I have only once in my life celebrated this holiday with a significant other. It was a special night. I wore a dress from high school, altered to still fit, while he wore an all-white tux handcrafted in Turkey, both of us a teensy bit uncomfortable due to the snugness of our outfits.
Well that, and the formality of the event.
We went to some fancy restaurant, I don’t remember the name, and opted not to get the dessert, due to the snugness of our outfits…
Instead we went, in our formal wear, to a tiny little local café for Iced Chai blended lattes (had it been Starbucks, it would have been called a Frappuccino). We played checkers and laughed at the little boy who went yelling to his mother because some girl had kissed him! Oh the horror!
Then he took me back to his place, the barracks on base (surely I wasn’t supposed to be there) to surprise me with my favorite bottle of wine and a gold-dipped rose. Both were placed on the pillows of the bed, which was covered in rose petals. He asked me to marry him that night, and caught up in the moment, I said yes. It was a magical moment that couldn’t last, but beautiful nonetheless.
It’s a moment I think back on from time to time. Not because he was the one that eventually got away (more like a huge mistake narrowly escaped), but because afterwards, when we couldn’t go to opening night of the movie we’d been talking about for weeks because we overspent at the fancy restaurant, I told him I would have been happy with the Chai and the wine and the oh so sweet words he’d said as he was trying to propose.
I’ve never been big on expensive gifts. Gifts of the heart mean more. He knew it was my favorite wine. He knew it was my favorite local coffee shop. He knew exactly what to say to make me say yes to the question of forever… In that moment he knew me, the real me, and he knew how to show it.
If I ever get the opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a lover again, I hope he knows how to show me that he knows me. I hope he can show me that he loves and accepts the real me, the me I don’t show to just everybody…
In the meantime, all you lovebirds out there, have fun, and be sure you’re showing your significant other how well you know them, not how much you’re willing to spend on them. Money means little in matters of the heart. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly helps! But it’s not the price tag that matters, but rather the thought behind the gift.
Happy Valentine’s Day!