Monday, February 17, 2014

A History of Valentines'

I wrote this post on Valentine's weekend 2012, saved it in my drafts folder and never pressed publish. Today I wanted to share a new Valentine's Day tradition we decided to start so I dug up this forgotten post with our new tradition (hint: it involves pizza!)

I'm not one of those women who says "Oh, I don't care about Valentine's Day" and then gets secretly sobby when my husband doesn't come home with flowers or a dinner reservation.

But I'm also not one of those women that hates on Valentine's day as a commercialized hallmark holiday. Because it is an opportunity to celebrate love. And I love love.

That said, I can't say I have ever had a terribly romantic day! A friend wished me a happy valentines yesterday and I started thinking about the awkwardness that has been a few of my past love days.

The first Valentine's day I really remember was with a guy I'd been seeing for only a couple of weeks in early college. I was still living at home and my dad wanted to meet him before we officially started dating, so I invited him over to my family's on Valentine's Day the Olympics. Yeah, it was that romantic. While we were sitting there watching luge races, I was praying that the awkwardness would pass quickly while my dad quizzed this guy that I barely knew about his work, family, friends, etc. I was sitting on my hands tensely, a foot away from him on the sofa and trying not to act weird in front of my parents. But it was the most awkward experience ever, and I didn't even get chocolate out of the deal.

The following Valentine's Day I was still dating the same guy, but things were rocky. We were in the middle of a big fight, but attempted to make up because it was V-day after all. He took me out to Red Lobster with no reservations and a one hour wait which we passed sitting in an empty Taco Bell. (spoiler alert: we ended up breaking up two weeks later.)

The next February was a few months into E and I's relationship, and I thought "This relationship is so great and wonderful - he probably has something drop-dead romantic planned." I'm still not sure I understand fully what it is about us women that expect our significant others to step out of character (mind you, the character we fell in love with) and perform great feats of chivalry and romance on the one day of the year that everyone else does it too.

Anyway, we agreed not to do anything big, just hang out. He was going to call after studying. I got dressed, made up, and sat down to wait for the phone call. I went from excited, to elated (if its taking this long, it must be good), to exasperated, to supremely annoyed. I marched up to his dorm room at 8pm and found him asleep on the couch. Ouch. I was mad all night, even though we both think it's hysterical now. (We ended up eating cold food from the campus snack shop, and going to bed early).

After that experience I decided to temper my expectations about the day. Fast forward to 2014 (our sixth Valentine's Day together). The barre studio that I've been a regular at since summer, has a Friday special where significant others can take a free class! So after a few months of begging him to give it a try (mostly to prove what a tough workout ballet can be!), E lovingly, sacrificially agreed. We met a barre buddy of mine and her husband, and had a great time watching them sweat and shake it out. The both left surprised and impressed at the intensity of a "ballet/pilates" workout.

We countered the calorie burn by heading to one of my favorite California pizza spots and breweries, Pizza Port. The crowd was light, and there was nothing like beer and a Pizza Roma in sweaty workout clothes with great friends. We ran into another couple from our church while we were there who told us that going to Pizza Port with friends was their Valentine's Day tradition - fun for the adults and the kids!

 And we thought - brilliant! A workout, low-key pizza dinner and walk near the coast sounds like the perfect tradition for us.

We finished the night staying up way to late starting House of Cards, Season Two!

What are your favorite Valentine's Day traditions? (They don't have to be too romantic - just you!)

I'm off to scoop up the clearanced pink m&ms and sweethearts. My second favorite part of love day!

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