I’m not much of a romantic. Or, I may be, but I hide it really well. So, I’m not crazy about Valentine’s Day … the candy … I like the candy. But there seems to be a seasonally driven, uphill emotional climb from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day every year that wears me out. First, Thanksgiving … of course I’m thankful! Incredibly so because I’m blessed. But T-Day takes up about two weeks of emotional juice each year and then we eat a lot. Next is, of course, Christmas …. another month-long, emotional step up for the “spirit of the season” — of course I love Christmas … but where does all that good will come from?–is it possible to dig some of it up in July? Then New Year’s Eve and the upward emotional high jump to “Auld Lang Syne” …. Yikes! I am now officially sobbing into my champagne. Someone kiss me quick!
Forty-five more days up that emotional hill to the sentimental pinnacle of the season … Valentine’s Day! Now, I am madly in love with my Valentine of 34 years and want desperately to be romantic and buy him a nice card and candy … he even likes flowers. And he deserves them! He’s lived with a graphic designer for 34 years and understands a lot about what we need. We’re insecure … so he encourages me and has learned to do it in a meaningful way. He understands that we see the world differently … kind of in 2D, with ITC fonts in PMS colors. Always looking for Fibonacci sequences in odd places. He knows the name of the font in the “crawl” in the lower-third of the conservative news he watches. He knows never to fast-forward through the titles on my favorite TV shows, so that I can critique the graphics. He comments knowledgeably on the latest ESPN or Golf Channel graphics. He seems to know it before I do when Pepsi changes their logo.
Then comes Valentine’s Day … Hubby, of course, who is a hopeless romantic! delights in finding the most over-the-top sentimental card and then writing beautiful words that actually describe his feelings. Because he knows I’ll cry. It’s like a challenge every year. I’ve saved every single one.
I cannot buy greeting cards. Never could. That’s why Valentine’s Day kills me. When I stand in the card aisle and try to find one that gives my husband a small sense of how I feel about him … I start to sob. Really. I frighten the other people in the aisle and they start moving their children away from me. I don’t even walk down the card aisles if I can help it. Birthdays! Anniversaries!! Father’s Day!!! There are so many reasons to stay out of the Hallmark store at the mall!!! And my poor Mother hasn’t gotten a Mother’s Day card in 20 years!!!.
And then every Valentine’s Day I try to screw up the courage to shop for a card … and just can’t do it. So, I do the graphic designer’s “dodge” and make him one — print it out on bond paper – and tape it to the bathroom mirror so that he sees it first thing on February 14. Sometimes I even sign them. Last year was special–I printed it out with my Epson large-scale printer at 11 x 17. Impressive.
I’m not much of a romantic. But at least by February 15 the emotional rise takes a turn downward and all we have to worry about is where we’re going to drink that green beer on St. Paddy’s Day! Erin go bragh!