I’m going to say it. This year was the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had.
Growing up I was one of those people obsessed with Valentine’s Day – which made it the worst day of the year. Was my crush going to get me anything? (Probably not.) Was I going to be the only loser walking the halls alone? (With 420 kids in my grade alone, not likely.) Why didn’t my parents believe in arranged marriages – then I’d at least be destined to not end up alone! (No joke, this thought crossed my mind growing up – yuck!)
In college I still gave it WAY more importance than it needed but that was okay because I was also one of the dance instructors for our Annual Boston College Luau in March. This meant that pretty much every night in February I had dance practice. On February 14th each year I held an “optional practice” for anyone that wanted company on that most overly commercialized of days. And actually, that practice was usually a lot of fun because we mostly just blasted Hawaiian music and joked around until we all decided to find a bar to move on to.
Then I found a job in a career where the busiest time is usually January and February and for the majority of the last eight years, Valentine’s Day meant eating take out in front of my laptop with 10 or so other accountants. I think the only Valentine’s Day I ever made it home for was in 2010. That year, VDay was on a Sunday and I walked in the door at 9 AM after working through the night on Saturday. After a sleepy brunch I think I passed out for the rest of the day. Valentine’s Day had finally stopped holding any meaning for me whatsoever.
This year I had no idea if I’d make it home in time for dinner or even before midnight but at 8 PM I called Ryan to let him know that I would be home after all. And that’s when he put his plan into motion. I arrived home to the most fabulous Valentine’s Day card(s) ever:
And a three course dinner with drink pairings. I had figured we’d call our boy Mohammed at Dominos but Ryan had planned it all in advance, to come up with food that could be prepared in 15 minutes tops but still resembled a romantic dinner, just in case I showed up in time.
(You can’t see it under all the cheese (yum) but the second pasta dish had heart shaped lobster ravioli. Oh yeah, and I also didn’t bother taking a picture of the desserts until after sampling a fee cookies.)
But that wasn’t all. I also had a present to unwrap, after I found it in the refrigerator…
At 10 my perfect V-Day idea was that a guy would like me back (it was hard to be boy-crazy from so young). At 20 it was that I would one day be lavished with expensive dinners and gifts (as soon as we got real jobs and stopped needing to have our parents buy our groceries, toilet paper, everything). At 30 it is that someone will make me dinner when I get home late and let me pick what we watch on TV while we eat (Glee was exceptional).
At the end of it all he asked, “Was it okay?”
I told him that it was the best Valentine’s Day ever but that he shouldn’t have worked so hard, because I’d be expecting something next year.
He responded, “hmm, maybe next year I’ll actually cook something.”