Here in "Da Boot", Valentine's Day gets shoved out of the way a bit, due to our statewide holiday...Mardi Gras. While other areas are inundated with pinks and reds and school children cutting out paper hearts and purchasing candy, Louisiana is covered in purple, green and gold with our residents consuming King Cakes as quickly as they are placed on the shelf. However, just like other women around the country, we women of the south are not about to forget about this holiday of love...so what's it all about and what does it mean to you?
There are several reasons that Valentine's Day has always had my heart. First, it falls only five days prior to my birthday and when I was growing up, my mother would always make me a heart-shaped, strawberry filled pink cake to celebrate each year, staying in theme for the month. I rarely had a boyfriend during my adolescent years, so getting flowers, candy or trinkets of any sort was not in the picture. However, my step-father always made up for that by buying my mother a big old box of chocolates the size of the kitchen table...which I promptly poked my finger into the bottom of each piece to see what flavor it was. Anyway, over the years, this holiday, sugar-coated and pink, has come to mean many different things to me.
Robby and my first date back in high school was on Valentine's Day. It was traditional for local churches to hold what we called, Valentine's Day Banquets for the high schoolers. These banquets would be decorated like cozy bistros and would include a meal and entertainment. One could purchase tickets to reserve their tables and it was much more affordable than attempting to eat out at a restarant. Once we married, the holiday took on another face...the one that had kids on it. Having four children meant four school parties each year. So, cookies, candy and Valentine cards it was! And Robby and me?...Well, there was at least always a card.
As the children got older and one by one moved off to college or got married, Valentine's Day did not (and does not...) forget them. Goodies of some sort always find their way across the country to remind them that they are loved. As for Robby and me, we usually don't attempt to fight the crowd to go out to dinner. One year, we made home made pizza and shared a bottle of wine, while watching a movie at home. Last year it was a picnic in the park in New Orleans. OH...and there is still always a card.
What will this year bring? It will surely bring the kids that traditional sweet surprise. As for me and my love...well, one thing's for sure, it will bring the most important thing of all; the opportunity to set aside a special day to tell each other how much we mean to each other EVERY day.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!