Monday, February 13, 2012

Be My Valentine.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Admittedly, its not my most favorite holiday; like many people, I went through my rebellious phase where I wore black on V-Day and refused to participate. I'm no longer quite that bad, but I still find the diamond commercials on tv quite irritating! As I was walking through the store today, though, I went down the holiday aisle and was accidentally sent into nostalgia space.

Like most kids, I actually enjoyed Valentine's Day when I was little. It's only six days from my birthday so I often got heart-shaped cakes and decorations and such. I always liked the printed valentine's cards we brought to school and the little mailboxes we made to hold them. The thing I liked the most, though, was what my Father did every year.

Since I can remember, every Valentine's Day evening, we would wait anxiously for our Dad to get home, usually around 6:30. He would come in the door, clutching a large bag, and in that bag was a gorgeous, little heart-shaped box of chocolates for me, and one for my sister, and a substantially larger one for my Mom. Sometimes our little boxes were red, sometimes yellow, sometimes pink-my Mom's was almost always red and usually had a silk rose on it or something like that. Although the outsides changed from year to year, the candies inside remained the same; slightly nasty orange or raspberry creams, a few caramels, and one or two with nuts. I'm a chocolate snob now, and would never eat any of these-at the time, though, we didn't care. To us, they were delicious, and we looked forward to these moments of feeling special all year long.

So today, as I looked at heart-shaped boxes that were remarkably similar to those I loved thirty years ago, I thought of my Dad and I felt both sad and happy to have such a good memory about a man with whom I sometimes had a difficult relationship. Happy Valentine's Day, Dad; if I had a heart-shaped box of bad chocolates, I'd give it to you!

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