The only time I have ever really liked Valentine's Day was in grade school.
In those days, we'd take our valentines to school and "mail" them by distributing them in the different boxes. Opening the mailbox, we got to see the valentines our friends picked for us. These were messages of love and friendship. No candy was included. It was just the card. And every student in class sent a valentine to every other student. We wouldn't have dreamed of leaving someone out. They were our classmates, our friends. (I will confess to not wanting any mushy cards from boys--ick!)
By the time my girls were in school, the valentines were sold in boxes and had about 4 or 5 different messages. Teachers had to remind students and parents to be sure to send a valentine to every student in the class. Candy pretty much had to be included in every card or no one would want to receive your valentine. Looking through K's and L's stash when they got home, most cards didn't even include my daughters' names on them. The child sending the valentine had just signed their name on the back of the card. Envelopes were blank, too. It didn't matter who got each card.
Valentine's Day has been on a downward slide (in my mind) for years. Visit a Middle School on the holiday and check out the office full of flowers to be delivered to 12 year olds. Some schools finally had to forbid florists to deliver at school. It became a delivery nightmare for secretaries and office staff, besides being a chance for showing up your classmates.
I love the line in "Sex and the City" where Miranda asks, "Is Valentine's Day on steroids this year?" The holiday is pushed, commercialized, and almost ruined. Valentine's Day has little to do with friendship or love any more; it's all about show. There is the requisite dozen roses, heart shaped box of chocolates, stuffed animal, vapid cards, and reservations at a crowded restaurant. And that says love to millions.
Hands down best Valentine's Day in recent years? For some reason, the Mr. and I both had the day or afternoon off. We went to the matinee of "Chicago." It reminded him that he better toe the line ("He Had It Coming"), and reminded me that I could end up in jail if I got any crazy ideas! After the movie, we shared a dessert at a favorite restaurant- almost empty in the mid afternoon. A great movie and my favorite dessert: a blonde brownie under a scoop of ice cream and drizzled with some vanilla butter sauce. That's it. We were back home before the hordes descended. Oh, he may have handed me one of those conversation candy hearts that said, "Cutie Pie."
The Mr. speaks my language. Yep. Best Valentine's Day ever.
For Monday Memories at Planet M
Don't forget to check out this week's post for Metropolitan Magic and Country Charm. If you've missed one, you can click on the sidebar button and see all of the photo posts so far.