Have you ever been in a predicament in which you’re asked a question to which you SHOULD know the answer, but your mind draws a complete blank? That’s where I was when I looked at this week’s topic: a Valentine’s Day memory. People who know I’m a romance writer seem to think I have a storehouse of romantic experiences to draw on. And I suppose I do. But very few of my romantic memories are connected to the holiday of love.
Elementary school teachers view Valentine’s Day as one of three times when the classroom routine is disrupted by a big party. I remember helping my daughters prepare their Valentines for their classmates and then spending time preparing cutesy little cards and treats for the students I taught. One year I got a brand new student – on Valentine’s Day. I spent my only break that morning frantically cutting out and assembling Valentines for the kids in the class to give him so he wouldn’t feel left out. I wondered whether or not I should bother. But then he pulled two paper bags out of his backpack – one was his lunch, and the other was full of Valentines, all ready to give to twenty-three children he’d never met. I was so glad I’d made the effort.
On the home front, there isn’t much to share. I suppose things were different when we first got married. I remember getting boxes of chocolate. And there were nice dinners for two. But we soon discovered we liked being practical. After all, if we eat too many fancy dinners, there won’t be any funds for my six hundred hobbies! Besides, hubby happens to be a very good cook – when we met, he was working a second job in a restaurant and brought home fabulous meals all the time. So going out to dinner is more of a treat for him than for me.
Once hubby ordered flowers and had them delivered to the school where I taught. I remember, because they went through the office, and the principal saw them and decided that maybe he ought to get flowers for his wife, who came to school to give piano lessons. In my music room. When he brought his flowers to her (my hubby’s flowers were displayed on the piano), he murmured to me, “I couldn’t let your husband make me look bad!”
I was about to conclude that my best Valentine memories took place at school – but then I recalled one other time when my hubby came through with flying colors. A few years ago, I was getting ready to go to my friend’s house to make hats (as described in my post on December 15) but I couldn’t find my purse – and then I remembered I’d left it in hubby’s vehicle the previous day. We’d had one of our famous snowstorms, and I’d used his 4WD to get somewhere and forgotten to bring it inside after I got home. Hubby didn’t have a cell phone at that time, so I had to wait until he got back from his weekly “breakfast with the guys” and I sat down to get some other work done. But he didn’t come home at his usual time, and a half hour later I was getting annoyed. Where in the world was he? Didn’t he know I had places to go? The purse was on the passenger seat. Surely he would have seen it. Why hadn’t he brought it in the house before leaving? By the time he pulled into the garage an hour later I’d worked up quite a tantrum and was ready to let him have it – until he walked into the house with a box of candy and a bunch of roses he’d picked up after his breakfast. I’d forgotten all about the fact that it was Valentine’s Day, and he’d stopped to get me flowers and chocolate. My anger deflated quickly, of course.
And then in my twisted logic I railed at him for depriving me of the chance to deliver a perfectly good rant.