It’s another Valentine’s Day, so I decided to take a moment to count my blessings. At this stage of the game, I’m happy to say the official day of romantic love is not a heartbreaker or heart stopper anymore for me. Like everyone else who pays heed to this date, I remember every tortured Valentine’s Day of the past. The worst was fourth grade when you were supposed to make and receive a valentine for and from every person in your class. I never was good at crafts and anything requiring construction paper and doilies was a stretch. Also, let’s be real. Not everyone received a Valentine, which made for some awkward moments, even in fourth grade.
I thank my lucky stars I know who my Valentine is. I wouldn’t like being on the dating circuit, trying to make a romantic connection. My friends who date online are either very brave, or crazy. Have you watched the Bravo scripted series, “Dirty John” perchance? Based on a true story, the series takes you step by step through a doomed and dangerous romance. An attractive and successful woman in her 40s begins dating a man who she thinks is a doctor. He isn’t. All my girlfriends urged me to listen to the podcast of the real people the show was based on, but I didn’t have the stomach.
To amuse myself this morning while cleaning the bathroom (nothing is harder on romance than two people sharing one bathroom) I composed in my head some possible profiles for myself if, God forbid, I ever have to create an online dating profile. “Fully grown, slightly overweight woman writer seeks smart guy with his own income. Must like Indian food and dogs.” Or, “Slightly insolvent but still attractive mature female seeking rich guy who isn’t too full of himself. Must not like to stay out too late and can see to drive in the dark.” I can’t imagine how that would go over. I’m guessing not very well. Which is just as well because the whole point of going on any date means that after a certain number of dates, you’re expected to take your clothes off.
I’ve been married 30 years, give or take; there have been plenty of Valentine’s Days that should be relegated to a dark vault. There was the year my husband splurged for tickets to a Broadway show neither one of us was keen to see. One year he bought us plane tickets to the BVI but we never went. Scattered throughout the years there have been a few nice Valentine’s Day dinners in nice restaurants, although going out on Valentine’s Day never was our thing. Back in the early 2000s I had a heart-shaped cake tin I would trot out to make a flourless chocolate cake, but the tin rusted and I never replaced it. Possibly that was a mistake.
This year I’m declaring Valentine’s Day to be the year of giving flowers. I like roses. I like Gerber daisies. I like tulips. The best thing about flowers is you love them for a few days and then they go away. Unlike chocolate, which stays on your hips, like forever.