Monday, February 14, 2011

Red: Memories of a Mismatched Day

Valentine's Day is such a funny enigma of a holiday. If it were National Write a Love Note Day than perhaps we would all know what to do with ourselves.

But having it be a day when pink and glitter and chocolate springs out of the woodwork, and countless school children trade pre-printed notes of sentiment to others who are not necessarily their friends, seems just so strange. Originally, it was a day to celebrate the comradery and friendship type of love (which would make the school children thing less creepy), which I much prefer. Some countries do have a friendship day, in fact.
I know a number of single people who are not the least bit bothered by the day (I really thought about it myself, honestly), but also quite a few who are severely bothered...but what do they plan to do with the day when they are not single? Reporting from my second Valentine's day married to my best friend, I cannot say I have any clue what to do with it. I do like the idea of writing notes of friendship and love. I wrote three, one for Nathanael, one for my younger sister Megan, and one for my Dad (my envelope doodle shown above). I hope my Mom and other sister don't feel neglected...I email them more anyhow.

Do you have any memories, fond or strange, of Valentine's Day's past?

Most Valentine's Days of the past completely escape me. I'm sure my Mom, who was great at themed desserts, made some very memorable meals and sweets, which have all been lost to my own memory (perhaps Dad recalls).

I do remember coming down one Valentine's morning to find four red construction paper cards decorated in black permanent marker images uniquely suited to each of our personalities. My Dad makes the best valentines.

And of course I remember the enormous snow storm my senior year of college,2007, that canceled classes and led to the longest and best snow day with friends. (We even made waffles and snow ice cream.)

But I do remember the Valentine's events of one year with particular clarity...

 I remember some time in middle school when I was reading by my clip lamp on the morning of February 14th, and I took the single glow in the dark star I owned (which had been tossed from a second story window as a gift to me from one of Megan's friends) and placed it on the light bulb to charge. I was totally engrossed in my book, however, (The Hobbit I think) and I only remembered it was there when I smelled it burning. It had melted to the bulb, taken on the curve, singed in one corner, and lost its points. I was so sad about it that I cried...a lot. I was a rather sentimental child, and the fact that I had ruined this token of friendship (on Valentine's morning no less) crushed me. But it still glowed, so I ended up keeping it and it probably haunts the corners of my parents' home to this day.
Later that day we were supposed to have a Valentine's dessert and craft day at our Pioneer Girls Clubs, but the event was canceled due to a snow storm. The following week when we held the delayed event I remember eating disappointing desserts (much to pretty for their own good), wearing a burgundy velvet shirt my aunt gave me, and being asked to sing to all of the grades. I am not sure who decided I should sing a solo at the event, but it was almost like a dare. All of the girls from my grade were nervous for me and told me not to be scared, and then, do you know what I sang? While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks by Night. With accompaniment!
It was kind of my song at the time; we had it on a cassette at home with other songs which were all sung by children's choirs. The recording for that song, however, was sung by an adult, and I had asked my Mom why they didn't have a child sing it. She said it was probably a hard song to sing; thus starting my peaceful defiance of anyone who did not believe in the abilities of children. So, I went on to sing a Christmas song at a Valentine's dessert. Guess I showed them.

Reminisce with me in the comments...


  1. I love you! You make a great blogger. :-) I most certainly think people should write notes to friends for Valentine's day, I usually do. As far as sharing memories, I think my best Valentine's day memories were spent making projects with Mom, Megan, you and sometimes grandma--and opening Aunt Lee's packages!

  2. Valentine's Day was never a big deal to me. Actually, most holidays are just any-other-day to me. I try to celebrate and appreciate the loved ones in my life all year long and there is nothing better than a random act of love rather on any old day than one that is designated to 2.14.

    I do, however, remember when we were very little, everyone in the class gave a valentine to everyone else. Then as we got older, certain kids got snotty and only gave to kids they liked. I felt so sad for the kids who didn't get valentines.

  3. Thanks Melissa! I'm glad you enjoy reading!

    Liesl, I have to agree that especially as I get older, holidays are not huge. But I think especially for kids it is fun to have certain days where feasting and celebrating is different than on ordinary days. But you're right, appreciating and encouraging loved ones (and overlooked acquaintances) should definitely not be saved for those days. That's one characteristic of my family I am especially thankful for, and also why I enjoy sending handwritten letters so very much.
    Do you have any particular special things (ways of loving others) that you try to work into every day life?

  4. I remember my sister-in-law Paula telling me everyday was like Christmas for her so she didn't expect to be surprised with the perfect gift! It made me pay closer attention to the every day moments so if I could do something extra for anyone or found a gift without a reason I will now push myself to do it right then and not wait for their birthday or holiday.


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