Valentine’s Now and Then

In thinking about Valentine’s this year, I mused about how much this year’s Valentine’s is different from last year’s and for that matter how different it was 10 years ago. Yes, 10 years ago . . .

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It was 2003, the year after I graduated from college and I was living in Denver’s Capitol Hill with my good friend Aron. I am pretty sure that we also had Valentine’s Day parties in college at the Hootie House (<- long story), but this year we decided to have an official Lonely Heart’s Club party at our house for single’s only. From what I remember it was a relatively classy affair on a beer budget. Our friend Pete made a big spaghetti dinner with a large cake with the word LOVE crossed out. We ate, we drank, and we lamented our loneliness as only young, fresh out of undergrad 20-something-year-olds can.

We continued this tradition for three years, which was about the length of time Aron was still in Colorado during medical school. Our good friend Bif was a fixture at these parties as were the other “meddies” from the med school. Although Aron and I both had numerous relationships during this time, we seemed to magically become unattached around Valentine’s Day. Each Lonely Heart’s Club Party became bigger and bigger. One year our friend Chad made us an evite with “Filthy/Gorgeous” by Scissor Sisters pounding in the background. It was fantastic. That song still reminds me of Lonely Hearts. I also recall games of spin-the-bottle and designated make-out rooms. Friends that were in relationships begged to be included. I so wanted to say, “Sorry folks, but you have a date and we are lonely and getting drunk without having to see you drool on your significant other”, but I am pretty sure we let everyone partake eventually due to Aron’s kind heart. I remember one particular Lonely Heart’s Club Party (probably the last) when there were multiple kegs and a large number of people whom neither I nor Aron knew. That was around the time that the party lost its magic and we started to pair off.

The best part about the Lonely Heart’s Club Party was that it made Valentine’s something to look forward to every year, regardless of being single or what-have-you. I look back at those parties with so much fondness for our single times together with friends. These days Aron is a “smug married” now also but unfortunately lives a long ways away from Colorado. We do keep in touch and will be getting together within the next month (yes!). I tried and tried to dig up my old photo albums so I could post some pictures, but I can’t find them anywhere. Darn.

On the other hand, Valentine’s Day with my husband is pretty great too.

Our first Valentine’s Day together was only a few weeks after we first met in 2006. About a week prior to, Kevin asked me to “be his Valentine” which was our way of becoming official boyfriend and girlfriend. For Valentine’s Day my mother urged me to “play it cool” so I ended up giving him a bamboo plant in a glass container that cost about $4.00 total (which we still have and refer to as our Love Fern). Kevin gave me an electronic New York Times Crossword game from Brookstone (I was super in to NYT crosswords at the time) and bath set of smelly girl stuff. I even recall that we went downtown to the 9th door for dinner. It was the first of many romantic nights out on the town for V-Day.

This year’s Valentine’s will involve me making a heart-shaped pizza with chicken sausage and red onion, because nothing says romance like bad breath. I am also going to make a batch of my BBQ sauce for the hubby and I am sure we will exchange cheesy cards like we do every year. The great thing that I came across this morning when I was looking for old photos was all of our old Valentines that we exchanged over the year. I am so happy that we save stuff like this. It is really cool to see the evolution from cards saying “you are special” to “I love you” and then “I am so lucky to be marrying you” to last year’s “you will be an amazing father”.

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If that isn’t enough ooey gooey cheesiness for you, then here is little ditty for my husband. One of “our songs” from our early days of dating. Hope you all have a great holiday and celebrate whatever state of romance you are in, be it #foreveralone or #smugmarried.

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