I’ve been called a lot of things, bull-headed, stubborn, even opinionated, but I’m really an old-fashioned, romantic traditionalist. It’s not a side of me a lot of people see. Call it good upbringing; stand up for what you believe in and pay attention to the little things. It’s those same little things that had me driving from store to store, wandering the mall, looking for just the right Valentine’s Day accoutrements.
I’ll be the first to admit that when the members of my sex first descended from the trees, the majority of them didn’t want to let go of old habits. You’ve seen these habits still evident even in today’s day and age, the chest thumping, ‘it’s my cave’ mentality that the man-boys flaunt with the reckless abandon attitude that should have stayed in the trees. Don’t lose hope, some of my sex chose to evolve and I’d like to think I am one of those. This is why you won’t see me haunting Hallmark at five o’clock pm on Valentine’s Day. I ordered my flowers a week in advance from a florist that knows me by name. I’ve carefully chosen the menu for the evening and while I did buy chocolate and a card, they were specifically chosen. Not too much, no heart-shaped boxes etc.
I visited the jewellery store and hand-picked just the right piece. Too pricey and I’d be reverting to using a club to woo my mate, too mass-produced and well… the same result. I rushed home with my arm full of treasures. I hid up in my office where my creative energies sometimes run rampant and sometimes breed crickets. I packed each item with care.
As the evening approaches, I commandeer the kitchen – admittedly, that’s a rarity for me, I am a male after all, some habits die-hard, I do most of my cooking on the barbeque – and soon a bouquet of aromas are wafting through the house; garlic and lemon, salt water on boil and the unmistakable scent of the ocean.
Wine glasses frost in the freezer, dessert sets in the fridge and candles adorn the table. The soft tones of Norah Jones fill the dining room and finally I can announce that “Dinner is served”. Each year it’s different. This year it is shrimp and scallops, lobster tails and pickerel and hash brown potato casserole. The candlelight glints off the bubbles in the glass and sparkles in eyes. The little packages wait for eager hands to unwrap.
Valentine’s Day may be seen as a ‘Hallmark’ holiday, but I see it as a way to show those that I love how I feel. It’s something I recognize that I don’t do near enough and as much work as it may sound, the rewards are immeasurable.
“I love Valentine’s Day, Daddy” from my little girls, and my wife’s quiet smile are all the rewards I need.
Valentine’s Day is what you make of it, and this not-so-typical male says, make it count.
Happy Valentine’s Day!