Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's Valentines Day?

Oh. Okay.

Look, I'm married 13 years now. Right or wrong, we're way past the point of Valentines. If the Husband gets me a card, well, that's nice. But it doesn't tell me anything I didn't know before. If there is no card, well, I wasn't expecting one. I see Valentines Day as geared more towards people who are on the brink of something romantic. Will he or won't he? Does she or doesn't she? It's a day for secret admirers going public. In my opinion, at least.

Notice that I didn't say, "if the Husband gets me a trinket..." I'll leave it at that.

When you're just starting to date someone, VD can be exciting. Oftentimes, however, it's a letdown. The first Valentines Day we were dating, I received a teddy bear from the Husband. That's what I mean by a letdown. What does a teddy bear say? He loves me as a child?

Speaking of which, I would have to say that I got the most out of Valentines Day when I actually WAS a child. In those days, everyone in the class gave everyone in the class a valentine. There were no surprises. And yet, for me it was exciting because I could express what I felt in my own way, and no one had to know, and in those days, when I was 8 or 9, that was a good thing.

Take Fourth Grade, for example, when everyone in Mrs. Alpert's class decorated paper bags to hold our valentines. I used an Amish hex sign as inspiration - two doves and a big heart in the middle (see above), and to me that was as romantic as it got. Any valentine that landed there would be charmed and special. Now, everyone was required to bring in a card for every other kid in the class, which had the potential to render it all fairly meaningless...except....except that I would take extra special care with the way I wrote "Love, Lauren" on the cards I would give to Joe Katz and Billy Capko, my perpetual crushes from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. And I could take extra special care with my lettering on the "Dear Joe" or the "To Billy". And that was all that I needed to make it a really exciting day.

In Junior High School, the Student Council sold carnations that would be delivered on VD. The price was a dollar per flower. Red was for "true love". White meant "just friends". And then there was the pink, which meant "Secret Admirer", and it's the only one I ever wanted. Except that I never got one...until ninth grade, that is. That year, I had a crush on, at any given time, Whitney Tantleff, Otto Gonzalez and Robbie Simon. We all worked on the school newspaper together, and I cheered for Otto and Robbie in soccer games. Whitney was a track guy, and we ended up going to the prom together.

But I digress.

That year, in ninth grade, I let it be known to anyone who would listen, that I wanted that pink flower, and I wanted it bad. Silly, eh? "I want a secret admirer. Now be mine." But lo and behold, on Valentines Day, I got that brass ring of flowers, that pink carnation, with an unsigned card, of course. I later found out that it came from neither Whit, Otto or Robbie. It came instead from the chubby boy who was beloved for his wry sense of humor and his knack for being a really good friend to girls. When he told me, I asked him why he would send me a Secret Admirer Flower when he wasn't admiring me, secretly or otherwise.

"Because you said you wanted one," he replied.

His name was Eric Probolsky. And he died two years later, when he was 16, in a car crash in Texas. That has nothing whatsoever to do with Valentines Day, but I thought it would be a glaring omission not to mention it. I have no doubt that Eric Probolsky would have grown up to be the model boyfriend/husband.

"Because you said you wanted one," he said, which said it all.

I guess at my age, with 13 years of marriage in the bank, where the surprises are few and far between, the best kind of gift anyone could give me would be something given for no reason other than because I wanted it.



samasthiti said...

VD. Venereal Disease is never something to celebrate. Snigger. I'm 13 sometimes.

My husband always gets me something sweet.
I never want anything! Never! But he's sweet.
He's thoughtful.
I though, suck. I never get him anything. Well, I do let him take it out in trade sometimes.....

Happy VD day YC!

BeBe said...

Blogiluscious VD day entry from you, YC.

You did so love Eric P. Maybe that influenced you to choose another Eric, although they are in no respect similar. Eric P. was chub, Eric S. is lean. Then again, you always thought The Husband was funny in the years before you got committed and before he was The Husband. Too bad he lost the funny. You are perpetually funny and fun.

Did the boys get their VD cards?


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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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