Monday, February 11, 2013



My first real Valentine's day came in 1993. I was a freshman in college and I had been dating David for 3.5 months. I had cautious expectations. We had made a date to see each other on Valentines, but failed to talk specifics. At that time in our relationship, we didn't speak every single day.  I heard little from David during the days leading up until the famous "Hallmark Holiday." In fact on February 14, 1993, I  was certain that I was going to be stood up by my new boyfriend. I didn't hear from David until late afternoon, at which point I had already shed a few thousand tears. His voice was bright and cheerful and he had no idea that I had already written him off.

I met him in his dorm room that evening. He was waiting for me with a teddy bear and a rose. I melted, like any eighteen year old girl would. I kept that silly bear for years, until, a decade later he met a black puppy who would tear him to shreds. That first Valentine's day we had dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant (Piasan's) and kissed goodnight under a frosty February sky.

There have been so many Valentines Day's since then. There was our senior year in college. I borrowed a sparkly dress from my roommate and David and I shared cocktails at the swanky Barber's Closet, which burned down only a few days later. As we ended the evening we made out in the back of a cab, shivering from the cold and intoxicated with drink and young love.

Not all of our Valentines Days were sweet. There was the dinner in 1997 that ended in tears, after I received "Secret's of Fat-Free Italian Cooking" instead of a ring.  And the holiday of 2008 when my husband sat across the table from me at a fine Denver restaurant and told me that I looked like someone had died. I responded teary eyed, that the morning's ultrasound (which revealed our second son) was the death of a dream. I would never have a daughter.


We haven't been to a restaurant on Valentine's Day for years. These days we opt to spend the holiday at home, away from the crowds and fixed price menus. The last few years have been low-key, our love is quieter and more established. I'm no longer excited by a silly plush toy, or expecting a sparkly ring. Now I serve up "Shirley Temples" to my sons and watch them devour Russel Stover's chocolates until it's time for bed. After the boys are tucked in, we will play cards, drink wine and make a nice meal. We will fold laundry and wash dishes as we chat about work, the boys and our day-to-day lives. At some point in the evening I will look at the man I married and see the boy I fell in love with. I'll feel the warmth of years past, and the excitement of the future with my sweet Valentine.


  1. What an absolutely beautiful post.

  2. so so so sweet. loved reading this.

  3. Good stuff! Our Valentine's tradition now is to get together with a bunch of friends, dress up as fancy as possible, and go to the diviest place we can find for dinner. Wish you guys could join us!

    1. Yes, I have seen your pictures, it always looks like so much fun!