Monday, February 8, 2010

O! U R A Q T Pi We Heart U!

HANK: Counting down til Valentine's Day. Remember in grade school? When we'd get those huge packages of valentines (some you could punch out and some had glitter) and there was a special one for the teacher? And there was such competition about who got the most, and it was SUCH a big deal.

(OH! I just had such a memory flash. A big shout out to Ronnie Murphy, wherever you are. I just remembered, when we were in 7th grade, you send me a homemade, lacy valentine. Made from construction paper and a doily, if I remember correctly, which I probably don't. But I honestly didn't know you "liked" me.)

As I grew up, it was all about getting roses. And who had roses on their desk in the office. And sometimes, that was me, and that was important and wonderful.

But now, I do stories about how florists double the price of roses, and fly the cheap ones in from Chile, and Valentine's Day sometimes seems--high-pressure and commerical. Am I getting unromantic in my old age? How about you? Valentine plans? Memories? I do heart you guys, no question about that. But don't expect roses. (Or maybe, do!)

JAN: I think when you are young, Valentine's Day is about proving to yourself (and maybe your classmates and coworkers) that someone loves you. As you get older, and a little more confident, you don't need so much proof. The diamond jewelry commercials on TV (Jared?) make me embarrassed for womenkind. A nice dinner somewhere. And yes, I'm still a sucker for flowers. But really, just having a good guy around after all these years is the actual gift.

ROBERTA: I loved those little valentines Hank! My dad used to send one to each of us with his name in secret code, that is "Dad" was "4-1-4". It's sad not to get those anymore!

And I do have a sweet spot for valentine's day because John proposed at dinner on that night eighteen years ago. He wrote a sweet, silly poem that I have framed over the bathtub:). but I totally agree--hate being taken advantage of with the valentine dinner specials--it's like New Year's Eve. Let's celebrate the night before or have a great dinner at home.
Hearts to all of you JRW and readers!

RHYS: Absolute envy of those like Roberta who have romantic husbands. Mine is generous, doesn't mind how much he spends on a present, but doesn't have a romantic bone in his body. Occasionally he will produce flowers and/or a card for Valentine's day, but usually with a complaint that the price of flowers has doubled. (and on this theme, my daughter got married on Mother's Day weekend and our budget for flowers went out of the window!)I guess I'd really love to have a goofy, romantic guy who writes me poems, but I have to remind myself that this one is great with money, trustworthy, hardworking so that goofy romantic type would hever have paid off the mortgage before he retired.Oh, now I remember--in college I did have a boyfriend who send me sweet little notes almost every day, in the days before email. He wasn't a keeper! Happy heart day to all. I'm taking my daughter's family to see Mary Poppins as my romantic outing!

HALLIE: Oh, Roberta - I love that the poem hangs over your bathtub. How perfect.
One memorable Valentine's day in my sophomore year of college, I got roses from two different guys. Neither of them were destined to last much longer than the flowers.
My husband does give me flowers on V Day (I prefer tulips because they ALWAYS open and look gorgeous and last last last) but what he really does great is cards. He's an artist and each card is a hilarious hand-drawn cartoon starring us. I also get hand drawn cards on my birthday, Christmas, Ground Hog Day, and I used to get one each Bastille Day.

RO: Holy on Bastille Day? Totally jealous. I have to be reminded that it's Valentine's day. I like to go out for a nice dinner and I have a physical need for champagne but since I was one of those unfortunate little (loser) girls who was never showered with the red construction paper and doily cards in grade school :-( I never got used to them.My husband is wonderful and buys me flowers and cards. Thanks for reminding me, Hank..I should get him something this year! But presents...cheesh...that's a whole other blog isn't it?

HANK: Plenty of time, RO. How about you, JRWs? Do you heart Valentine's day? And Roberta, 10-18-23 12-15-22-5-19 25-17-21


  1. Hubby gave me an electronic tire pressure gauge one year for Valentine's Day. Lucky for him, it was accompanied by flowers and chocolate. But we usually skip major celebrations because everyone on the planet goes out that night. For us, Groundhog Day is a 'bigger' celebration, because it marks the anniversary of our engagement.

  2. Oh, Terry, what a romantic your guy is.

    Hank, I LOVE those valentines you posted with the blog (the ones that weren't mine) - took me back. Do they still sell the kits where you make Victorian looking valentines with cutouts and doilies?

