valentine’s day is lurking

Everyone knows holidays are stressful. It doesn’t matter which one(s) you celebrate. Even if you are happy and organized, someone in your little grouping of family/friends will give the gift of stress. For all holidays, I am the happy organized person. Except for one, Valentine’s Day.

As a kid, I liked Valentine’s Day. Mom would take us shopping for boxes of Valentine cards (yes, they came in boxes way back when) for our classes. We would write our names on each one, take them to school, and place one on each desk. When we came home, clutching our little boxes now full Valentines from our classmates, we would have Mom’s homemade heart shaped cut-out cookies and pink milk (a drop or two of red food coloring added to milk).

I think the shift in my attitude started high school. I was sucked in by the media. Yes, I wanted the $300.00 per ounce perfume. Long stem roses were mandatory. I wanted the sort of Valentine’s Day that only Jennifer Marlowe (the receptionist in the sitcom
WKRP in Cincinnati
) must be having. Logically, I knew that would never happen, but the image stuck.

It was after both high school and college, when I was in corporate America, that stress appeared with Valentine’s Day. In case you don’t know, a woman must receive flowers from her husband, boyfriend, or significant other on Valentine’s Day at her office. Go home flowerless, show up at work on February 15 with new diamond stud earrings, and I guarantee you at least one person will say, “he’s making up for the flowers”.

I no longer work in an office. Dave and I have been together for 17 years now, and he understands me. I know he will remember that I have a thing for a box of chocolates. He’ll probably buy flowers too.

I think this year I will purge the lingering stress by baking some heart shaped cut-out cookies and drinking pink milk.

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