Another Valentines Day has come and gone. Quite frankly it was more exciting when I was in public school trading little cards with odd tasting candy. I’ve never been able to develop a fondness for Valentines and not in a bitter way, but more of a shouldn’t we show love all the time kind of way ? I’m not going to go all new agey on you, but I honestly believe that saying I love you has more power every day than saving it for a day to commemorate a saint for which little to nothing is known. Had it not been for Chaucer waxing poetic, February 14th would still be just, well, February 14th.
Having said all of that, I did create little love notes for my kids extolling their virtues and decorated with stick figure hearts doing crazy dances. I never purported to be a great artist and love might be inspiring but it does not convey talent. They found these in their back packs and used them as a template to give me a lovely little set of notes full of appreciation which made my heart happy. Ok, so maybe Valentines Day has improved somewhat with that little bit of love.
The other part that frustrates the heck out of me is the expectation of huge gifts of roses and jewelry and lingerie and whatever else corporate Canada can convince us we need to be happy. When the heck did showing someone you love them become about how much you spend ??? How is thoughtless generic money spending associated with love ? For me – it’s wholeheartedly not. You’ll have to blame my husband for that and here’s why.
When my husband told me that story it meant more to me than the sleep shirt ever did. One – he remembered my aversion to the expensive, wasteful lacey up your bum thing, two – he put aside whatever fantasies he might have had about some angel clad in stays and corsets and three – he wanted to make sure he saw me in his choice as often as possible whether it was going on or coming off. How nice is that ? That little story also helped to up the love factor of Valentines.
Fast forward a few years and to this Valentines Day. We are still not spend a lot of money kind of people for flowers, etc. Don’t get me wrong – I love flowers. But in season, in my garden, sitting out front with the hubby having a tea. I will succumb to spots of spring and occasionally purchase a bouquet but not often. For this Valentines’ I picked my hubby a card with a simple message and purple / gold hearts as purple is his favorite color and some chocolate covered orange rind as that is another favorite. Small, simple, effective – done. Monday night my hubby takes our son on a mission to Value Village which is our local second-hand store. Love that place. From this little mission, my husband creates another example of true love.
I have a bit of a cookbook addiction which my husband tolerates as he usually benefits. He doesn’t share my fascination which is fine although he’s found a couple of my vintage choices interesting. Quite a few years ago, I used to enjoy watching The Two Fat Ladies. These ladies were epicurean curiosities whose appetites knew no bounds and whose philosophy of everything can be improved by butter or cream was played out week after week. Their wit and sense of adventure just enthralled me. Sadly, one of the Fat Ladies was lost to all at the ripe age of 71. Not bad for an obese smoker who scoffed rich treats like caviar and whisky interchangeably and extensively.
So the husband and the son come home from their adventure and the husband announces he has something for me. He seems to be quite proud of this and the son is dancing in the background with a huge grin on his face. Now I hanker after a wide variety of odd objects that would puzzle most so the floor is wide open as to what this could be. Low and behold, I am presented with a Two Fat Ladies cookbook called Obsessions ! A little worn but intact and full of interesting things about eels and tripe. Squealing and hand clapping ensue. There may have been a happy dance but you get the point.
The real point ? He remembered. He remembered that I like and enjoy The Two Fat Ladies. He remembered that I love cookbooks in all shapes, sizes and centuries and don’t have one of theirs. He saw that book and thought of me and the pleasure it would bring. That my friends is true love. That cookbook, along with my teddy bear sleep shirt that I still own, epitomizes the meaning of Valentines Day. It is the thoughtfulness behind the day that I love. The little things that aren’t expensive, or don’t cost a thing, but fit your true love like only cotton and cookbooks can.