  3. The problem with those grade-school valentines boxes was that it became a popularity contest, which meant that someone was always the loser. Then schools became more politically correct and mandated that if your child was going to give valentines out, he or she had to give them to everyone. Which is better?

    My spouse is a contrarian and hates to be forced into recognizing any official holidays, just because someone tells him to. He does grudgingly buy me flowers.

    Anybody need any doilies? I still have some.

  4. Valentine's Day was my first date with my sweetie, which delights him because he doesn't have to remember some other date. He's not wildly romantic, but I usually get chocolate (dark) and we go out for the nicest dinner we can find.

    I still like those doilies and how you unpeeled them from the stack, all pressed and cut exactly the same.

  5. thanks for the sweet message Hank! I had to line up all the letters and numbers to read it:). All these guys sound like keepers don't they? I've seen Hallie's hand-drawn cards and they are adorable.

    Sheila, you're right. the cards offered another opportunity for kids to feel subhuman. I think the PC solution was better.

    I'm realizing Valentine's day is good for reminding us to appreciate what we have!

  6. Edith, I'm still enchanted by those doilies, too.Just when you think you have just one, you realize you can still peel it apart!

    Terry, love can come in many shappes and sizes. And sometimes you get it at the auto parts store. It's adorable.

  7. Sheila, I might be contrarian, but I think the PC way is better. Not getting Valentines in your formative years is just too..potentially harmful to your emotional health.

    What do you guys think?

    And do you stll send valentines?

  8. On the PC thing -- when I taught pre-school, every child made ONE handmade valentine. Then we put them in a big box, and each child reached in and blindly pulled one out, showed it around and thanked whoever had made it. It worked very well for that age group. Don't think it would fly much beyond kindergarten.

  9. Terry, that could work. But at some age, kids are about quantity. Hmm..maybe that could/should be fixed, though. (ha.)

    Anyone sending Valentines this year? Who to? (To whom?)

  10. Sheila,
    I'll take the doilies -- I actually find them useful for serving baked goods!

    And Hank, as it turns out I'm going to have a special Valentine's Day this year. Lannie (my 23-yr old daughter) and her boyfriend invited us for dinner Valentine's Day. Lannie will cook. For me, that's even better than romantic!!

  11. My reply starts out rather "Debbie Downer," but it improves greatly toward the end. Just so's ya know ahead of time. ;)

    My father died on Valentine's Day when I was 8. After that, I developed sort of a "bah humbug" attitude about the Big Day.

    Not helping was college. When I'd pass my dorm's front desk, masses of flowers for the other girls waited. But none waited for me. (Hang in there - the "good part" is coming.)

    Then, I met Rod who used to send me flowers when he was out on the road because he's so allergic that he can't be in the house with cut flowers. :) Now, he's off the road so, alas, no more flowers - but I'm okay with that.

    We usually go out to eat, but we've just lost the holiday weight we gained and hate to mess that up with a feast. So, we'll figure out something. :)

  12. So sorry about your loss at such a young age, but your story does end on such a high note!

    Rod sounds like a great guy!

  13. I do love Valentine's Day and consider myself quite the romantic, but after a six years of dating and a year and a half of marriage, the best ideas--like having a star named after my wife--are behind me. Instead, we prefer to have a nice dinner out, and Chelsey still loves to get roses and chocolates (even if they are ridiculously over-priced). Finding the perfect card and writing an original and heartfelt message or--gasp!--poem is still where it's at for me. And this year, I signed Chelsey up for "Just The Right Book" from R.J. Julia. (The first book will be romantic and come with chocolates, and the next selections will be chosen based on her interests...) I figured you writers/readers would appreciate that!

    Happy Valentine's Day, one and all!


  14. Thanks, Jan. Yes, Rod is wonderful. He's my best friend.

  15. Rhonda, that's an adorable story about Rod. (ANd I'm picturing you as a little girl, handling that. That must have been--is?--a very difficult.)

    John, you're a treasure! (Did you get over your cold?)

  16. Thanks, Hank--I'm feeling much better! :)

  17. Tomorrow--the charming, hilarious, clever and inspirational JB Stanley.

    Tonight--we battle with blogger to let her post to go up. So far, we lose.

    But I will persevere! And tomorrow will be our lucky day. Or so her blog promises...and she seems to know her stuff!

    So watch this space...

  18. Thanks, Hank. Rod is wonderful. And, yes, those tumultuous early years of my life help me appreciate how great I have it now with Rod and our little house on the hill. :)