My Funny Valentine

I want to start with a disclaimer: If you’re anti-Valentine’s Day or just totally over all the mushy-gushy stuff, you might want to stop reading. No, really. This was, hands down, the best Valentine’s Day I ever had, all thanks to my wonderful, silly, romantic man. I’ve never truly had a valentine before. Yeah, I was married, and I’ve had boyfriends on Valentine’s Day in the past, but it was never the romantic holiday I always hoped it would be… Until now.

We had the whole weekend planned out. Rico would come up Friday after work and we’d go to a birthday dinner for a close family friend of his. Then Saturday, we’d cook dinner together at my place rather than deal with the madness of trying to get a table at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Then, on Sunday, we planned to go for Mongolian bbq {one of our favorite spots} for lunch before he had to head home. Simple enough, right?

I was very distracted and flustered in the week leading up to our big weekend. I had decided to make him a scrapbook {something he really likes and appreciates} filled with pictures, movie and song quotes, and text boxes I created telling him how I felt about him. I had things like, “The first time you kissed me, I felt_______________.” I also had my daughter take a couple of really cool pics of me in my hat and claw hand from my Halloween costume {Freddy Krueger}, so I could put them in there.
I was really excited to give it to him and worked on it feverishly every night after work to make sure it was done before he got there. I had taken that Friday off and planned to get all the last-minute stuff done that day — cleaning, washing my linens, getting my nails done, wrapping his gifts, etc. Little did I know…

On Thursday after work, I headed home as usual and got comfy in my room. I had the scrapbook in front of me and my bed was covered with scraps of paper and pictures. I had a page and a half left to go before it was done. I was on the phone with him as I worked, and he said he was out doing some running around and that when he reached his final destination, he was staying in for the night. Maybe an hour later, he said he had reached his final destination and playfully said, “Why don’t you come open up the door for me?” I thought he had arrived at his house, and playfully said, “Ok, hehe, be right there…” and kept working on the scrapbook. He made a few similar comments, then finally said, “Are you gonna come open the door?” I froze, scissors in my hand, and said, “What are you talking about?” He hadn’t arrived at his own house but at MINE. I panicked, looking around the room at the mess, the unwrapped gifts, the clothes everywhere…I wasn’t ready! I quickly threw on a pair of jeans and ran downstairs where he was waiting. I threw open the door and jumped into his arms while he laughed at me for not realizing what he had been up to. I couldn’t believe he was here a whole day early and I’d had no clue! I made him wait a minute while I hid everything as fast as I could. We went out and grabbed some Chinese food, then I locked myself in my room for a few minutes to finish the last page of the scrapbook. He had made me a big heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie and used frosting to write my name on it. He had also burned a CD of romantic music for us to slow dance to.

The next morning, after allowing ourselves to be lazy getting up, we exchanged presents. In addition to the scrapbook, I had also bought him a red bundt cake pan and a basting set {his ex had taken his when they’d split up and he was really wanting new ones}, which he was really excited about. He gave me an amazing card that he had made and written himself, a box of candy, a beautiful bible with a case for it, and an Android tablet, which blew me away. He was so cute about all of it, smiling and chuckling as I oohed and aahed over everything. Instead of all my planned cleaning etc, we had a great day together. I took him to lunch at one of my favorite spots, then we went for ice cream at a little place where we had gone when we first started dating. That night, we got all dressed up {I had found an amazing dress to wear} and went to the birthday dinner, which was a lot of fun. I felt sexy and was proud to walk in on his arm. His godsister {the birthday girl} was really cool, and we promised to get together soon.

Saturday {Valentine’s Day} was also my niece’s birthday, so we decided to stop by my parents’ house before going on with the rest of our day. Rico went downstairs to warm up my car, then shoveled my driveway while I finished getting ready. When we got to my parents’ house, he and I shoveled their driveway as well {his idea}. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that he did that. Just always thinking of other people and helping out when he can. But I digress… The weather was terrible — white-out conditions all the way there, so we ended up staying for a few hours til it cleared up. Rico finally got to meet my brother and sister-in-law, and we had a really good time hanging out with my family, having lunch and birthday cake, before heading on our way.

Rico cooked an amazing dinner of tarragon chicken and vegetables while I made a brown sugar pound cake. I decided to treat it like a date and put on my little black dress for dinner. We ate and drank and laughed and kissed and fooled around and had a great time. It was a wonderful night, staying warm inside while winter raged outside.

Sunday, we did go to Mongolian bbq as planned and had a great lunch before he left to head home. The weekend ended waaaaay too soon, but it was wonderful, and it was the best Valentine’s Day
I ever had. I’m truly in love with this man and still can’t believe how blessed I am to have him in
my life.

Ok, Cupid

It had kind of slipped my mind that Valentine’s Day is this week. I stopped looking forward to it long ago…too many disappointments, too many unmet expectations, too much sappy love everywhere. After my divorce, I started jokingly referring to it as Singles Awareness Day. It was much easier to poke fun at the holiday than to admit how much of a drag it really was. But really, this holiday sucks when you’re single. You get bombarded with ads from jewelry stores and candy shops, knowing full well the only way you’re getting either is if you buy it yourself. It’s hard to read all the Facebook posts about the husbands and boyfriends who didn’t drop the ball {as mine always did} and not feel a little twinge of resentment.

So I was kind of surprised, this year, to discover that I’m not dreading February 14. It’s been quite a little bit since I’ve had a sweet, romantic Valentine’s Day, but to be honest, I love the whole idea of it. The romantic in me loves the idea of hearts and gifts and surprises and LOVE. I like the little candy hearts and the big red heart-shaped boxes of candy. I love the decorations and the little valentines that kids exchange every year in school. I really like making homemade treats for my co-workers and friends, and I like surprising my daughter with sweets and cute cards.

Maybe that’s why I haven’t entirely given up on Cupid. Yeah, I’d love to be surprised with flowers at work or a sweet card in a red envelope. But it’s also ok if I don’t. It’s not so much that I’m celebrating being single, but my life is truly full with so many blessings. I have people who love and care about me, who make me feel treasured and special every single day.  I find plenty of reasons to laugh and I get hugs from my sweet daughter every morning before work and every night before I go to bed. Life is good.

Happy Hearts Day!
xoxo