Valentine’s Day

I drove to Central Market to pick up some bread for dinner (which is leftover chili). I started off too near the lunch hour and when I got there, it was filled with middle-aged people buying flowers, cards, and cakes (the chocolate selection had already been wiped out). They seemed the kind of crowd to be married already, probably with kids, who think it’s too much of a hassle to brave the restaurants on Valentine’s Day. So they’re going to have a little dinner at home, with wine and chocolate and flowers.

Wait a minute. Am I just projecting myself? That’s exactly what I was there doing. Did I cringe in recognition? This was followed quickly by disappointment. Central Market had run out of cherry pie, which AJM and I decided would be a nice treat last night while we were planning our celebration. My mouth was all ready for it.

We’re both wary of occasions which demand obligatory displays of affection. He’s known me long enough now to believe that when I say “don’t fuss” that I really mean it. So I picked up the flowers and the chocolates.

At the store, I hesitated over the flowers, because cut flowers seem like a waste of money to me. I could spend the same money on a plant for the garden that would continue to provide flowers. Precisely because buying cut flowers is something I don’t normally do, it gave the moment a truly festive air which seems to be missing from modern holidays. On the table, ten (is this a “florist’s dozen”?) pink and white tulips, a little plate of Belgian chocolate, a bottle of red wine bring a smile to my face whenever I’m in the kitchen. This might be my nicest Valentine’s Day yet.

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