded in your chest as you addressed your lone Valentine’s Day card and placed it in the envelope. The entire trip to the post office, you wondered if you were doing the right thing. The card slid from your hand into the mailbox, and there was no turning back. In a couple days, she would know you liked her.
You looked for any sign of reciprocation—for any indication whatsoever that the girl liked you, too. You tried to make eye contact in class. You were everywhere you knew she would be. Most importantly, you waited for the mail to arrive, hoping against all odds that she might have sent you a card, also.
She didn’t, of course.
A few more years passed. You did odd jobs and saved your money in the hopes of finding a nice gift for the girl you were really close to. She was a buddy more than a girlfriend, but sometimes there were moments that made you believe there could be more. An occasional look in her eye or a quick touch of your hands made you hope. You had no idea what to buy her, of course. You couldn’t ask your parents for advice and your friends were no help, so you gambled. You bought something you thought a girl would like and awkwardly presented it to her. You hoped she would realize the depth of giving in your small offering. You were giving her your heart.
She appeared appreciative, but it didn’t seem to matter. You wondered if there was another guy that perhaps she liked more than you. You guessed right. You were her friend for so long, she didn’t know how to see you any other way. She enjoyed your gift, but didn’t understand what it meant for you to give it. For her, it was similar to the Valentine’s Day cards offered with such innocence in grade school. Why didn’t she ever mention she had a boyfriend?
Time passed. Valentine’s Day was different for you as a young adult. Your gifts were risqué and flirtatious. You wanted action. It wasn’t just about sex, although that was a big part of it. You remembered dinner and drinks with your date, wondering why you were feeling a buzz and she wasn’t. You suspected the bartender weakened her margarita, or perhaps he made yours stronger. It didn’t matter either way—you were young and in love, and the night was yours. It was all you hoped and exactly what you were looking for at the time.
As you matured, relationships grew stronger. Sex was no longer the day’s main focus. You no longer needed Valentine’s Day to tell her you loved her. The day became one to remind her of your love. You hoped she knew, but you were still young and frequently inconsiderate. February 14th became your favorite holiday. Your plans for the romantic occasion were made and every detail had been anticipated. The dinner reservations were finalized. Your gift was the perfect combination of sentiment, practicality and originality. You were certain it would be the perfect day. You counted your blessings, grateful that someone so wonderful was in your life.
The years turned into decades, but Valentine’s Day never lost its importance. The dinners and gifts were still there, but it was a time for affection. It was a day to be nurtured and cherished. It was a phone call or a love note. It was a kiss or a wink from across the room. It was a day of adventure for the heart—a day of excitement and spontaneity. It was a celebration of the warmth and familiarity that came with baring your soul to another human being. Years ago you thought it couldn’t get any better, but it did.
Now you know how nice it feels
You gaze across the bedroom to the far wall, filled with those photos from days lived long ago—a lifetime ago. You look at one picture in particular. This photo was always your favorite. You were so young. There wasn’t any gray yet. You stared out from the photograph, looking sharp in your black shirt and blue sport coat. She was so completely beautiful in her dark red dress. You both looked happy and comfortable and natural together. It was easy to see you were in love. Everyone could see it. You belonged together.
You rise from your chair and head for the front door to see if you got any mail.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Words of Love From Amazon.com
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